Daring and the Duke is the last book of The Bareknuckle Bastards series by Sarah MacLean. This book tells the love story of Ewan and Grace. Ewan, the Duke of Marwick was the villain of the first two books. Grace Condry is the beloved sister and only female member of the Bareknuckle Bastards.
This is the fifteenth and final book in the Summer of Sarah MacLean event and I am sad to see the event end. Thanks so so much to the even hosts Kelly Gallucci (bookish.kelly, Instagram) and Dana Cuadrado (To All the Nerdy Girls, Instagram)!! I am happy to pass along that they will be hosting a Fall read along called Falling for Joanna Shupe from September 28-October 23rd.
Check out the Fangirlish website for my reviews of the previous fourteen books! Below you can see my Summer of Sarah MacLean bingo card is FULL!!
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t LOVE this book as much as the previous two. For me to LOVE a book it’s all about the heroine.
In Grace’s case, there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, but I felt like I didn’t know her. It was as though the character wasn’t fleshed out enough for me. This may have been helped if she wasn’t missing for the last book.
There were things I did LOVE about Grace – her clothes were AMAZING and the fact that she runs her own bordello is all kinds of awesome. Seriously, though her clothes! I couldn’t wait to see what she wore next!
We know Grace’s story from the other books. We learned the facts of her life from her brothers. It would have been interesting to hear Grace’s perspective.
The previous books also let us know that Ewan loves Grace and that he hurt her in the past. And he’s a possible threat to Grace in the present. In this book, we find out the how and the why. The origins of their love story.
Truly, the reason I was most excited to learn more about Grace. So when that didn’t really happen, I was disappointed.
I know people were hesitant about this book as Ewan, the villain was being made into the hero. Some read or did not read this book due to Ewan. Ewan needed a lot of redeeming – spoiler – MacLean pulls it off!
I was able to feel sympathy for Ewan once we found out his history. I mean I don’t forgive him for killing people – but I understood him better. No one in these books is innocent, so holding Ewan to a higher standard wasn’t something I felt I had to do.
The one thing about Ewan that has been constant through the series is his love of Grace. When Devil told Ewan that Grace was dead, to say he didn’t handle it well would be an understatement. We saw his reaction in the previous two books. But his conversation with Hattie near the last book gave me hope for him.
I truly believe that Ewan and Grace had a great childhood love. Does that translate into adulthood? That is in the eye of the beholder. They were always thinking of each other, I believe their love endured. I just wish we saw more of its development. Seeing Ewan and Grace together more as adults would have been nice.
This book also gave a glimpse into some of the future characters in MacLean’s next series Hells Bells! Outside of this series being about a girl gang, we don’t know much – but let’s be honest, that’s enough to sell me.
As this is the last book in the series, I’m happy to say all the questions of the series were answered. Getting to visit with Devil, Felicity, Hattie and Whit again was a delight. It was wonderful seeing Felicity and Hattie support Grace as she chose her path for love.
I really am glad that Ewan and Grace found their happy.