The Duke of Lies (The Untouchables #9) by Darcy Burke
Series: The Untouchables #9
Also in this series: The Forbidden Duke
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
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Verity Beaumont has suffered domineering men most of her life, first with her father and then with her husband. Free from both men, she has finally found peace. Even meeting a kind and hard-working gentleman who just might be the perfect father her young son so desperately needs. But as she dares look to the future, her carefully ordered world is shattered when her dead husband returns.
Imprisoned in America during the war, Rufus Beaumont, Duke of Blackburn, wants nothing more than to return to his native England. He longs for comfort and safety away from the horrors of battle, only the life he returns to is not the life he left. He must convince his wife that their marriage is worth fighting for, that he’s not the man he was. But when the truth about what happened to him leaks out, he must prove that not everything about him, especially his love for her, is a lie.
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
It’s been six and a half years since the Rufus Beaumont, the Duke of Blackburn disappeared. Verity Beaumont, the Duchess of Blackburn, is incredibly grateful that the man has been absent in her life. While Rufus courted Verity he was all that was kind and caring. The minute they were married she found that it was all a façade. He was a mean, vicious, cruel man and she was happy to have him gone. He left just three months after they married to go to London and then was never heard from again. Verity had gotten pregnant during those three months but the duke never knew of the boy, Beau.
Verity is moving on with her life and taking charge when suddenly Rufus reappears. Verity is terrified but when she talks to the duke he seems like a completely different person. He’s kind, polite, gracious – and he looks different than before – bigger. Rufus says that it’s because he gained muscle on the ship that he was conscripted to, but that doesn’t explain why he’s taller and his feet grew. Verity feels attraction for this man but fears that his kindness will disappear, just as it did before. She suspects that this isn’t really Rufus but does she care? If this man who looks so much like Rufus wants to be the duke and take care of her family she’s more than happy to have him.
Christopher “Kit” Powell is the bastard son of the previous duke, Rufus’s uncle. He was once at Blackburn so he knew enough about it to play it off like he was the duke. He didn’t plan on pretending to be the duke but when he took a room at the local inn they thought he was Blackburn so he decided to give it a go. He was actually a privateer whose ship had burned. He was planning on heading to Blackburn to get money from his father but then found out he was dead. After that revelation he decided to just steal something so that he could buy another ship. Of course he didn’t expect to fall in love with Verity or her son Beau so he’s stuck. What does he do? Move on with his plan to buy a new ship and disappear or stay and pretend to be the duke for the rest of his life?
This book nine in The Untouchables series and though I had only read book one in the series a couple of years ago, I didn’t need to read the other seven books to really enjoy this one. There is a couple of characters from previous books (I’m not sure which books) that are in this story, but their inclusion in the book was minor. This story was easily read as a standalone.
Rufus was the bastard husband and I have to say that I so wanted this new, friendly and kind man to be him – changed. I knew in my heart though that it couldn’t be him because anyone that cruel wouldn’t change that much, no matter what. If he actually had been conscripted he probably would have come out meaner than before, not nicer. So it’s Kit that is the duke and I loved him. He was just such a good man! He loved learning new things, helping people, playing with Beau…the list is endless. I was very happy that Kit and Verity fell in love and that she didn’t give a rat’s ass that he was illegitimate. It was completely a non-issue and I loved that she didn’t care at all.
Verity had lived a hard life. Supposedly her father was cruel as well but the book doesn’t really get into that – we’re just told. He does come on page, however, and he was an ass – I can verify. Lol After having to deal with Rufus when they married I was extremely happy that she found Kit. She deserved happiness and love and I was thrilled when she received it.
The suspense portion of the story, I thought, was well done. I liked how Burke unfolded the story little by little, giving us only bits to keep us interested and reading further. I really enjoyed reading this story and recommend it.
Rating: 4 out of 5