Daring and the Duke (The Bareknuckle Bastards #3) by Sarah MacLean
Romance | Historical Fiction | Regency
Published by Avon
Released June 30th, 2020
Goodreads | Amazon
2020 has been the year that I’ve started to explore the romance genre, and boy, am I loving it! Sarah MacLean’s third book in her Bareknuckle Bastards series, Daring and the Duke, is the first Regency romance I’ve ever read.
I haven’t read the first two books in the series, which is fine – while I’m sure you’d understand the characters’ backstories a bit better after reading them, Daring and the Duke is a self-contained story. That said, I will be going back and getting the first two now that I’ve fallen in love with the third.
The book centers around Grace Condry, known to the world as Dahlia, who runs an underground nightclub for women wanting to spice up their sex lives. We also follow Ewan, the Duke of Marwick, who wants nothing more than to have Grace’s heart. Grace has plenty of reason to hate the Duke, however, so is understandably reluctant.. somewhat, anyway. hint hint.
While I was honestly expecting more steamy scenes (there are really only two such scenes in the book), I really enjoyed the storytelling. I was intrigued by many of the side characters, such as Grace’s brothers Devil and Whit, while being drawn into the drama between the two main characters.
Grace’s character was strong and sexy, although at times I think she was being too lenient with Ewan and his past mistakes – and his mistakes were major. I understand her forgiveness and learning that she still loves him, but I feel like he should have fought for it a little bit more. Likewise, Ewan’s reconciliation with Devil and Whit was too easy.
The tension between Grace and Ewan was intense and wonderful. It’s a very slow-burn, hate-to-love, second-chance romance, and by the end of the story I was definitely rooting for them to get together.
The alternating timelines and narratives were easy to follow. We get the story from both Grace and Ewan and learn of current and past events. It smoothly transitions from one scene to the next.
The steamy scenes? They were perfect. As I mentioned before, though, I would have been okay with more sexy times.
As someone who is not usually a fan of regency romance or historical romance, Sarah MacLean managed to hold my attention and make me swoon over the story. I can’t wait to read her other past books, as well as anything she releases in the future!
Thank you to Avon for sending me a finished copy for review.