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A Most Unlikely Duke

(Diamonds in the Rough #1)

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  742 ratings  ·  145 reviews
He never thought he'd become a duke, or that the secrets of his past would cost him his greatest love...

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 for
...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Avon
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  742 ratings  ·  145 reviews


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Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Sometimes the right book shows up at just the right time. I didn't even realize that I was in the mood for a historical romance until I started reading this book and I couldn't put it down. I have never read anything by Sophie Barnes before picking up this book but since this was the start of a new series, I decided to take a chance. I am so glad that I did because this story was a lot of fun.

The characters in this book were wonderfu
...more
Alyssa
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-releases
Cuuuuuute! Needed more sexy times, but the chemistry was there, so I'm not too mad about it.



***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

A Most Unlikely Duke by Sophie Barnes
Book One of the Diamonds in the Rough series
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

He never thought he'd become a duke, or that the secrets of his past would cost him his greatest love...

Raphe Matthews hasn’t stepped foot in polite circles since a
...more
Sissy's Romance Book Review
Review For: 'A Most Unlikely Duke ' by Sophie Barnes 'A Most Unlikely Duke ' by Sophie Barnes is Book One in the "Diamonds in the Rough" series. This is the story of Raphe and Lady Gabriella. I am so excited for this series! I fell in love with Raphe, his sisters and Gabriella's Aunt Caroline. I can't wait for more stories in this series.Gabriella's sister caused a scandal when she broke her engagement and married another. Now Gabriella's mother seemed to be making sure that Gabriella has the pe ...more
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I debated giving "A Most Unlikely Duke" 5 stars but because of the ending I gave it 4 1/2 stars. I never give a story 4 1/2 because the half star makes no difference. But this is how close I was to 5 stars.

Raphe Matthews and Lady Gabriella Radcliffe are brilliantly written characters. They are intelligent Loveable characters who have to overcome many obstacles to be together. They do that without the horrible angst most authors use. They are honest with each other about everything and they work
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Monique
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this was actually a 'clean read' with some inner thought naughtiness (I like some sex in my romance reads, and got one not-too-descriptive scene near the end), the overall story was pretty good. I like the twists and turns, and the H/h were very likeable. I loved seeing their growth, particularly that of the heroine, Gabriella.
I found it interesting that the H - Raphe - had more compassion, common sense, and kindness in him than the majority of titled folks, especially as he came from St.
...more
Barbara Rogers
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exciting, fast-paced thoroughly enjoyable read!!! It wastes no time getting into the exciting range -- it opens with a bare-knuckled prize fight and moves on from there. The definitely unlikely duke was born into the gentry - his mother was the daughter of a viscount -- but through an awful set of circumstances, the duke, at the age of 8 ends up living in St. Giles with his three younger sisters in his care. For fifteen years he manages to care for all of them by working on the docks and prize f ...more
Sofia Lazaridou
A Most Unlikely Duke is the first book in the Diamonds in the Rough series by Sophie Barnes. Our hero, Raphe, has been raising his sisters all alone after the death of their parents trying to provide them what they need by boxing. One day a letter arrives and appoints him as the new Duke of Huntley. After 15 years on the streets, he is not the role model for a Duke and the society is not very welcoming. Gabriella, our heroine, is one of the few people who are kind to him and his sisters. She is ...more
Tori
Originally posted at SmexyBooks-http://smexybooks.com/2017/06/review-...

Favorite Quote: “I simply cannot imagine choosing a life without you in it.”

Raphe Matthews and his two sisters, Amelia and Juliette, were forced into poverty when their father committed suicide and their mother disappeared. Raphe is ‘helped’ out by the local crime boss and ends up bare knuckle boxing to repay him. When a stunning reversal of fortune reveals Raphe to be the last in line for the title, Duke of Huntley, he is d
...more
Marlene
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

A Most Unlikely Duke is a surprisingly likely source of fun. It takes one of the standard tropes and turns it on its head, then beats it to a satisfying pulp – just as its hero does with any contenders for his bare-knuckle boxing crown.

That is part of what makes this particular duke so very, very unlikely. Raphe Matthews and his two sisters have survived in one of London’s worst neighborhoods, St. Giles. (If that name sounds familiar, St. Giles is also the
...more
Mary - Buried Under Romance
A fantastic story of genuine character growth, where love and staying true to oneself triumphs over all. There is quite a bit of depth to all the featured characters, and they are dynamic throughout this well-paced book. This is perhaps the finest Sophie Barnes book I've read - and I look forward to seeing her craft improve even more with the next book in this series! Review to come.
Catherine (The Sassy Bookster)
4.5 Stars

It's been a while since I read a book by Ms. Barnes but A MOST UNLIKELY DUKE was a very fantastic read on duty and love, with genuine emotion and relatable characters, enjoyable and fun, fast-paced and drama-filled, and definitely the best I have read from her!

Raphe Matthews was eight years old when he lost his parents and was forced to take on the responsibility of caring for his younger sisters and working off his father's debts. Born into high society, he found himself in the slums d
...more
Jaci
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This not my first Sophie Barnes Book, it's my favorite!! The cover alone should sell this book!! Raphe Matthews is an amazing hero. Orphaned at a very young age by his father's suicide after his mother left him and his three young sisters. Because of the huge debt left by his father he had no choice but to accept help from an unsavory character to survive and support his younger sisters. Raphe is the perfect "Diamond in the Rough".

After living for years in the slums of St. Giles he unexpectedly
...more
Jen Davis
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am such a fan of a lower class hero, upper class heroine trope in my historical romance, especially when the lady has no evidence of being a snob about it. The author did this one very well and I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Raphe and his two sisters grew up on the rough streets of St. Giles. His father was nobility but he killed himself and his mom ran away with another man. Though he was only a child himself, Rafe had to take responsibility for his siblings and raise money to care for th
...more
April
A Most Unlikely Duke by Sophie Barnes
is an interesting and stimulating Regency Romance. Book 1 in a new and what promises to be an incredible series, "Diamonds in the Rough". Fast paced, exciting with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. Our hero, Raphe, is certainly a diamond in the rough, but an exciting one, to be sure.

Raphe Matthews, a bare-knuckle boxer who, was born into the gentry, but due to a tragedy, he and his family are left impoverished and in debt. Raphe, at age of eight, st
...more
Jessica Grogan
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF. The first half was so good and then the hero and heroine decided they liked each other and it got very, very bland from there. I'm still going to read the next book because I like the sound of the premise.
Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)
DNF @ 45%

This is just not working for me. I have no idea why - maybe the scorn directed at Raphe got on my nerves one time too many.
Romancebooksandmore
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars
The story of Raphe Matthews. A man who has lived a hard life trying to protect his two sisters and is suddenly thrust into the role of the Duke of Huntley and Lady Gabriella whose sister’s scandalous marriage has taken all choice of her own marriage out of her hands.

I loved this book, I loved the characters I loved the depth of emotion and connection. I felt for them, I cheered with them and I cried for them. I can’t wait to move on to Amelia’s story the character’s were so rich that I
...more
Lorka
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The first half of this book was great! The H/h were both very interesting and likeable characters that made it easy to root for them. The heroine had tons of integrity when it came to defending others that were being treated unfairly, and she carried herself in such a pleasant, respectful way too. I felt the chemistry was exciting to watch as it grew and I actually thought that once they have their first kiss, it would be magical and full of so much feels. Except... when they did finally kiss, i ...more
Natalie
This was a really cute book! The tension and build up between the couple was fairly well done and the couple took time to explore their feelings instead of reckless or stupid behavior. I also enjoyed all the interactions between the women--- Gabriella with her aunt, with both Raphe's sisters, with her own sister Victoria. I wished we got a novella on Victoria and Ben, but I'm excited for Amelia and Juliette's books!
Megan Lavey-Heaton
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Becker
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
such a wonderful story of things are not always what they appear. Raphe has been scraping by to take care of his family and fortune smiles on him and he is named Duke. but with the title comes many responsibilities including how to talk and dress. not just for him but his sisters. enters Gabriella. her family has been struck with scandal and she does everything she can to appease her family. her neighbor is everything she should avoid. he is brash and exercises in his backyard not fully dressed. ...more
Jennifer
4 Stars

I liked the two main characters and thought they were an interesting couple. The plot was a little out there, but the writing style helped keep it easy to read. I look forward to reading more in this series.

I received a free copy of this book from Avon via the Avon Addicts Program in exchange for an honest review.
Gaele
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Each new book I read from Sophie Barnes just gets better and better, when you take an impoverished heir to a dukedom who has struggled to provide for himself and his sister, and avoid the tonne at all costs. Ralphe took his sisters’ welfare into his own hands after his parent’s death. He’s been fighting as a bare-knuckle boxer and while he doesn’t love the life, he’s able to keep a roof over their heads, feed them and keep them reasonably safe. He’s been managing to care for everyone since the a ...more
Sissy's Romance Book Review
'A Most Unlikely Duke ' by Sophie Barnes is Book One in the "Diamonds in the Rough" series. This is the story of Raphe and Lady Gabriella. I am so excited for this series! I fell in love with Raphe, his sisters and Gabriella's Aunt Caroline. I can't wait for more stories in this series.
Gabriella's sister caused a scandal when she broke her engagement and married another. Now Gabriella's mother seemed to be making sure that Gabriella has the perfect match so that they can put the scandal behind t
...more
Angel
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Ms. Sophie Barnes for choosing me to receive an autographed copy of A Most Unlikely Duke as a gift from your contest on Goodreads. I had waited to read it until I finished a project I have been working on. I will tell you with all honesty, that I am glad I waited because it deserved my complete attention. This is my first historical book and my first reading from this author. little did I know how much I was going to enjoy this story. Raphe and lady Gabriella are passionate and honorab ...more
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Way to go on the journey towards becoming the proper duke. Raphe has had the family title laid upon him after some rather untimely events occur. The bare-knuckle boxer has a lot to make up for. His manners left him long ago. When he became the provider for his small family he vowed to do what it took to make things work. Now, he makes another vow. To be the best duke he can be. To do this he needed some help. In comes Gabriella, she has to avoid scandal but can’t seem to resist helping the new d ...more
Carol Bisig
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved the story of a man who came up in the streets, protecting his sister's in a truly hard situation. His mother, runs his Vicar father into debt, being the daughter of a Viscount, she thought she was entitled. His father, when Raphe turned 7, took the cowards way out, and killed himself. Leaving Ralphe with his wits, and fist to fight the world for his sister's! This is a Man! He finds out one day, that he is a Duke, the rest are dead. He thought his life was hard before, now he meets his n ...more
Becky
Regencies aren't typically my cup of tea, but dang, this thing is cute and sweet. Plus the hero, Raphe, is adorably protective of his sisters and willing to do whatever it takes to provide for them.


Safety Stats:(view spoiler)
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Inn Auni
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it


I love it. The reason I'm not giving it a higher rating because I wanted so bad the next book in the series to top this. I can't wait for Amelia's story.

I've had my fair share of unlikely partnering with one or both MC being out of what the ton usually like. It was refreshing. One main reason I like about historical romance was the cover. Yup, nothings wrong with some delicious cover. 😉
Maria Rose
My reading resolutions for 2017 included trying some new authors and reading more historical romances, a genre that is my first love but has been neglected of late. Accordingly when the opportunity came up to review Sophie Barnes’ new historical romance A Most Unlikely Duke, I decided to take the chance on this new-to-me author. As the start of her new series Diamonds in the Rough, it seemed as good a place as any to try her works. The premise is definitely one that drew my attention. Unfortunat ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 15, 2017 06:38PM  

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USA Today Bestselling Author

Born in Denmark, Sophie has 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.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of al
...more

Other books in the series

Diamonds in the Rough (4 books)
  • The Duke of Her Desire (Diamonds in the Rough, #2)
  • The Illegitimate Duke (Diamonds in the Rough, #3)
  • The Infamous Duchess (Diamonds in the Rough, #4)
“When we’re apart, I can think of nothing
but you—of
being with you again—and
I . . . I’m sorry if I hurt you before. I’m sorry
if I wasn’t clear about my feelings, if I wasn’t
strong enough to fight for the chance to be
with you. I’m going to do that now. I promise.
Because I simply cannot imagine choosing a
life without you in it.”
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“When we’re apart, I can think of nothing but you—of being with you again—and I . . . I’m sorry if I hurt you before. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear about my feelings, if I wasn’t strong enough to fight for the chance to be with you. I’m going to do that now. I promise. Because I simply cannot imagine choosing a life without you in it.” 0 likes
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