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The Infamous Duchess

(Diamonds in the Rough #4)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A woman with a shocking past…

Branded a money-hungry con artist for marrying the elderly Duke of Tremaine days before his death, Viola Cartwright has found refuge in her work at St. Agatha’s Hospital. No one must know the painful reason behind her marriage. She steers clear of attachments—until Henry Lowell, heir to the Viscount Armswell, lands on her operating table afte
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Avon
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  95 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Sissy's Romance Book Review
The Infamous Duchess by Sophie Barnes is book 4 in the Diamonds in the Rough Series. This is the story of Viola Cartwright and Henry Lowell. I have read (and Loved) the other books, but feel you can make this a standalone book if you wish to do so.
Viola is marked as a scandalous money hungry women when she marries a older Titled man who dies the day after their wedding. Viola has worked with the inheritance to help St. Agatha’s Hospital but she also gives her time and skill. This is where she m
This title was from a new to me author and I really liked the set up.

I enjoyed Viola and Henry. She’s smart and he’s charming and I loved their easy banter and conversation. The growth of their relationship felt organic and I did see the chemistry. There are several other couples and I’m going to assume they’re from previous books.

Plot wise, it was okay. I did like that Viola had a medical background; it was refreshing to see something different. The first half of the book was engaging, but th
Barbara Rogers
Series: Diamonds In The Rough #4
Publication Date: 3/26/19
Number of Pages: 384

Complex and compelling characters, one of the best romances I’ve read in a while, and a really nasty villain make up this truly delightful story. The writing is excellent, the plot is tight and well executed. This book contains everything you could want, including some lovely insights into our next hero and heroine.

Viola Cartwright, Duchess of Tremaine is a wonderfully complex character who draws you to her and makes yo
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

The longer this series goes on, the more it reminds me of the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt. Considering how excellent and popular that series was, that’s a terrific thing!

What has made this series so interesting has been the way that either the hero, the heroine, or both, are definitely unconventional for their time while still seeming to be at least plausible. That unconventionality has made the characters more readily identifiable with for 21st re
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After her elderly husband dies within days of their marriage, Viola Cartwright is labeled a grasping con artist along with her new title of Duchess of Tremaine. Though she is not a social person, she finds solace in her work running St. Agatha's Hospital. When the notorious rogue, Henry Lowell, winds up on the operating table after a duel went badly, Viola is surprised to find herself attracted to him, but she reminds herself of his reputation and not to fall for him.

Henry has cultured his ficti
Joana V.
I received an eARC at no cost from the author, in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. Thank you.

Review originally posted at Romancing Romances.


This is a mixed feelings book. I was really liking it in the beginning, but then our hero, Henry Lowell, kept saying something that was annoying me and that I don’t personally like – something like “She’ll be mine no matter what”. And I don’t like that because every time I read that sentence or a similar one, all I could think about was tha
Jen Davis
Review to come.

*ARC provided by publisher
Viola is ‘infamous’ for one simple thing: her brief marriage to a man who was a contemporary of her father, and the fortune he bestowed upon her. Unfortunately for her, the marriage was very brief and left her looking like a mercenary social climber, all of which is untrue – and her continued refusal to perform for society as a Duchess should has left her a source of speculation. But she’s not been idle – sinking most of her money and her not inconsiderable brains and determination into a hospit ...more
Connie Fischer
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
London - 1820

Viola Cartwright, dowager Duchess of Tremaine, is reading a letter from her stepson, Robert Cartwright, Duke of Tremaine, stating that he will be returning to London from New York. Before leaving for the West Indies, Robert had married the daughter of the Earl of Clarendon. Now, his wife is dead, he has sold the plantation, and is returning home. Robert is very angry that Viola married his father and got what was to be his inheritance. Now, he plans to sue her for her inheritance wh
Originally posted on Smitten by Books Reviews blog

3.5 Stars

Unconventional, high stakes, low angst/conflict are the words I would use to describe Barnes latest historical romance. Out of these there were many likable elements to this story, though the characters and plot were not earth-shattering.

To start I enjoyed the unconventional elements of the story. Our heroine, Viola is a duchess, but eschews the life in favor of using her money and limited to influence to run a hospital that provides fre
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Branded a money-hungry con artist for marrying the elderly Duke of Tremaine days before his death, Viola Cartwright has found refuge in her work at St. Agatha’s Hospital working alongside Florian. No one must know the painful reason behind her marriage. She steers clear of attachments until Henry Lowell, heir to the Viscount Armswell & Florian’s brother, lands on her operating table after a duel. Charming and wickedly handsome, Henry is one of London’s most inveterate scoundrels.
Posing as a
Maria Dariotis
The Infamous Duchess
Diamonds in the Rough
book 4
by Sophie Barnes

This is Viola’s and Henry’s story and let me tell you it was riveting!

Viola has been scorned and labeled a money and title hungry woman who married an elderly dying man for the money and his title. She finds solace in realizing her father’s dream of establishing a hospital. Being the daughter of a physician she’s able to assist Florian with a gun shot patient .....where she first meets Henry.

Henry’s first impression of Viola althou
Lori D
London 1820 Viola was working at the hospital as a man with a gunshot came in and she had to help the doctor with his surgery. Well that was non other than Henry Lowell, rake extraordinaire or so that was the word out in society. Viola herself was the talk of the ton for marrying her elderly Duke days before he passed away. She had done her best to ignore society and taken the money left to her by opening a hospital and helping those in need.
The problem was, rake or not, Henry was a handsome ma
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
I am just in love with this entire series! That is all!
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Viola Cartwright is a very complex character. She has survived losing everyone she loved, some by death and one by deceit. Her story is as complex as her character. She is facing losing everything she has worked for and finds that she must trust even though it is very hard for her. This plot just kept getting more complex as Viola both looses and gains as the story progresses. I loved Henry Lowell and how he worked to overcome a past he invented to keep safe from marriage. Seems it was coming ba ...more
Jamie Brydone-Jack
I tend to read a lot of shorter works by self-published authors. Often, this means reading a relatively short work that may or may not have character development or detailed plots. This book was so different than my normal reading because it starred a complex hero and heroine in a story that allowed their characters and relationship to grow and evolve. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them and their relationship change over the course of the book.

Viola is the Dowager Duchess of Tremaine. Her husban
Teresa (Reads_Romance)
I really debated between giving this book two stars or one; ultimately I went with one star because it was honestly one of the most boring books I’ve read in years. That’s not to say that nothing happens in this book, a lot goes on, all of it is boring.

The story is about the Viola, a Duke’s widow and patroness/nurse in a free hospital for the poor and Henry Lowell, a nice future Viscount who is also her friend’s brother. When I think of Viola and Henry as characters, very little comes to mind. V
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book four in The Diamonds in the Rough is another wonderfully stunning love story from Sophie Barnes. I have to say that I loved the first three books in the Series but this is my favorite!

Henry Lowell is a perfect gentleman with a mischievous sparkle in his eyes, handsome as sin with a smile that can make a lady weak in the knees. Henry has a reputation as a libertine who has as the story opens participated in a duel that has landed him in his brother Florian's (Hero in The Illegitimate Duke,
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, arc, drama, historical

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: Some say Viola is a money grabbing, social climber, whilst others would say she's a bit odd. I'd say she's really unlucky and has suffered a lot of pain in her life so far.

Her marriage to the much older, and unwell Duke of Tremaine days before his death, see Viola in a elevated position as a wealthy Duchess, but she has no interest in society and prefers to develop her hospital and use her position for good.

Current Viscount and futur
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not my favorite Sohie Barnes romance. The guy is a nice guy, the girl is a great person, neither has any character traits that make them stand out. They have no real conflict. He wants to marry, she's not sure if she wants to give up her independence. This is the 3rd book released in the last 3 moth that basically has this conflict. I find it boring. I read romances for the drama and the big emotional payoff at the end. This is like having a girlfriend debate whether she should marry th ...more
Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the main character started a hospital and how she was competent in her medical knowledge. I also liked that the romance was rather slow burn. I kinda suspected who the villain was from the get go, but I some of the reveals still surprised me. I liked how the end employed time jumps, but they did get a little confusing. There was also something revealed in one part of the end that was disregarded in the next bit, but seems important given medical stuff. Tha ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc, february
The relationship between Viola and Henry is what saves this romance, which otherwise stuffers from having basically every historical romance trope thrown in: a rake looking to reform, a woman of "low birth" marrying into the aristocracy, a working female, a jealous heir, the Bow Street Runners, a court case, the "criminal underground," etc etc. Simpler would have been much better here.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Diamonds in the Rough #4, I was really looking forward to Viola's book and was all excited when I found out that she was being paired with Henry Lowell, heir to the Viscount Armswell and brother of the last books hero. I liked Henry, I liked how his determination to make Viola his wife grew from respect and liking her into unshakeable love. Viola had been burned once before and when she married her father's old friend, the Duke of Tremaine, and he died the next day and she was left al
Some pacing problems keep this from being a four star read. The heroine was lovely but the plot was overly telegraphed and the pacing was exceedingly slow. Good prose though. A nice way to spend an afternoon.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books-2019
Ok- book, there were so many long glances- gasps- and sitting down. The plot was ok, I enjoyed that she was a physicians assistant that created a hospital for the poor.
Jacque Mcneal
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story w/ a couple of unexpected twists.
Landra Graf
rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2019
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Apr 03, 2019
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Apr 09, 2019
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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 all – she’s been married to th

Other books in the series

Diamonds in the Rough (4 books)
  • A Most Unlikely Duke (Diamonds in the Rough, #1)
  • The Duke of Her Desire (Diamonds in the Rough, #2)
  • The Illegitimate Duke (Diamonds in the Rough, #3)