Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean

Daring and the Duke (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #3)

Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Bareknuckle Bastards, #3

Release Date: June 30, 2020

I have read the entire series and at the end of the previous books I had closure for the characters, but so many questions… Finally, I have answers and OMG, Ms. MacLean has done what I would have bet was impossible – turned the villain into the best hero of the series (maybe even the best hero she has written)!!

Thirty-five years ago the Duke of Marwick set a plan in motion, when a baby girl was born to the Duchess of Marwick, but not of his blood, he christen her Robert Matthew Carrick, Earl Sumner and heir to the Duke of Marwick. Years later, he then gathered up his bastard sons – all born on the same day as the girl and hid them all away at his estate – trying to set them against each other, to decide which will be his heir. The girl was nothing, her mother died and she lived at the Duke’s mercy, but to his sons, she was everything, Whit and Devon aka Devil, loved her like a sister, but to Ewan, she was the other half of his soul, she was his Grace. Love blossomed and plans were made, they would outwit the Duke and be happy – but one night of betrayal changed everything, Ewan became the heir and Grace, Whit and Devil fled to London. They became the Bareknuckle Bastards and over the next twenty years, they fought their way to the top and ruled the “Garden”, but they were never free of Marwick and when Ewan inherited and was told Grace was dead, he made it his mission to destroy the men he entrusted her to…

After an explosion on the docks, Ewan wakes and instantly knows that Whit and Devil lied to him, his Grace is not dead, she is now the queen of the Garden and known to one and all as Dahlia – the owner of the club and pleasure house at 72 Shelton Street. But his joy at learning she is alive is cut short when she fights him and tells him to leave and never come for her again. A wish he seems to grant, but a year later his name is on everyone’s lips, Mad Marwick is back and he is no longer mad, he has changed and is looking for a wife. Grace shouldn’t care, she should be happy that he has honored her wishes and stopped chasing her, but she can’t, she justifies seeing him as a chance to remind him of vows he made about not marrying and letting the line die with him – but his kisses are intoxicating and she tells herself it will just be this one time… Ewan is playing a deep game, for him there is only one woman who will be his wife – Grace and she has commanded him to stay away from her, so he will need to be get her to come to him and succeeds – but when she walks away, he just can’t let her go and is willing to do whatever it takes to gain her forgiveness and win her love.

What an amazing story, I never wanted it to end and even now that it is done, I want more! More Ewan and Grace, more Devil and Felicity and more Whit and Hattie!! This was a well written, incredibly emotional story that answered all my questions, blew my mind and made me fall in love with Ewan – a feat I would have deemed impossible at the end of the last book. This book has it all, betrayal, a bit of humor (thanks to Devil and Whit), heartbreak, steamy love scenes, surprising revelations, a love that is inspiring, some of the most romantic declarations I have ever read (seriously – they gave me goosebumps and made me teary!) and finally a very hard won HEA and a sweet epilogue. This was definitely my favorite in the series and while you could read this as a stand-alone, I would highly recommend reading this series in order for the best understanding and most reader enjoyment.

I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher.

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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