Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Review - - Daring and the Duke

Daring and the Duke
by Sarah MacLean
The Bareknuckle Bastards - Book 3
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Reviewed by PJ

Grace Condry has spent a lifetime running from her past. Betrayed as a child by her only love and raised on the streets, she now hides in plain sight as queen of London’s darkest corners. Grace has a sharp mind and a powerful right hook and has never met an enemy she could not best...until the man she once loved returns. 
Single-minded and ruthless, Ewan, Duke of Marwick, has spent a decade searching for the woman he never stopped loving. A long-ago gamble may have lost her forever, but Ewan will go to any lengths to win Grace back…and make her his duchess. 
Reconciliation is the last thing Grace desires. Unable to forgive the past, she vows to take her revenge. But revenge requires keeping Ewan close, and soon her enemy seems to be something else altogether—something she can’t resist, even as he threatens the world she's built, the life she's claimed…and the heart she swore he'd never steal again.

PJ's Thoughts:

Sarah MacLean wraps up her Bareknuckle Bastards trilogy with an unapologetically feminist, romantically swoon-worthy, triumphant masterpiece featuring unforgettable characters, one of my all-time favorite hero redemptions, a strong and powerful heroine who is also one of my all-time favorites, and a second-chance journey to love that is sheer perfection. 

After reading the first two books in MacLean's Bareknuckle Bastards trilogy, I was still so conflicted about Ewan. On the one hand, I felt sure there had to be a good reason for what he had done to Grace before she, Devil, and Whit fled their father's home as children. On the other hand, I couldn't imagine how in the world Grace would ever forgive him after that, and following his actions as an adult during the first two books of the trilogy. She does, of course she does, but wow, does she ever make him work for it. Grace and Ewan put me through an emotional wringer, kept me reading half the night, and left me brimming with joy, and wiping away tears, at the end. Their journey is one of the best grovel and forgiveness stories I've ever read.

Daring and the Duke is my favorite of all the books I've read so far this year. I can’t wait to read it again...and again...and again. This is not a book that should be read as a standalone. To fully appreciate how Grace and Ewan got to this point, what needs to happen for forgiveness to occur, and how they are able to move forward together, I strongly recommend reading the three Bareknuckle Bastards books in order. They are Wicked and the Wallflower, Brazen and the Beast (read PJ's Top Dish review), and Daring and the Duke.  


Have you read the Bareknuckle Bastards trilogy? Do you have a favorite BB story/couple?

Who is your favorite romance villain turned hero?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, July 10, will receive a signed copy of Daring and the Duke

*Must be 18
*U.S. only


  1. Yes, I've been reading this series. I don't have a favorite but I must say that I've been looking forward to Beasts story.

  2. I have not read the Bareknuckle Bastards trilogy. I finally was able to go and visit 4/5 grandchildren for 2 weeks. Loved every minute. I hope to start the series soon.

    favorite romance villain turned hero: Taki O'Brien- Anne Stuart's ICE BLUE

  3. No I have not read this series before. I read a few other series by Sarah

  4. I've not read this series but I do enjoy her books!

  5. I am reading this book right now! It is a wringer! (I think of the three books, Whit's book is my favorite, but I do love how unapologetically feminist this book is... In fact of several books from several autobuy romance authors I've had of late, just feel so unapologetically FEMINIST in the best possible way. I just feel over the last couple of years, the new "guard" of Romance Authors have ushered in a new wave of feminism, consent, and ownership of Pleasure that hasn't quite been displayed before. Booya, New Guard!)

    1. Isn't it about time we have more of the feminism, consent, and ownership of pleasure thiugh!?! I am loving it!

  6. I loved Sarah's books, but I haven't read this one.

    Dain is my favorite villain.


  7. I have the first two books in this series....and have not read either one yet. You have made me realize I must get in gear.

    Thanks for the review.

    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

  8. I have read this series and have waited for Grace & Ewan's story.

  9. Haven't read the "Bareknuckle Bastards" trilogy--yet. Loved "A Rogue by Any Other Name" by Sarah MacLean. Favorite "villain turned hero"--Rowland Manning from "Secrets of a Scandalous Bride" by Sophia Nash. "The cruelty and deprivations he suffered in his youth made him a lean, mean, vengeance machine. To keep himself “fighting mean," he even deprives himself of the pleasures of good food, surviving on a daily regimen of rigidly bare meals. One of the ways the heroine breaks through to him is to continue to ply him with delicious food. Gingerbread, with its deep, dark spicy goodness, is a loaded weapon to man so self-deprived. When the gingerbread is served to him by a beautiful, caring woman, how could Rowland not succumb to temptation? Just like The Grinch, Rowland's heart grew three sizes that day!" (from my review)

  10. I have both of the previous books but have yet to get to TBR is overwhelming! Sarah MacLean is one of those authors that I simply gobble up and savor. No one in the industry writes like she does...she is definitely an original and an auto-buy for me.

  11. I haven't read the Bareknuckle Bastards trilogy yet but they are on my TBR.

  12. The first two books were awesome! I’d love to win the third.

  13. I haven't read this series, but I do have the first book waiting for me on my TBR pile.

  14. I have read Sarah's books, but have not read any of the Bareknuckle Bastards books. It is nice to know that the books should really be read in order for this book to be fully appreciated. Even though I prefer to read a series from start to finish in order, there are some that are not tightly connected and work well as a stand alone.
    Thank you for the review and recommendation. Stay safe and healthy.

  15. I haven't read this series yet! My favorite villain turned hero is probably Snape :)

  16. Yes, I’ve read the series and the last book didn’t disappoint. Grace and Ewan are my favorite couple of the series, I loved learning about how the two grew up together, and the loved they shared in their youth.

  17. I've been reading this series and so looking forward to this next installment. Can't say that I have a favorite h/h of the series...sort of like them all.

  18. I just started my copy of this one last night! I'm interested to see how Ewan is redeemed! It has been such an intense read even though I'm only about 25% in! I have really loved the series! Please don't ask me to pick a favorite couple - I love all of them!

  19. Wow - I've read the first two and now your review makes me even more inspired to read the third. Thanks, PJ.

  20. Haven't read this series yet - will eventually - can't think of a villain turned hero

  21. I am a fan of this author's books but haven't read the BB trilogy. However, it just means that I have something to look forward to. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this latest installment.