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Ratings and Book Reviews (22 32 star ratings
22 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Watching Love Grow

    I really enjoyed this one! Watching Daphne go through a phase of learning about herself and deciding she's going to live life for herself and stop trying to please others. Paul had to be taught that he was worth something. That someone actually believed in him and loved him for himself. Daphne had loved him since she was a child and it took her awhile to realize it and to figure out who was most important in her life. Well worth the read! Thank you NetGally for the advanced copy!
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    Great addition to this series

    The Good, the Bad, and the Duke by Janna MacGregor- Both this series and this book are totally delightful. The characters are very relatable. There’s a depth to the storyline that makes this a page-turner. Highly recommend this series and this book for historical romance fans.
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    Home alone with the duke

    The household is in turmoil, as everyone is ready to depart for the Christmas holidays, but Lady Daphne Hallworth has been so good for so long at being invisible, that they forget her in London; she is home alone with the under-butler Tait McBride. Oh well, in the meantime, she’ll see to the final preparations for the home for unwed mothers she plans to open. So, she goes for a walk alone, and her reticule is stolen by a street urchin while she is sitting in a park by herself. She doesn’t care about her bag or the money, but it’s imperious that she retrieve her journal, which holds her secrets. If someone finds it, she’s ruined, her whole family is ruined. While running after the little thief, she comes face to face with Paul Barstowe, now the Duke of Southart, who used to be her older brother’s best friend. Paul has made almost an enemy of almost everyone, but he is struck dumb at how alluring Daphne is, and the danger she faces if she is seen in front of a gambling hell. He convinces her to take her home, and after a chat, he agrees to help her find her diary if she can help him mend his friendship with her brother Alexander. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DUKE was a very difficult book for me. Try as I might, I couldn’t forget about all the rules of propriety that applied to a young woman of a good family during the Regency era, some of which seemed to matter only when it served storylines purposes. When she was left home alone, Daphne decided that she was going to live her life the way she wanted, which even for a twenty five year-old spinster wasn’t even possible in that era without causing a huge scandal. My misgivings started even earlier, with the prologue, when we are introduced to Paul and Daphne sixteen years previously. Daphne was nine and Paul already out of university, and it appears that’s when she fell in love with him. I was filled with unease; we’re talking of a nine year-old girl and a grown man. I understand that he was grateful that someone liked him, but she was nine, for heaven’s sake! While nothing untoward happened at all, it would have been sweet had she been thirteen or fourteen, but nine was squicky. There were also a few inconsistencies with regards to whether he had noticed her or not in between. I was also quite taken aback, and not in a good way, with Paul’s friend Devan Farris, a vicar who gives men of the cloth a very bad name. Yes, I chose to read THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DUKE because of yet another sumptuous cover by the inimitable Jon Paul Ferrara, because it’s a Christmas story – very little has to do with Christmas – and because of the “Home Alone” theme. Paul is your typical rake who wants to mend his past wayward ways, and overall, he was rather lovely. Daphne seems a good girl, who has for years hidden very naughty thoughts. I couldn’t quite comprehend how she could be so sexually forward, particularly with her family history and her wish to open a home for unwed mothers. As for what an epic twist, it did not hold up because legally it was immaterial, and Paul’s solution would have caused even more harm to more people. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DUKE is fast-paced, well-written, and it flows effortlessly. Ms. MacGregor possesses a real talent at making the surroundings and the characters come alive; it’s all very colourful and lively, but it missed the mark for me because I was too distracted by many things. If you are unfamiliar with Regency customs and legal matters or if you can easily overlook them, then you will enjoy this book much more than I did. I give 2 ½ stars
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    Great story with unexpected twist

    I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book. This is the fourth book in the series and my favorite so far. Paul was already working on himself when the story starts. He struggles on his path to becoming a better person as he’s been scarred by his past. I really enjoyed reading as he came to grips with his past and how he saw himself. I thought him a very compelling character. Daphne also undergoes change as she decides she wants to pursue her own interests and not continue to live according to her family’s expectations. I thought the twist in the story was good and I found the ending to be highly satisfying. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
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    I do love a good Christmas romance.

    I know it’s early to be reading Christmas-related books, but really – is it ever too early to read Christmas stories? ❤️ Lady Daphne Hallworth quickly became one of my all-time favourite characters. She tried her best to be “the perfect daughter/sister/etc” and she shoved all her feelings in a diary. It actually sounds like something I would do, with the exception that I’ve tried to write a diary several times, but I always end up forgetting to write in it. I personally like to lay at night thinking about what I would write, and sometimes even say it out loud, in a whispered voice, just to put those feelings out there. So I can imagine what Daphne felt when her diary was stolen – as a result of a good action, which is even worse! But, rest assure dear reader, she is not alone. In comes Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart, former friend of Daphne’s brother, and her former (and current!) crush. Paul acted badly in the past and that caused him to alienate his friends, but Daphne never truly believed he was a horrible person, instead she believed he was someone who had made mistakes, but who was truly a good person (which, of course, it’s true). Daphne is left alone at Christmas and Paul is the one that is going to make her company and help her retrieve her diary. Paul and his Moonbeam. I loved their relationship, Paul was so sweet with Daphne, and all he wanted was to help her. Even the impediments that might have gotten in the way, it was all resolved and I loved how strong and determined Daphne was, and how Paul tried to be his best version, for himself, for Daphne and for those that now depended on him. That’s one of my favourite things about the book, Paul’s awakening to become someone… not different per se, but someone with new objectives and a different view of life and of what really matters. And that’s also what brings Daphne’s family and friends back to being friends with Paul. They see how he’s improved, and that he is trying, he’s doing his best to become better, and he deserves the vote of confidence. After reading this book, I decided never to have a diary with me in public and, if I ever do write in a journal, to have it locked at all times, because I don’t know if I could handle the stress of losing or having it robbed, with all my private thoughts. Daphne’s fight and endurance to act the right way not just for her, but for her family and those that might be affected by what she had written, was inspiring. The Christmas ambience helped the story’s redemption arc, and it was lovely to have the beautiful descriptions of winter and Christmas decorations. I do love a good Christmas romance.
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