Daring and the Duke

Avon. (Bareknuckle Bastards, Bk. 3). Jul. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780062692085. pap. $7.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Grace Condry is the undisputed queen of London’s underworld. Along with her adopted brothers, she’s risen through the slums of Covent Garden, first as a celebrated street fighter, then as the wealthy owner of the city’s most scandalous pleasure club for women. Few know that Grace is actually a duke’s daughter, her title taken by the boy she once loved as a child. Ewan, the Duke of Marwick, has never stopped obsessing over Grace since the dark day she disappeared with his brothers. When he learns she’s still alive, he’s willing to do anything to have her back in his life. But their ruthless cat-and-mouse game of attraction is threatened by the pain of their past history. The emotional journey of the protagonists is raw in intensity, with breath-stealing love scenes. It’s refreshing to find a romantic couple with a near-equal power balance.
VERDICT The highly anticipated conclusion to the inimitable MacLean’s massively popular “Bareknuckle Bastards” trilogy (Wicked and the Wallflower; Brazen and the Beast) delivers a satisfying emotional punch that fans will savor. It can be read as a stand-alone but is best enjoyed along with the rest of the series.

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