Cover Image: Impassioned

Impassioned

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Member Reviews

Impassioned features an amazing romance with a woman who wants more out of her loveless arranged marriage.

In the two years she has been married, Sabrina Westbrook has barely spoken to her husband. That would require them to actually be in the same house, something they rarely do. But Sabrina wants something more from her marriage which has her traveling to their home in London to make her husband a scandalous proposal. Constantine Westbrook, the Earl of Aldington, has always been charmed by his wife but their marriage got off to a less than stellar start. When his wife appears on his doorstep with a shocking proposition, Con doesn't know what to make of this new version of the woman he married.

As the heir to a dukedom, Con has been raised to always think of his duty first and to avoid anything scandalous. I have to admit, when we first meet Con's character I wasn't too sure about him. He's a bit of a bore who can't stand up to his overbearing father. Throughout the book, he definitely becomes more likeable and more of his own person rather than his father's shadow. Sabrina was an absolute delight from the start. She has crippling anxiety that she is determined to move past and she goes with the fake it until you make it method. I enjoyed watching her expand her horizons and how she was ultimately doing all of it because she wanted to and not for anyone else.

Con and Sabrina's marriage was arranged and due to a miscommunication, Con was under the impression she didn't want to marry him which led to them being pretty much estranged. In reality, Sabrina didn't want to marry anyone but she did actually like Con. When Sabrina first appears in London, it's incredibly apparent that these two don't know how to talk to each other. Ultimately they both get help from Con's younger brother and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop. Despite this being a romance between an already married couple, it's almost like a new romance due to the estrangement. Ultimately I was happy with the way the pair worked out their issues and where their relationship was by the end of the book.

Overall Impassioned was an excellent read and I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, Intolerable, soon.
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I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is book 2 in the Phoenix club series. I have to say this one has been my favorite so far. In this one we have Con who has been working hard to impress his father. He married Sabrina then really didn’t have anything else to do with her. Sabrina describes that she has had enough and wants a real marriage. I loved how they learned to love each other such a good read.
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This is the second installment of Ms. Burke's The Phoenix Club series. This story is a little bit different than most Regencies in that the hero and heroine are already married. Married, but not in love, in fact they are estranged and living separately. Miscommunication plays a big part in that, but that all begins to change when Sabrina arrives at Constantine's London home and makes it clear that he is to do his duty and get her pregnant. Constantine is shocked, to say the least, as their encounters have always been polite and informal. Despite the outward coolness between them, there is no doubt about the chemistry that they share.
This is a wonderfully written story full of plot twists and misunderstandings. It was great to see the characters find their way back to each and realize how much they really want to be together. I think it was an enjoyable book, and I am looking forward to continuing the series.

I received a complimentary advanced reader's copy from Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.
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I am loving the idea of the Phoenix Club!

Poor Sabrina and Constantine, both so lost on personal levels. Each with their own anxiety and due to stellar parenting for both (choking on sarcasm), an inability to communicate with the other. Arranged marriages seem to often leave the couple at a definite disadvantage. They don't take time to get to know one another's likes, dislikes, opinions, how tea is taken, just to name a few leaving them virtual strangers once wed. I thought the solutions they were given after approaching Lucien were strokes of genius, if a bit high handed.

As they each gained a better understanding of themselves, they were able to reach out to the other. Yes, misunderstandings were involved, but without them there can't be great epiphanies and grand gestures. I loved seeing Sabrina coming into her own...standing up for herself, asking for what she wants, going toe to toe with her father-in-law and finally her mom. It was beautiful to read.

Disclaimer: I received a complementary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in anyway.
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I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

For two years, Sabrina Westbrook has been the Countess of Aldington, but she never wanted to marry, and her relationship with her husband, Constantine, is awkward to say the least. But Sabrina is adamant that it is all to change. She wants children, and she's willing to overcome her social anxiety to become the Countess, and future Duchess she needs to be, as well as submitting to her husband's attentions, if there's going to be any children. Constantine Westbrook fell head over heels with Sabrina when they met, but learning that she was forced into the marriage, and how cold she is when they're together, has made him see her less and less. But when Sabrina turns up in London, unannounced, demanding a baby, and so different from the woman he married, Constantine is blown away. Can they reconcile their differences, and fall in love, or is their marriage doomed?

After reading other books by Darcy, I was drawn to this one, and though I liked it, I wasn't completely blown away by it. The characters were okay, but I didn't really like Constantine, or how angry and cold he was. He blamed Sabrina for not wanting to marry, but never spoke to her about it, or about her life with her cruel parents. This book was definitely one where if they had just talked about their issues, everything would've been solved. Sabrina was so much better, and I liked how she was stepping out of her comfort zone, and becoming a new and improved version of herself, but not too different that she lost everything that made her Sabrina. The plot line definitely picked up after the half way point, and by then I was more invested in the plot line. I'm glad I have a copy of the next book, because Constantine's sister, Cassandra, definitely intrigues me.
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Impassioned is a second-chance historical romance by Darcy Burke, between a reserved hero and a formerly timid heroine reconnecting in their arranged marriage. She returns to try to take charge of her life, and he is forced to re-evaluate their relationship. It was angsty and dirty (in a good way), and while I could have done without the "let's work this out through sex with each other but not knowing it's other" plot device, it was a memorable read..

4.5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
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There was so much I liked and things I didn't.
Lets start with the likes! I loved how these two are trying to find themselves and stay open to learning! The author does a good job of making this realistic, I thought she was going to turn this sweet shy woman into a sex dominatrix and she doesn't! She stayed true to who these two are. I loved his integrity! He was so desperate to feel something and learn for his wife! That moved me and was so freaking hot! The writing was well done. So many romances authors believe if they put sex in their books the rest of the content doesn't matter but that is just wrong. This author knows how to create serious tension! I could not wait for them to have finally be together! 
The things I didn't like. The whole book is very sex focused. It is the main theme of the book. I like it when it's woven in and not the whole point. I just didn't like the leading man much, I had a hard time with him. Just wasn't as pulled into the story as I like being. This is just one I will read and never think of again.
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This was Another phenomenal book by the amazing Darcy. One of my top shelf Go To , one click authors.
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This was so different from any other historical romance I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm excited to find another historical romance author that I connect to the writing style. I don't think I've read a historical romance where the MCs were already married and had a length of time knowing each other before the book begins. I love marriage is distress and this was a fun twist on that.

The premise: An arranged marriage husband and wife who have been married almost two years but spent very little time together and live apart. The husband is cold and dispassionate. The wife is meek and shy. The wife shows up before the season and demands that he start fulfilling his duty and give her a child. Neither of them knows how to make that a pleasurable experience.

What ensues is an adorable story of the pair navigating communicating about their desires, learning each other, and growing as people in their personalities and turning weaknesses to strengths. 

What worked: I loved how trepidatious they both were, the honest discussions they had about sex, and the growth of the heroine in becoming a strong woman who went after what she wanted. 

What didn't: The only thing I couldn't get 100% on board with was the  mutual cheating (with each other) situation.  It just felt weird and I couldn't get past it. I feel like the book could have done without that entirely.
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Will you spray me down with ice water if I get too hot? 

Sabrina and the Earl of Aldington Constantine Westbrook (Con) are in an arranged marriage and live separate lives. She has a crippling social disorder. Con is straightlaced and reserved. After a  failed honeymoon, Con and Sabrina decide to live apart for the rest of their marriage only to come together to make an heir. One day Sabrina arrives at Constantine’s estate to demand more attention from him. She wants their “Twice early “visits” to be more frequent so she can have the next heir and someone to love. Constantine is shocked and surprised by Sabrina’s transformation and demands and agrees. He is so taken aback by this more forceful, confident Sabrina he begins to feel sexually attracted to her. He is confused by this attraction and goes to talk about his feelings to his best friend. Sabrina talks with her best friend who advises her to continue her pursuit. She should seduce the Earl. Sabrina takes this advice and wins Con’s heart. 
                   This is a well-written slow-burn story between two married people. I love the characters. They were well-rounded. Each had their inner problems however I love how they overcame them and came together. I felt I was watching Con and Sabrina fall in love in real-time in their marriage. It was backward. First, you get married and then you fall in love. Lol. The love scenes are steamy hot and not sleazy. You are reminded it is lovemaking. Lol. This is the first book I've read by this author and will not be the last. I look forward to reading more by this author. 

I received an arc copy of this book by this author and Netgalley.com. My review is voluntary.
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I really enjoyed this book.  I've read many historical romances in the past couple of years - 2020/2021 have just felt like a great time for book escapes to a different time & place.  This was a good addition to the list.  Poor communication is one of the big bases of most historical (and even contemporary) romances.  It's the source of much of the drama.  This couple, Constantine and Sabrina, take that to a whole new level.  It's pretty much the basis of the plot.  They've always been attracted to each other, but because of their personalities, and because of some misleading information passed around just before their marriage, they don't realize their mutual attraction.  They've spent little time together, mostly living apart, and after two years Sabrina decides it's time they get to know each other, especially in the biblical sense, because she wants a child to help alleviate her loneliness.  The story and how they accomplish this was interesting (Sabrina has to overcome her almost crippling social anxiety) and sexy, and at times frustrating.  But overall I enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more of the Phoenix Club series.
When I received this book as an ARC, I decided I should probably read the first in the series before reading this one.  I'm glad I did - it (and the novella prequel) both provide some good background information for overall series.  But this could also be read as a standalone.
Thanks to Netgalley and Zealous Quill Press for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
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I normally really enjoy a good arranged marriage historical romance, but this one just missed the mark for me. While I can imagine a dedicated fan of the genre would find a lot to like in the book, I found the whole "pretending to be a courtesan" part of the plot just didn't stack up for me.

I also found the heroine in this one a little bit too harebrained, while the hero just came across as rigid and cold - until suddenly he didn't!

I did enjoy some of the side characters, however, which is why it gets 3 stars from me.
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Historical romance with all the required ingredients. A beautiful heroine and handsome hero who suffer from all the indignities of the age. Lively plot which lifted it above the ordinary.
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I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read the first book in this series but it was pretty easy to get into the flow of the book without reading the first book. This is a great book if you are jumping in to the Historical Romance genre. There isn't anything too unfamiliar that requires you to be well-versed in the genre, but it gives you a taste of what  other books are like. The plotline for this book is very fun, it is about a couple that had an arranged marriage. Neither person seems to know how to properly interact with their spouse so hijinks abound. It also includes mysterious identities; mentoring relationships; and very fun minor characters. I don't usually like Historical Romances but I thought that this was a good book. I always enjoy reading books written by female authors, and Darcy Burke has a talent for making her stories interesting while still being accessible. I am looking forward to reading her other books, and I will definitely read the next book when it comes out in October!!
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This checked off everything I look for in a book. Was not disappointed. Really enjoyed this book.  I will read more from this author. Must read. Historical fiction oh yeah. Total fan of Darcy Burke
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Thank you NetGalley and Zealous Quill Press for this arc.

This was a lovely historical romance, it was a fun time to read it. I am picky with historical romance books, and by the synopsis i got excited, because this seemed interesting. And it did not disappoint! I was ending up rooting for the couple, they were likeable with their flaws, and they were so sweet when they were getting to know each other more. I really liked it, the romance was cute, and steamy. This was the first book from this author and I liked her writing.
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"𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒔𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒍𝒚 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒏 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒑𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒕 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒅. "

𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗱
— by Darcy Burke

𝗺𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 :
- i got this book via NetGalley because after a long time i wanted to read a historical romance & because the description of this book seemed to promise a good time.
- and i wasn't wrong, as this book took me on a wild, joyful & incredibly sweet ride.
- having never read any of Burke's works, i did not know what to expect, that wether I'd like the book or not.
- the first chapter itself made one thing clear : Darcy Burke is a pretty good writer & by the third chapter i was invested in the story. 

"𝑯𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔𝒏'𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒐𝒓 𝒃𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌. 𝑰𝒕 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔𝒏'𝒕  𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒚...𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆."

- the story : could have very easily become a cliche and fallen down the tropy rabbit hole but it did not.
- there were no damsel's in distress, no knight in shining armour, rather it had a heroine who had the courage to step out of the shadows & learn to accept herself, it had a hero who learnt to accept his emotions, & it had a whole lot of heart.

"𝑺𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒉𝒊𝒎 𝒉𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒍𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒚 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔."

- above all, this book was a wholesome read & has led me to discover Darcy Burke & her phenomenall #phoenixclub world.
- rating : 5 - I'm gonna read more of this authors work- ⭐'s


PS : 
"𝑯𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈. 𝑬𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒓."
- bridgerton fans, would most definitely like this book !
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This one was cute, but not my cup of tea. I think the idea that a completely inexperienced wife can (a) pretend to be a sexually experienced courtesan (b) to seduce her own husband and (c) expect not to be recognized by said husband is a little too far beyond the realm of imagination for my tastes. This was a sweet romance for those who like a second chance married couple historical romance.
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⭐ 3'5/5 ⭐

Thanks to NetGalley and Darcy Burke for giving me this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. I'm so blessed with you!

Estamos ante la historia de Sabrina y su ausente marido, Constantine. Se casaron hace dos años, pero nunca han hecho vida conyugal desde entonces, es decir, son un matrimonio de conveniencia donde falta pasión y amor. Sabrina quiere formar una familia y no está dispuesta a no cumplir su deseo.

Cuando leí la premisa, creí que estaría ante el típico amor de época, superficial y donde solo se hace hincapié en la pasión. Pero me equivoqué. Esta historia es mucho más que eso, es más profunda de lo que esperaba y bastante divertida. Sabrina y Con se hacen querer, les entiendes, les comprendes porque son dos personas que no se conocen pero tienen una historia en común. Encuentran ese equilibrio entre conocerse y buscar esa pasión que les hará quererse y complementarse.

La lectura es divertida y dulce, fácil de leer. No ha sido mi lectura del mes, pero lo recomendaría para sumergirte en una ardiente historia de amor.
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After 2 years of being alone, Sabrina is done being in a stone cold arranged marriage.  She has decided she will do whatever she can to bring passion (and a child) to her relationship.  Constantine has consistently kept his fragile flower wife at a great distance - not knowing how to deal with her, and not desiring a marriage of love and fire.  Little does he suspect that she is capable of all the things he desires in his deepest heart.  

A story of estranged spouses to fiery lovers, perfect for a quiet afternoon curled up with a cup of tea.
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