Joy to the Duke

Joy to the Duke

Denied the woman of his dreams by his father’s meddling, Calder Stafford, has spent the last decade proving himself to be self-sufficient, austere, and utterly uninterested in joy. Now that he is the Duke of Hartwell, he’ll enact his revenge by abolishing the holiday traditions his father loved so well. His sisters will not sway him and neither will the woman—newly...

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Title:Joy to the Duke
Author:Darcy Burke
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Edition Language:English

Joy to the Duke Reviews

  • Elodie

    Joy to the Duke

    Love is All Around Series #3

    Darcy Burke

    Release date 11/12/2019

    Publisher Darcy Burke Publishing

    Blurb :

    Denied the woman of his dreams by his father’s meddling, Calder Stafford, has spent the last decade proving himself to be self-sufficient, austere, and utterly uninterested in joy. Now that he is the Duke of Hartwell, he’ll enact his revenge by abolishing the holiday traditions his father loved so well. His sisters will not sway him and

    Joy to the Duke

    Love is All Around Series #3

    Darcy Burke

    Release date 11/12/2019

    Publisher Darcy Burke Publishing

    Blurb :

    Denied the woman of his dreams by his father’s meddling, Calder Stafford, has spent the last decade proving himself to be self-sufficient, austere, and utterly uninterested in joy. Now that he is the Duke of Hartwell, he’ll enact his revenge by abolishing the holiday traditions his father loved so well. His sisters will not sway him and neither will the woman—newly returned to town—who was stolen from him.

    Returning to Hartwell to care for her mother, widow Felicity Garland is delighted to be back home, especially for the holidays. However, the jolly festivities she expects are nowhere to be found. When she goes to the source of the problem—the duke—she’s astonished to see how much the young man she once loved has hardened. It’s up to her to break through the impenetrable fortress around his heart—not just to save Christmas, but to save him.

    My review:

    Because of a love turned to ash, a man has hardened his heart to never let again an emotion go through it.

    Here is a rewriting of the A Christmas Carol with the duke as Scrooge.

    It is a second chance romance about two lovers who were robbed their chance of a happy ending by a man who hide behind a cheerful facade a cold heart.

    Calder, the duke, went through so much pain, it is perfectly understandable he infused his heart with steel to avoided more heartbreak. But behind his so cold and aloof appearance, the organ is still beating and longs for affection.

    The unexpected return of his only love will reveal the worst of the betrayal and see him reconsider his own actions.

    Felicity left when her first love turned her down. She just came back to the place of her childhood to care for her mother and maybe clear her souls from the past hurt. Yet it is impossible to reconcile the image of young Calder with the ruthless man he has become. Why she made it her mission to try to help him regain his joy for life.

    I loved how Mrs Darcy Burke used a plot twist to introduce the past, present and future Christmases. This was a joyful read showing the redeeming force of love.

    4.5 stars.

    I am just wondering how the old duke could have been harboring two personalities so antagonistic.

    I was granted an advance copy by the author, I also preordered my own.

    Here is my true and unbiased opinion.

  • Barbara Rogers

    Series: Love is All Around #3

    Publication Date: 11/12/19

    Number of Pages: Novella

    Earlier this year, 2019, Darcy Burke realized that she didn’t have any Christmas books to her credit – and she promptly set about righting that grievous error. The wonderful result is the Love Is All Around trilogy. Each book is based somewhat on old Christmas tales. The first book,

    , is loosely based on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the second book,

    , is loosely based on The

    Series: Love is All Around #3

    Publication Date: 11/12/19

    Number of Pages: Novella

    Earlier this year, 2019, Darcy Burke realized that she didn’t have any Christmas books to her credit – and she promptly set about righting that grievous error. The wonderful result is the Love Is All Around trilogy. Each book is based somewhat on old Christmas tales. The first book,

    , is loosely based on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the second book,

    , is loosely based on The Gift of the Magi, and this, the third book is based on A Christmas Carol. They are a lovely, lovely set of books – and while each can be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading all three.

    The series features the three Stafford siblings – Bianca, Poppy, and Calder – with an overarching theme of the St. Stephens Day celebration and support for Hartwell House which is a home for impoverished women and children. In Bianca and Poppy’s books, while they are finding their HEA’s, they are also wrangling with their brother about his canceling the St. Stephens Day celebration and discontinuing the dukedoms support of Hartwell House.

    If you read the other books, you totally understand that Calder

    Ebenezer Scrooge. He’s cold, unfeeling, joyless, distrustful, miserly – you name it. As I was reading those earlier books, I had to wonder how this author could possibly redeem and reform Calder. It seemed to me there was little hope for such a man as he. Never fear – his story was wonderfully written and his redemption was heartwarming. As we learned more about his childhood and what his father did to him as a young man, it is easy to see how he became the cold, unfeeling man he was – much like Ebenezer Scrooge. As I read the last words, I let out a big sigh and smiled because Calder’s HEA was beautiful and so well deserved. It is hours later, and I still smile when I think of him.

    Calder’s sisters have just told him that Felicity Templeton Garland is back in Hartwell. He can hardly believe it – what is she doing back here. She’s the cold-hearted woman who took his father’s money and then went away and left Calder with a broken heart. He has to see for himself and sets out for town where, sure enough, he sees her. He can’t take his eyes off her. He devours her with his eyes.

    After Calder’s cruel rejection of her, Felicity and her family moved away from Hartwell and she did eventually marry. While she cared for her husband, she was never in love with him. Now she’s a widow and has come to Hartwell to care for her ill mother. She’s only there temporarily, but it is good to spend Christmas there and she’s looking forward to the St. Stephen’s Day festival. Well, she’s looking forward to it until she learns that the cold-hearted duke isn’t sponsoring it anymore.

    Felicity can’t reconcile the warm, sweet, happy young man with whom she’d fallen in love and the cold, selfish, joyless, miserly man he appears to be today. The man she loved (loves) has to be in there somewhere and for his sake, she’s determined to find him.

    It was a joy to see Calder realize that his father was still controlling him – even from the grave. It doesn’t take long for him to know that he still loves Felicity – what takes a while is for him to learn that he deserves to be loved.

    I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Maggie Whitworth

    A wonderful Christmas tale that concludes the trio of books.

    This section has strong connotations of Christmas Carol, and to my mind is brilliantly written.

    I really enjoyed Calders story , his whole journey has been the strongest through all the books.

    He’s a complicated, dark and broken character, damaged but not irreversibly so.

    His past love Felicity may be the only one who could get to him and help undo the pain his father caused them both.

    Don’t miss this great conclusion to the series, that

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    💋💋

    A wonderful Christmas tale that concludes the trio of books.

    This section has strong connotations of Christmas Carol, and to my mind is brilliantly written.

    I really enjoyed Calders story , his whole journey has been the strongest through all the books.

    He’s a complicated, dark and broken character, damaged but not irreversibly so.

    His past love Felicity may be the only one who could get to him and help undo the pain his father caused them both.

    Don’t miss this great conclusion to the series, that is unless Darcy surprises us with a next generation ( Hint , Hint )

    I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review

  • Niki

    Since his father's interference ruined his chance to marry the woman he loved, Calder Stafford has spent a decade proving himself to be aloof, uninterested in happiness, and certainly not in need of anyone's help. Now the Duke of Hartwell, he's determined to have his revenge by doing away with anything his father loved, especially the village's annual Christmas celebrations. No one will change his mind, not his sisters, and certainly not the newly returned woman who stole his heart.

    Now widowed,

    Since his father's interference ruined his chance to marry the woman he loved, Calder Stafford has spent a decade proving himself to be aloof, uninterested in happiness, and certainly not in need of anyone's help. Now the Duke of Hartwell, he's determined to have his revenge by doing away with anything his father loved, especially the village's annual Christmas celebrations. No one will change his mind, not his sisters, and certainly not the newly returned woman who stole his heart.

    Now widowed, Felicity Garland has returned to Hartwell to care for her sick mother. She's shocked not to find the holiday celebrations she was expecting and whens he learns the duke is the reason, she's even more surprised to see how much the man she used to love has changed. Now both the town festivities, and Calder himself, need Felicity to save them.

    I really loved this book. It may be quick but it was heavy on the emotions and so sweet. I'm typically not a huge fan of the second chance trope but this one really worked well. It was nice to see Calder get some much-needed redemption after he was so awful in the first two books of this series and to get insight into why he was the way he was. This was the perfect addition to this sweet series.

    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Nanna

    WOW, what a ending to a great series, I loved the first books, " The Red Hot Earl" (my favorite ) "The Gift of the Marquess"[ was wonderful too.] I had a hard time wondering what Darcy would come up with for Bianca and Poppy's scrooge like brother, Calder or Chill. After he had caused so much pain and sadness in the first two stories. After reading all the books I have by Darcy I should have know it would be the best yet.

    Calder Stafford , called Chill by some, now the Duke of Hartwell is an

    WOW, what a ending to a great series, I loved the first books, " The Red Hot Earl" (my favorite ) "The Gift of the Marquess"[ was wonderful too.] I had a hard time wondering what Darcy would come up with for Bianca and Poppy's scrooge like brother, Calder or Chill. After he had caused so much pain and sadness in the first two stories. After reading all the books I have by Darcy I should have know it would be the best yet.

    Calder Stafford , called Chill by some, now the Duke of Hartwell is an nasty, cold, unfeeling man.

    His sisters can not figure out what happen to the brother they knew when he was young. As the Christmas

    season is upon them Calder is determined to stop any Holiday events his father loved. He has spent the last 10 years doing everything his father thought he couldn't. His father never approved of him, was wicked mean to him . After he loses the only woman he every loved he lost all joy in life and vowed to never let

    anyone close to him again. Not even his sisters.

    Felicity Garland has come home after 10 years to care for her sick mother. She has missed the home and village of her youth and looks forward the the Christmas season she remembers.

    Only to find out most of the activities have been cancelled or moved away. She is shocked to find that

    the one man she has always loved even when he left her is the cause.

    When she meets him for the first time she can not believe the cold, distance, rude person he is now.

    As Felicity, and Calder uncover the lies, both their father's told, the misunderstanding between them,

    Felicity is determined to save Calder from himself.

    With the help of his sister's and their husband,the unstoppable butler Truro the cutest little girl, Alice and a loyal dog, Isis she sets out to show him what he is missing. Calder is so lost, due to his father's treatment he is not easy to deal with. There is so much to this story, don't miss it, love lost and find, mysteries solved , family secrets told with lots of Christmas magic.

    I received and ARC from the author, and wish to thank her. I am giving my honest review voluntary.

  • AnnMarie

    Joy to the Duke is the third and sadly final book in the Love is All Around trilogy by Darcy Burke. You definitely don't have to read the other books first but I think you will have a much better idea of just how bitter the main male character in this story is if you do.

    Calder Stafford is the new Duke of Hartwell. Unlike his sisters, Poppy and Bianca, Calder does not grieve his father's loss. They both had fond memories of him and have no idea how appallingly he treated Calder.

    Since becoming

    Joy to the Duke is the third and sadly final book in the Love is All Around trilogy by Darcy Burke. You definitely don't have to read the other books first but I think you will have a much better idea of just how bitter the main male character in this story is if you do.

    Calder Stafford is the new Duke of Hartwell. Unlike his sisters, Poppy and Bianca, Calder does not grieve his father's loss. They both had fond memories of him and have no idea how appallingly he treated Calder.

    Since becoming the Duke, Calder has done everything he can that he knows would have angered his father. Everybody thinks the old Duke was a wonderful benevolent man, and to others he was. But not to Calder. He wants nothing to do with the charities and people his father helped. He wants to keep his money and his person to himself. His sisters, nor his friends have been able to get through to him, to find out why he is so bitter and behaving so out of character.

    Felicity Garland and Calder were all set to marry many years ago. He believes that she left him, moving away with her mother, after his father paid her off, proving that she only ever wanted him for his money. When she returns to Hartwell temporarily, Caldwell is furious. One look at her and all his old feelings so deeply hidden return to the surface but he can never forgive her treachery. He wants nothing to do with her, but it seems she has made it her goal to convince him to right the wrongs he has done and is doing to his family and Hartwell's people. Nobody else has seen through his facade or been able to help him, will Felicity be the one?

    Whilst reading the first two books in the trilogy and enjoying the sisters' romances I really did not like Calder. I couldn't think of any way that the author could write his story so that the reader could forgive him for how horrible he has been not only to his family but to all the people who rely on him. I am very surprised and glad to say that she managed it, and believably so! I am so happy that he, like his sisters got to have his happy ending.

    It has been a real delight reading these books and enjoying how they are each a subtle retelling of three Christmas tales. I have loved them all and am very happy to recommend them.

  • Deb Diem

    Joy To The Duke is a fabulous historical holiday romance by Darcy Burke. This is a fairly quick read, perfect for those with limited reading time. Ms. Burke has provided readers with a well-written book populated with a spectacular cast of characters. Felicity brought her mother home to Hartwood after an illness. Calder, Duke of Hartwell, loved Felicity once. Calder and Felicity's story is loaded with drama, humor and spice. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to my next book by Darcy

    Joy To The Duke is a fabulous historical holiday romance by Darcy Burke. This is a fairly quick read, perfect for those with limited reading time. Ms. Burke has provided readers with a well-written book populated with a spectacular cast of characters. Felicity brought her mother home to Hartwood after an illness. Calder, Duke of Hartwell, loved Felicity once. Calder and Felicity's story is loaded with drama, humor and spice. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to my next book by Darcy Burke. Joy To The Duke is book 3 of the Love is All Around Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from Bookfunnel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Amy ~ Love At 1st Read

    Darcy Burke’s Love is All Around series is brought to a beautiful conclusion with this delightful holiday themed novella. I had been anxious for Calder’s book since the very first novella. Like his sisters, I needed to know what had happened to him in life to make him so cold and bitter. The previous books gave a few clues so I knew it centered around Felicity Garland, the woman he’d loved ten years ago but who he thought had deserted him. So much more is unveiled in this book. A tragic story of

    Darcy Burke’s Love is All Around series is brought to a beautiful conclusion with this delightful holiday themed novella. I had been anxious for Calder’s book since the very first novella. Like his sisters, I needed to know what had happened to him in life to make him so cold and bitter. The previous books gave a few clues so I knew it centered around Felicity Garland, the woman he’d loved ten years ago but who he thought had deserted him. So much more is unveiled in this book. A tragic story of a love not lost, but stolen. And a hopeful story of leaving the past behind and embracing the future surrounded by those you love.

    I love second chance romances and this one kept me enthralled. While a novella, Darcy Burke manages to capture the strong feelings between these two star crossed lovers. The flashbacks of Calder and Felicity before they were torn apart really helped show how deeply these two loved and needed each other.

    This entire series has been well paced and filled with strong characters. I especially love that characters don’t disappear once their story is told. I loved revisiting with them in following books as their stories intertwined with each other. This is a sweet and steamy romantic story with a Scrooge theme that is guaranteed to get readers in the holiday mood.

  • Tracy Emro

    Calder Stafford, the Duke of Hartwood is a heartless miser who since inheriting his father’s title, has hoarded his wealth, refused to support a home for unfortunate women and children, has turned his back on his sisters and refused to give his youngest sister Bianca the portion her father set aside for her because he doesn’t approve of her husband, in fact, he refused to attend her wedding. His sisters have tried reasoning with him, but he is cold and unresponsive – nothing seems to trigger

    Calder Stafford, the Duke of Hartwood is a heartless miser who since inheriting his father’s title, has hoarded his wealth, refused to support a home for unfortunate women and children, has turned his back on his sisters and refused to give his youngest sister Bianca the portion her father set aside for her because he doesn’t approve of her husband, in fact, he refused to attend her wedding. His sisters have tried reasoning with him, but he is cold and unresponsive – nothing seems to trigger emotion in him at all – that is until Felicity Garland nee Templeton returns to the village after a ten year absence.

    Felicity never thought to return to Hartwell and she certainly never expected to see Calder the man how cruelly broke her heart again. But see him she does and she is shocked to learn that the sweet, loving young man she knew is gone and a joyless, miserly cad has taken his place, she is even more upset to learn that he thinks SHE broke his heart. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out that his father manipulated them both. She also learns that her father played a part in her heartbreak and she sets out to prove to Calder that her love was and still is true.

    Calder accepts that his father was the driving force in their breakup, but he refuses to try to recapture what they once had, he feels that too much time has passed and he is no longer the man she remembers. But he can’t seem to stop wondering about her and she won’t quietly walk away.

    Slowly Felicity begins to crack through the ice encasing Calder’s heart and he is changing for the better, so much so that she has high hopes that they can have a future together, but Calder’s hurts run deep and his stubborn refusal to let her love him may cost him everything…

    This was a well written, sweet second chance story with hero that has been portrayed as a “villain” in the previous books and who was pretty difficult to like for a very large portion of this story as well, but the book’s saving grace is definitely Felicity, who sees the truth and refuses to lose her love a second time. I thought the story was paced nicely, had just the right amount of passion, heartache and joy to produce a very nice “make you feel good” Christmas novella. This was the third book in the series, but it can easily be read as a standalone without any problems.

    *I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the Publisher.*

  • Tanya Sridhar

    3/5 Stars.

    A decent but highly predictable read. I wasn't fond of "Chill" or Calder from the start of the series, so I didn't have very high expectations of his book anyway. Despite that I did enjoy this book because of the inclusion of previous characters and it felt like a good closure to the entire series.

    In the third and last installment of this series we finally learn why Calder aka "Chill" as he's popularly known -probably for his reputation to give two jots about anything really - is

    3/5 Stars.

    A decent but highly predictable read. I wasn't fond of "Chill" or Calder from the start of the series, so I didn't have very high expectations of his book anyway. Despite that I did enjoy this book because of the inclusion of previous characters and it felt like a good closure to the entire series.

    In the third and last installment of this series we finally learn why Calder aka "Chill" as he's popularly known -probably for his reputation to give two jots about anything really - is such a scrooge. And that too around Christmas time, the blashphemy.

    As you can guess this is a Holiday themed series!

    Calder and Felicity (the beautiful daughter of a local farmer) had fallen madly in love when he was 20 and she 18, and they were to marry soon after. However, he received news from his father that she had accepted a large amount of money to leave and not marry him, hence proving his father's theory that she was only with Calder for his Dukedom.

    Very non-suspicious circumstances leading to Calder's heartbreak, that he

    should not have investigated further into.

    You know like maybe send her a letter, or try to talk to her and find out how/why/what on god's green earth is going on? Felicity, proved to be as smart as Calder. She was given a letter by the then Duke which stated that Calder had no wish to marry her anymore, and that she wasn't good enough for him. Heartbroken, she left the town and married a man 20 years older than her.

    In restrospect, considering their limitations in joining two dots and learning the basic human art of communication - I think they're perfect for each other!

    All jokes aside, I did enjoy their chemistry. I can see that even when Calder wasn't so ice-cold he was a somber fellow, and felicity is all sunshine and rainbows. She makes him smile and he makes her feel safe and loved - that's a sweet romance right there. When they meet a decade later, she is now widowed but still has the same effect on Calder - something which he really tries to resist, but of course, fails. I was worried at the start of the book that he'd try to make her his mistress - but thankfully despite their lack of communication 10 years ago, they speak within 30% of this book and understand that they were duped into their heartbreak.

    She's the first to get over it, the first to understand that the past has to be let go and they need to make most of the life they now have. Felicity makes it her mission to bring back the man she loved, seeing a glimpse of the old Calder still there. She does this with the help of his sisters - Poppy and Bianca, which I adored. Also, while I don't always like the "woman makes it her mission to save a man" trope, it was actually done much better here. Because he doesn't mistreat her or anything of the sort, and she doesn't put up with bull-shit. Felicity also doesn't change him with her love or kisses or body - as is the annoying trope in SO many books - but simply by reminding of who he used to be, and that he still has people who love and care for him. His father had ruined many things for him, but he didn't have to rule his life now - and that's why I'm almost okay with this trope.

    Their coming together is also quite wonderful, and well done. I adored the insight into the future of all three couples in the Hartwell family!

    Will definitely be reading more by this author!

    *I received this advance copy from Netgalley and the author in exchange for an honest opinion. This does not in any way affect my review.*

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