Q: what romance novel offers the best grovel?
If you want supreme grovel—supreme—then you probably want to check out Sarah MacLean’s Daring and the Duke, the last in her Bareknuckle Bastard series. This bodacious beauty of a romance focuses on Ewan, the mad duke of Marwick, (remember him?, she asks casually, the man who tried to *kill* the leads in previous books?!) and Grace, a proprietress and warrior-Queen of Covent Garden who uses her scarf as a weapon 🏻 and who was his first (and only!) love.
I’m going to keep this review pretty short because I feel like I don’t have a lot to add to the convo. Things that give me the good shivers: some serious swoonworthy lines (yowsers 🥵); equal opportunity grunting 🤣; an ending that’s lushly, boldly cinematic ; and fantastic consideration of women and choice and pleasure (the book uses those words btw, so it’s a very deliberate consideration.) Let’s not forget the groveling, which happens over and over again because dude has some big things to apologize for and explain.
This is what I wasn’t expecting: how funny Daring and the Duke is. Devil and Whit make the hottest Greek chorus.
Everything about this book works for me.
But I do think that it would be best to have the previous books fresh in your mind because you need to be recently emotionally devastated by what Ewan did and how it affects other leads in the series—people we care about. I didn’t do that, and the redemption arc felt a teeny tiny bit less impactful as as a result.
What a grand series. I mean, really.
Daring and the Duke is out today. Thanks to Avon and Edelweiss Plus for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Give me that HEA, please.