Monday, April 13, 2020

Blog Tour Excerpt: Duke Darcy's Castle by Syrie James

Duke Darcy’s Castle: A Dare to Defy Novel (Book 3)
by Syrie James

Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian Romance 
Publisher: Avon Impulse 
Length: 384 pages
Formats: ebook, mass market paperback 

Lance Granville, the Tenth Duke of Darcy, was none too happy to give up his career in the Royal Navy to inherit the family title, complete with an ancient castle he needs to renovate. When an architect arrives on his doorstep, Darcy is astonished to discover that she’s a woman.

Kathryn Atherton has one goal: to become the first woman architect in Britain. Marriage doesn’t figure in her plans. Despite the odds, her schooling is behind her. Now she needs experience. When she’s sent to a small tidal island in Cornwall to remodel a castle, the last thing Kathryn wants is to be attracted to its roguishly handsome owner.

Kathryn is determined to keep things professional, but the sizzling attraction between her and the duke quickly blazes out of control. When Darcy learns that Kathryn is an heiress whose fortune would save St. Gabriel’s Mount, he wages the most important battle of his life: to woo and win the woman who’s captured his heart. But (in an homage to Austen), the Duke’s first proposal is so Darcyesque, he is refused. In any case, duchesses can’t be architects. And Kathryn has worked too long and too hard to give up her career for anyone ….


     The duke waved an idle hand. “Don’t give last night another thought. Things may have gotten a little out of hand—”
     “A little out of hand?” Kathryn repeated. “I cannot think back on what . . . occurred without extreme mortification.”
     “I take full blame for last night, Miss Atherton. Don’t beat yourself up about it. These things happen.”
     “Not to me, they don’t. I have never behaved in such a manner in my entire life.”
     “Which only proves that it was my fault. My behavior was completely out of line. Forgive me.”
     There was sincere apology in his eyes. It was gratifying to know that he was willing to admit his own culpability in the affair. But even so. “Thank you for your apology. I do forgive you. But I cannot forgive myself.” She took a breath. Finding it hard to look at him, she continued, “The truth is, to be honest . . . I don’t actually remember everything that . . . happened.”
     “Don’t you?”
     “No.” Her cheeks flamed. “Things get foggy after the part where I was . . . um . . . I think . . . lying on the billiards table? I was wondering . . . that is to say . . . Did we . . . ?”
     “No,” he interjected, his tone and expression clearly meant to be reassuring. “We most emphatically did not.”
     “Oh thank goodness.” A relieved breath escaped Kathryn’s chest.
     “Nothing much happened after the point which you described. I promise you.”
     “So, did I . . .?”
     “You fell asleep.”
     “Oh.” Her face grew even hotter. “That must have been . . . awkward.”
     “I found it rather adorable actually.”
     “Adorable?” Kathryn wished she could bury her head in a very deep, dark hole and remain there for several weeks.
     “You looked quite angelic, fast asleep.” His lips twitched, but his eyes were kind.
     “How did I . . . get to my room?”
     “I carried you there. And put you to bed.”
     “Oh,” she said again. The idea that he had brought her upstairs in his arms while she was passed out cold, and then put her to bed and covered her up, sent a little shiver down her spine. It was such an intimate act she was almost sorry she had missed it.
     There you go again. Instantly, Kathryn reprimanded herself for having such a thought. What was wrong with her? She hardly recognized herself.
     “I was discreet,” the duke was saying. “No one else saw. So, nothing to worry about there.”
     “Again, thank you. I appreciate your candid account, and that you took pains to keep this quiet. Nonetheless, I still feel that I must leave.”
     He paused, then let out a disgruntled breath. “Only yesterday, you worked so hard to convince me to embark on renovations to St. Gabriel’s Mount. Despite every obstacle I threw at you, you refused to back down. I can only surmise that this project is important to you, Miss Atherton, and possibly to your career. Am I right?”
     “Well, yes, but—”
     “Do you really wish to give up before we have even begun?”
     “No,” she burst out. “But—”
     “I repeat: I take full blame for last night. No one else need ever know. Let us put it behind us and move forward.”
     Kathryn hesitated. On the one hand, it was a relief to know that he didn’t view her in a negative light after last night. On the other hand, his attitude toward their . . . encounter . . . was a bit disquieting. The way he was taking the whole matter in stride, as if this kind of thing happened to him all the time.
     Well, maybe it did. He’d spent nineteen years in the Royal Navy, after all. Who knew how many women he’d slept with in all those ports of call? The notion of the duke making love to women all across the Mediterranean sent an unexpected twinge of jealousy spiraling through her, a feeling she didn’t much relish. Why should she care how many women he’d bedded? She had no intention of ever bedding him herself.
     She focused on the decision before her. He might consider it a simple matter to “put it behind them.” But would it be that simple for her? Just looking at him across the desk, she felt the same intense tug of attraction that had drawn her to him like a moth to a flame last night.
     Well, if she wanted this job—and she did—she was just going to have to work harder at ignoring that flame.
     “I can only stay,” Kathryn replied, “if we agree that our relationship will be entirely a professional one.”


Three American heiresses defy their family’s wishes, and social convention, to strike out and find their own happiness in late Victorian Cornwall.

Runaway Heiress: A Dare to Defy Novel (Book 1)

Brainy and college-educated, American heiress Alexandra Atherton will do anything to avoid marriage to the English peer her mother has chosen for her—even abandon the life of privilege she’s always known. But as her escape goes horribly wrong, Alexandra must invent a new identity to gain the help of a handsome stranger.

Summer of Scandal: A Dare to Defy Novel (Book 2)

An American heiress and an English earl fight against the conventions of society -- and their attraction to each other -- in the second book in the Dare to Defy series by USA Today bestselling author Syrie James.

About the Author:

SYRIE JAMES is the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author of thirteen novels of historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction and romance. Her books have hit many Best of the Year lists, been designated as Library Journal Editor’s Picks, and won numerous accolades and awards, including Best New Fiction by Regency World Magazine (the international bestseller “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”), and the national Audiobook Audie for Romance (“The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte”, also named a Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association). Los Angeles Magazine dubbed Syrie the “queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings,” and her books have been published in twenty languages. A member of the Writer’s Guild of America, Syrie is also an established screenwriter and playwright who makes her home in Los Angeles. An admitted Anglophile, Syrie has addressed audiences across the U.S., Canada, and the British Isles.


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  1. Thanks for this captivating and wonderful historical which I would enjoy greatly. Syrie's novels are always enjoyable and unique since she is talented and creative.


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