Friday, June 30, 2017

Virtual Tour & Review ~ A Most Unlikely Duke - Diamonds in the Rough by Sophie Barnes

He never thought he’d become a duke, 

or that the secrets of his past will cost him his greatest love...

Diamonds in the Rough #1
Sophie Barnes
Releasing June 27, 2017
Avon Books

Raphe Matthews hasn’t stepped foot in polite circles since a tragedy left his
once-noble family impoverished and in debt. The bare-knuckle boxer has spent
the last fifteen years eking out an existence for himself and his two sisters.
But when a stunning reversal of fortunes lands Raphe the title of Duke of
Huntley, he’s determined to make a go of becoming a proper lord, but he’ll need
a little help and his captivating neighbor might be just the woman for the job…

After her sister’s scandalous match, Lady Gabriella knows the ton’s eyes are on her. Agreeing
to tutor the brutish new duke can only lead to ruin. Although she tries to
control her irresistible attraction to Raphe, every day she spends with him
only deepens her realization that this may be the one man she cannot do
without. And as scandal threatens to envelope them both, she must decide if she
can risk everything for love with a most unlikely duke.

It was past eleven o’clock in the evening by the time

Raphe returned home, his knuckles tender and his body still sore from the fight. Glad to get out of the cold, he closed the door on the rain that now poured from a thunderous sky, shrugged out of his coat and hung it on a hook behind the door just as his sister Amelia entered from an adjoining room that served as a small parlor.

“Good evenin’.” She yawned, leaning against the door frame. Squinting through the darkness, Raphe echoed her salutation. “I thought ye would be asleep by now.”
Stepping past her, he entered their tiny kitchen and snatched up the tinder box.

“I was,” Amelia said, following him into the chilly room. A threadbare shawl was draped across her shoulders, and as she pulled it tighter with pale and trembling fingers, Raphe felt his heart lurch. This wasn’t right. His sister did not deserve to live like this. None of them did. Pushing aside such fruitless ponderings, he found a candle, struck a flint and held it to the wick until a flame began to bloom, driving the darkness toward the walls where it struggled against the light.

“If it makes any difference, Juliette’s safely tucked into bed.” Amelia said, referring to their younger sister, whose weaker disposition was a constant cause for unease. When Raphe lifted the lid of a nearby pot and peered inside, Amelia added, “I made soup for dinner.”
“Smells delicious,” he dutifully told her.

“We both know ‘ow untrue that is, bu’ I appreciate yer optimism.”

Meeting her gaze, Raphe made a deliberate effort to smile. “Per’aps I can manage some meat for us tomorrow.” It would certainly be a welcome change from the potatoes and turnips they’d been eating for what seemed like forever. Christ, he was so tired of having a sore belly all the time, and his sisters . . . they never complained, but he knew they needed better nourishment than what they were getting.

“That’d be nice,” Amelia said. Her tone, however, suggested that she doubted his ability to manage such a feat. Bothered by her lack of faith in him, he grabbed a chunk of bread and tore off a large piece. “A chicken ought to be possible. If we make it last a few days.”
Amelia simply nodded. Grabbing a cup, she filled it with water and placed it before him. “I miss the smell of a bustlin’ kitchen.”

The comment threw him for a second. “Wha’?”

“Meat roastin’ on the fire, bread bakin’ in the oven.” She shook her head wistfully. “It’s funny. I can’t picture Mama, but I remember Cook—plump cheeks an’ a kind smile. I remember bein’ ‘appy in the kitchen back ‘ome.”

The sentimental thought made Raphe weary. He didn’t bother to point out that she’d only been seven when they’d lost their parents and there’d been nothing left for Raphe to do but turn his back on the house in which they’d spent the early years of their childhoods and walk away, taking his siblings with him. He’d been no more than eight years old and with a mighty burden weighing on his shoulders. “I know this isn’t the sor’ of life that any of us ever imagined.”

Feeling his temper begin to rise at the memory of what their parents had done to them all, he added, “Hopefully, in time, things’ll get better.”

“I’m sure ye’re right.” Could she possibly sound any more unconvinced?

He ate a spoonful of soup, the bland flavor just a touch better than plain hot water. Amelia took a step forward. “The reason I didn’t retire with Juliette earlier is ’cause of this letter.” She waved a piece of paper in his direction. “It arrived for ye today while ye were out.”
Frowning, Raphe stared at her. “Do ye know who sent it?” He couldn’t even recall the last time he’d received a letter. Nobody ever wrote to him or his sisters.

“The sender’s name’s smudged. So’s the address. It’s a miracle it arrived here at all.” Handing the letter to Raphe, she watched as he turned it over and studied the penmanship. Sure enough, the only legible part of the address, which even appeared to have been altered once or twice, was his name: Mister Raphael Matthews.

Wow, what can I possibly say about this amazing book! It is absolutely one of the most tantalizing and suck-you-in-deep reads of the summer! A high 5 stars for  Sophie Barnes A Most Unlikely Duke!

We start off with Raphe in a boxing match where he wins the match with flying colors. Later, he's promised his coach that he will take on a very strong opponent and match coming up and that he'll win! He heads home, where he's greeted by one of his sisters, the other sister is in bed. He eats a bland bowl of soup and discusses the day's events with his sister. They live in extreme poverty and in dire straights, that is until she hands him a letter. He's been informed that he is the heir to the Huntley Dukedom; therefore, he's the new Duke of Huntley. At first, he wants to turn it down, but when he reflects back on his deceased sister's death and how much he wants to save his remaining two living sisters, he decides to head to London and take on his duties as the New Duke of Huntley.

Whilst moving into their new home, Raphe and his sisters are met by a very arrogant man in the street. It appears that his carriage has been blocked by Raphe's and a young woman, Lady Gabriella is with him and tries to ease things over. She and her betrothed mistake Raphe for being a servant. However, it is the next day that Gabriella, her mother and her aunt learn that Raphe is, in fact, the Duke of Huntley. Raphe and his sisters have some very poor manners and their speech is very common and Gabriella takes a liking to them and knowing how harsh the ton can be and also based on her own experiences of being picked on and outcast. she decided to secretly tutor his sisters and soon she also begins tutoring him.

Gabriella's fiance's family invites the Duke of Huntley to their home for a party and this doesn't give her much time to school him, so she desperately tries her best to help him. However, his stubbornness gets in the way. At the party, he's often put down and belittled even by her own father, which infuriates her. She takes it under her care even more to help Raphe and his sisters. As time goes on, Raphe and Gabriella begin to take a liking for one another. However, there's just one problem, she's promised to another. Will Gabriella break off her engagement and open her heart to Raphe, despite his common ways? Will Raphe open his heart to marrying and give into the love brewing inside for the beautiful Gabriella?

Absolutely wonderful read, I couldn't put this book down, it drew me in right from the first sentence! Barnes sure knows how to weave a tale and what a ride readers' will take. The plot is very thick and filled with fiery passion between the H and h. A lot of tension and conflict throughout that makes the reader keep turning the pages! You will not be displeased by A Most Unlikely Duke, I highly recommend this book!

Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her
parents to wonderful places all around the world. She's lived in five different
countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French,
Spanish, and Romanian. But, most impressive of all, she's been married to the
same man three times—in three different countries and in three different

When she's not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time
with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and,
of course, reading.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your review!
    Tasty Book Tours