Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean Bareknuckle Bastards #3 Historical Romance June 30, 2020 by Avon ARC
High above on the rooftops, watching her warrior. And him, ready to do anything for her favor.
I don’t know how Sarah MacLean does this, but I feel like every time she releases a new book I suddenly discover a new favorite for my keeper shelf. This series has been magical. Four children born on the same day to different mothers thrust together by an evil man determined to create an heir. Only three made it out to freedom, one staying behind with a monster, but ultimately becoming a duke. This is Ewan and Grace’s story
Once again I have a million quotes highlighted and so many new beloved moments. I wasn’t sure how Ms. MacLean would redeem Ewan, because damn he was a crazy, bloodthirsty asshole for the rest of this series, but I always had faith that she would. And I was right. This book starts off with a bang, and a door ripped off its hinges. Grace and Ewan confronting each other in the ring, because of course a member of the bare-knuckle bastards would want to settle up things with their fists. Not what I expected, but perfect for this couple. Also, Grace is a BADASS.
Be prepared for angst, lots and lots of angst. Ewan is positively dripping with remorse and regret and a desperate need to reconnect with his lost love. Grace is angry, enough to dole out punishment for perceived sins against her and her found family, but she also never got over the boy she once loved unreservedly. She also wants him very badly.
I have so many feelings about Ewan and his petty revenge and all the terrible things he did in his grief when he thought Grace was dead. Let’s just say he wasn’t my favorite, but I do think this author did a great job of transforming him into a better man and explaining his backstory with enough depth that readers will understand the choices he made as a young man. He also does some excellent groveling.
There really is not much external plot other than these two coming back together in the present and getting over the trauma of the past. It worked for me. I’m not sure I would have appreciated some random kidnapping or a new bad guy thrown in for excitement. These two and their brothers are enough excitement all on their own. And the bad guy was always their past and the man who brought them all together all those years ago.
Some of my favorite moments were with all the main protagonists past and present together in one scene. I will miss these guys so much. The epilogue wraps everything up nicely and I appreciated the look into the future and seeing them all so happy and settled. Highly recommended.
Final grade- A