ARC REVIEW No Ordinary Duke by Sophie Barnes

 

No Ordinary Duke (The Crawfords, #1)

 

 

The Crawfords #1, I love books where one of the main characters hides part of who they are and fall in love, I always like how they redeem themselves to the other person. In this Caleb Crawford has finally comes home after studying architecture in France to prove his father wrong only to find out both his father and older brother died in a fire and he has now inherited the Dukedum. After trying for a couple of months, Caleb is at his breaking point he needs some time away from being the duke. His best friend Viscount Aldridge, has the solution, his sister lives out in the country with two other women and take care of orphan children. Seeing as how Aldridge's sister has never meet Caleb he just introduces himself as Mr. Crawford the new caretaker. 

Mary Clemens, the daughter of a tradesman who became extraordinarily wealthy, got burned by society. She thought she fell in love with a man above her social standing but he let his father ruin the relationship and the father spread horrid rumors about her all over London. Her only escape was to disappear from London society and to live with her friend in the country and help children in need. Mary knowing her reputation was irreparably damaged she figured she'd never marry so she created a life with her two friends that was satisfying. The appearance of Mr. Crawford unsettled her because he aroused feeling in her she never had before and the fact that he was a laborer and not from society was perfect but she keeps misreading his intentions. Caleb knows Mary is special and it doesn't take him long to figure out he wants to marry her, but with her dislike of society he has to find away to reveal who he really is without completely destroying her faith in him. Unfortunately that option is taken out of his hands and now he has to repair the damage done.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The characters were great. Mary even though she is a strong, opinionated, plain spoken kind of woman is so use to everything be blamed on her she keeps doubting everything. Caleb dealing with his newfound status in society and figuring out that he doesn't have to let the Dukeship define and dictate who he really is. I liked the set up with Caleb's brothers with at least two more books coming I look forward to Devlin's book. The epilogue felt off it was set so far in their future it would have made more sense to be at the end of the series with a wrap up of everyone's lives and not just these two and their kids. It feels so final and I don't want to feel that at the end of book one.