He never imagined he'd be the man he was born to be, or that one woman's faith in him would change his life forever...
When Carlton Guthrie, Scoundrel of St. Giles, encounters a runaway bride in the London slums, he offers to help her. Not out of kindness, but because she's the Earl of Hedgewick's daughter. Using Regina to exact his revenge on her father seems like the perfect plan. Until Carlton starts to fall for the innocent beauty.
Seeking refuge with a notorious crime lord, was never part of Regina's plan. But in her blind attempt to escape the fate her parents have planned for her, options are limited. What she doesn't expect, is to pull aside Carlton's facade, and to find a tormented man who makes her feel safe and cherished - a man she could easily love, if he'll let her.
Barnes’s excellent character development is highlighted as she reveals the hidden depths of Carlton’s past, his defense of the defenseless, and the pain he suffered after witnessing his father’s murder. She cleverly exposes the layers of Regina’s personality as the daughter of a peer who matures quickly when forced to confront disturbing truths about her father’s violence and reconcile them with the man she thought she knew.
Stokes is a charming and thoughtful young man whose company Regina enjoys, so readers may quibble with the idea that marriage to him would mean “ruining her life” with “no hope of happiness” solely because he’s disabled. In addition, Regina is implausibly quick to forgive Carlton for using her as a pawn in his revenge scheme. These drawbacks are the only flaws in this otherwise magnetic romance, which is enhanced by a fast-paced plot, sensuous attraction, and the mystery surrounding Carlton’s identity.
Takeaway: Regency romance fans will be enamored with this well-plotted tale of love, intrigue, and revenge.
Great for fans of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, Eloisa James’s Say No to the Duke.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
"An enjoyable tale for Regency fans who like revenge plots in their romances." - Kirkus Reviews
The Forgotten Duke: Diamonds In The Rough, Book 5 is a historical romance by Sophie Barnes. The year is 1820 in London, England. Eighteen-year-old Lady Regina Berkly knew she’d have to one day marry for advantage and possibly find love later. But her dreams are dashed when her father, the Earl of Hedgewick, arranges a sudden marriage for her with a cripple. The marriage would be advantageous but a future disaster, no matter how she looks at it. Left with no choice, she defies her parent and runs into the slums and into the arms of Carlton Guthrie, the Scoundrel of St Giles. The man has a wicked reputation, no doubt with good reason. But Regina has few options if she’s to avoid an unhappy marriage. It comes as a surprise when Guthrie offers her his assistance.
Sophie Barnes is a talented author who brings romance to brilliant life in this historical novel. There is nothing like an anti-hero who struggles with doing the right thing. Guthrie has this twenty-year-old vendetta that he’s sacrificed so much for. The last thing he wants is to fall in love with the enemy’s daughter. I had some hilarious moments as Guthrie’s crew did some unorthodox matchmaking. I really loved the secondary characters and the sub-plot that came with them. Lady Regina wasn’t a silly heroine but the kind of girl with reckless courage. She digs and digs until she finally uncovers Guthrie’s golden core. For anyone looking for an intense and absorbing romance, The Forgotten Duke is the book for you.
The Forgotten Duke won first place for print in the Top Shelf cover of the month competition