A Most Unlikely Duke
By Sophie Barnes
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Review by Santa
A Most Unlikely Duke is the first of a new series by Sophie Barnes. Raphe Matthews, the unlikely duke in question, is a bare knuckle boxer from St. Giles. He boxes to pay a debt his father incurred and struggles to keep his sisters safe and sound. But he’s been doing it since he was eight when his parents died and they were forced from their home.
He has only one fight left that would free them from all their debt when a letter arrives making him a duke. The former duke failed to provide an heir or a spare and as a distant relation the dukedom falls to Matthews.
He and his sisters move to their London townhouse and work to fit in with the Ton. Not an easy thing to do with a Cockney accent. His secretary becomes an ally as does another duke, the Duke of Coventry. Raphe still needs lessons in deportment and dance.
Enter Lady Gabriella, the Earl of Warwick’s daughter. No stranger to scandal or at least her sister’s scandal. It’s now her duty to lift the family’s name by marrying well along with a sizeable dowry. And she nearly does by becoming engaged while agreeing to help Raphe. Their attraction is mutual but not without a number of wrenches thrown into the mix.
I enjoyed being introduced to the Matthews family and seeing how Raphe finds that as a dedicated and loyal man, he really always had the makings of a Duke in him all along. Dance lessons help but it’s what’s inside that makes the man.
I give this book four out of five stars. I look forward to other books in the series and I see myself picking up some of her earlier books, too.