Review of “No Ordinary Duke” (The Crawfords #1) by Sophie Barnes

Barnes, Sophie. No Ordinary Duke. [United States]: Sophie Barnes, 2018.

Paperback | $11.00 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1726259309 | 290 pages | Regency Romance

4 stars

No Ordinary Duke is another sweet book from Sophie Barnes, and has a lot of promise as a series starter. One of the things I like about her work is that she writes heroes who are more likable rather than the standard alpha-douche. Even her dukes aren’t your typical, lording-over-everyone type, and, as the title suggests, Caleb is no exception. I love that he is working to balance his love for architecture and building things with his new, unexpected responsibilities as duke. And while the deception of hiding who he was did go on a trifle long, especially when he found out about Mary’s connection to his family, I ultimately appreciated how honorable he was.

Mary took a bit longer to get to know and like. However, I did come to warm to her and understand where she was coming from, especially with her past of having faced rejection by a marquess and being tossed out by her family to avoid scandal.

One of the main issues I had was with the pacing. I felt it worked well for the first half, because he was keeping this secret, but they were also falling in love. But once she was reconciled with her family and they started courting officially, it started to move at snail’s pace with nothing going on, which is saying a lot, as it’s not an overly long book, at least page wise. There was no conflict, no “dark” moment and reconciliation…everything seemed to be done too early and with the ending dragged out to fit the length of a novel.

On the whole, this was a good book, and I’ll definitely continue to look forward to more of Sophie Barnes’ work, even if this one wasn’t my favorite. But I would recommend this to fans of historical romance, especially those who love and look for nice guy heroes.

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