The Infamous Duchess by Sophie Barnes

The Infamous Duchess (Diamonds in the Rough, #4)The Infamous Duchess by Sophie Barnes

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Diamonds In The Rough #4
Publication Date: 3/26/19
Number of Pages: 384

Complex and compelling characters, one of the best romances I’ve read in a while, and a really nasty villain make up this truly delightful story. The writing is excellent, the plot is tight and well executed. This book contains everything you could want, including some lovely insights into our next hero and heroine.

Viola Cartwright, Duchess of Tremaine is a wonderfully complex character who draws you to her and makes you admire her – and when you learn her whole history, you’ll admire her even more. Viola’s aging husband died one day after their wedding and she’s been labeled as a money-hungry, social climbing woman who conned the duke into changing his will and leaving his unentailed fortune to her. None of that is true, but you’ll have to read the book to see what is true. Viola has taken that fortune and over the last two years, she has created the best hospital in London – the best doctors, the highest success rates for cures, and it is all free. Against all of society’s rules, she not only runs the hospital, but she also participates in patient treatments. She also has no intention of ever marrying again.

You will absolutely fall in love with Henry Lowell from the first moment you meet him – in Viola’s hospital with his brother, Florian, removing a bullet from a duel. When Henry first begins to come around, he notices an angel – the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen – standing at the window with the sunlight glowing around her. Who is that angel? He fully intends to find out! Henry soon comes to regret the reputation he’s built for himself because his angel completely believes it and doesn’t want anything to do with him. Henry purposefully spread the rumors and built that reputation in order to avoid all of the matchmaking mama’s until he was ready to find a wife. Now, that reputation has come to haunt him!

Henry keeps arranging, teasing, harassing and requesting Viola to spend time with him in the hospital so that he can get to know her – and she can get to know him. Henry soon learns that he has to be very slow and very, very patient if he wants to win Viola – and he certainly does want to win her. He does the sweetest and most caring things, but she’s still very skittish.

When Robert, the new Duke of Tremaine brings a suit against Viola, contesting his father’s will, Henry does all he can to help Viola. Secrets are exposed and Henry and Viola draw closer. It is so very touching. You’ll just need to read the book to see all of the exciting parts of this lovely, lovely read.

I highly recommend this book – and can’t wait for the next one. The ONLY thing that would have made it better would have been for something that wasn’t nice to happen to Barrister Hayes and Judge Atkins – just sayin’. I also love the setup for the next book with Carlton Gutherie and Lady Regina Berkly – I can hardly wait!

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

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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