The Good, the Bad, and the Duke is the fourth book in Janna MacGregor’s Cavensham Heiresses series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I’ve enjoyed the other books in the series, and I was especially intrigued by the possibility of redemption for Paul.
Readers were introduced to Paul Barstowe in the first scene of the first book, and it was immediately clear that he was meant to be the villain of the piece. He served as an antagonist, but it is finally time for redemption. It has been several years since the series began, and Paul has inherited the Southart dukedom after the deaths of his father and older brother. Paul wants to make up for the mistakes of his past, but he didn’t factor falling in love into the equation.
Daphne grew up admiring her older brother’s best friend. Paul has not been part of her life for many years, not since the friendship dissolved into acrimony. When her journal is stolen, her quest to recover it leads her directly into Paul’s path. It’s clear that there’s a connection, but there are so many reasons that a relationship between them could never succeed. Can they overcome secrets of the past to find happiness or are they doomed to fail?
This was such a sweet book. I loved that part of the book took place over Christmas, but there was a nice balance between the holiday theme and the rest of the book. Paul and Daphne are a delightful pair, and it’s clear that Paul wants to atone for his past misdeeds. Likewise, Daphne has her own charitable endeavors, and while she loves her family, she wants her own life. She sees a future with Paul, and he cares for her, but there are so many obstacles in their path.
I would recommend The Good, the Bad, and the Duke to fans of historical romance. I do think that potential readers should read the previous entries in the series in order to fully appreciate Paul’s redemption arc. MacGregor is a talented author with highly original characters. Her writing is the perfect blend of humor and angst, and I always look forward to her books. I can’t wait until the next book is released in June!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.