My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4.29/5
Published: June 30th, 2020
Author: Sarah MacLean
Genre: Historical romance, regency romance, fiction
I have received this e-ARC from Edelweiss in return for my honest review.
Daring and the Duke is actually book 3 of The Bareknuckle Bastards trilogy. The Bareknuckle Bastards consisted of Devon, Whit and Grace. The first 2 books were about Devon and Whit. This one is about Grace's eventual romance with Ewan and the finale. A closure for both in the end after many mishaps, face-off's and misunderstood conditions due to their late father's evil plan.
I didn't realised this is book 3 but the title caught my eye LOL! As it was written with much detail, at some point it had me curious and want to know more! I didn't feel left out or anything as it was recapped nicely. With some loosen tease here and there, it got me worked up feeling intrigued, wanting to find out exactly what happened between Ewan and Grace.
The downside is, with much detail, it became repetitive. It was written in each other's point of view with both droning on and on about their past, each other's features, their current angst or regret or revenge and hope for the future. Hence I kept reading the same plot thoughts again and again which was kinda dragging for me at some point. However when they have passed all those bickering and started accepting each other, that moment on the flow was more fluid and more entertaining.
As the story progresses with Ewan using a different tack to get Grace, it gets better with some action packed too. I actually liked the story itself with Grace playing indirectly hard to get and Ewan's not so Duke's attitude trying to charm her. It sure feels right although the world Grace has built was somewhat similar to Kathryn Harvey's Butterfly. Though set in a different time with different characters, both owned similar 'prestigious pleasure ladies club' :-)
Some notable quotes:
You are a queen. Tonight, I am your throne.
He wanted to learn her maps - over slate tiles and around smokestacks - and hear ever tale she had to tell about the last twenty years. He wanted to make new maps. New tales.
He was a planet. She was the sun.
"Title first, last, and always," he said. "Heir, first, last, and always."
All in all, it's a 'happy ever after' historical novel with a different trope that is quite interesting and entertaining. If you liked a little extra spice in your romance then this is up your alley.
Some new words for me:
Megrims - depression, low spirits
Factotum - an employee who does all kinds of work
Bacchanal - a wild and drunken celebration
Arborist - tree surgeon
I loved you the moment I set eyees on you a lifetime ago, but what that was - it pales in comparison to how I love you now.