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The Penhallow Dynasty #5

The Worst Duke in the World

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A wayward duke must choose: will he be the bad hero in a love story gone awry, or the brave and clever hero who risks everything for true love?

The acclaimed Penhallow Dynasty series continues in this fresh, fun, funny tale!

Life's no bowl of cherries for Anthony Farr, the Duke of Radcliffe. Duty demands he remarry to provide a spare to go along with the heir — and eligible ladies keep trying to finagle him into a proposal. All he wants is to be a good father to his 8-year-old son, see the Duchess (his truly terrific pig) win first prize at the harvest fête, and stay single. Even if that makes him a Bad Duke. Maybe the Worst Duke in the World.

Then Miss Jane Kent, a long-lost relation of the illustrious Penhallow family, arrives in the neighborhood and is promptly befriended by the Duke's son. Jane, Anthony comes to realize, is smart and fun and also very kissable and dazzlingly desirable. Still, that's not enough to melt his resistance to marrying again. He made a stern promise to himself, and promises must, of course, be kept.

But what if that's just his head talking, and his heart... is saying something entirely different?

416 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 12, 2021

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About the author

Lisa Berne

11 books964 followers
Lisa Berne is a bestselling author of historical romance whose witty, heartfelt, beautifully written books are published by Avon/HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan and in translation throughout the world. Says BRIDGERTON author Julia Quinn: Lisa is “one of the most exciting new historical writers in a long time.” To learn more about Lisa and her delight in all things bookish (as revealed in her blog), you are cordially invited to visit her website, www.LisaBerne.com, and to sign up for her newsletter, too, so that you’ll never miss a new release or giveaway!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 147 reviews
Profile Image for Barbara Rogers.
1,480 reviews137 followers
January 15, 2021
Series: The Penhallow Dynasty #5
Publication Date: 1/12/21
Number of Pages: 384
** 3.5 Stars **

Well, I hardly know where to start in order to explain my rating. This was a frivolous, lighthearted read that is just the kind of thing I needed after all of the dark and grim books that this COVID pandemic seems to have generated. It was humorous and the dialogue was witty. It also had some of the most immature and silly lead characters I’ve ever read – with that applying more to the male lead than the female. I liked the characters, but I felt they were more on a maturity par with the eight-year-old than the other adults in the book. BUT – all of that said, I enjoyed the read and it was a breath of fresh air among all of the grim releases.

Miss Jane Kent shows up at the door of Surmont Hall, home of the Pehallows. Jane is shivering, shabby, emaciated, starving, and desperate. She’s there because of a letter she found – and it is her last hope. After her great-grandmother Kent passed away, Jane was all alone in the world – with no skills and no funds. She knew she couldn’t stay in their home because she had no funds, so she was cleaning out the attic to prepare for leaving when she discovered an old yellowed letter tucked inside one of her great-grandfather Kent’s pamphlets. The letter was written to Charity, her grandmother, and indicated a relationship with the Penhallow family. Jane swallowed hard, packed her very few belongings, and made her way to Surmont Hall. When Henrietta Penhallow saw Jane, she immediately recognized the family connection because Jane looked just like her grandfather, Henrietta’s son, Titus.

Anthony Farr, the Duke of Radcliffe, is definitely a different kind of duke. He wasn’t supposed to be the duke, he is different from all of the other members of his family, and his sister constantly tells him he is the worst duke in the world. He isn’t polished in his dress, he hates London, he adores his pig (Duchess) who always wins ribbons at the fete, he adores his 8-year-old son Winfield, and he absolutely, completely, and totally hates marriage. He was trapped in a loveless marriage until his wife died five years ago – it wasn’t just a loveless marriage, each of them loathed the other, but he was forced into it. Now, he is free and he never ever intends to marry again no matter what his vile-tongued sister has to say about it.

Jane becomes friends with Wakefield through the local vicar because both Jane and Wakefield are taking lessons there. Wakefield invites Jane to go home with him to meet the Duchess (the pig) and she ends up meeting Anthony as well. Anthony and Jane immediately like each other and enjoy spending time together. Jane’s feelings are steady and they grow over time – until she knows she’s in love with Anthony. Anthony, on the other hand, blows hot and cold. He smothers her with kisses one minute and treats her as a stranger the next. He continues that way until he realizes he may have lost her forever – she is in London having a season – and it turns out she is very popular and has received several proposals. Uh-Oh!

Now, for a brief comment about Margaret, Anthony’s sister. She is a gosh-awful shrew who makes everybody’s life miserable. She’s vile, hateful, and mean spirited. I just don’t understand why Anthony would continue to put up with her. He doesn’t have to. She is a widow who was kicked out of her former husband's home by the man who inherited her husband’s title. Anthony took her in and instead of being grateful, she makes life miserable for everyone. Why wouldn’t a rich, powerful duke like Anthony just provide Margaret with a small home somewhere away from him and let her live her miserable life there? I just don’t get it – and it seems a lot of authors write these kinds of characters.

Anyway, I enjoyed the read, but I just didn’t connect with the characters. Something has to be wrong when the most mature character in the book is an 8-year-old. I did love the final chapter because it did a wonderful wrap-up for all of the threads that had run through the book – as well as a lovely view of what life was like for Anthony, Jane, and Wakefield several years down the road.

If you are looking for a rather inane, fairly witty, lighthearted read, this might be just the book for you.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,691 reviews702 followers
December 27, 2020
Read to 40%, then skipped to 70% to finish, but continued to skip around.

I was unfamiliar with this series or author, but I liked the cover and the synopsis was cute.

I liked Jane and Anthony well enough. They’re good people and have a lot of potential. I did like that Jane had experience and wasn’t quite the blushing miss that’s normally in historicals. There’s a good amount of family and characters and I’m guessing the layered story might have been better if I was familiar with the previous books.

Plot wise, it was boring. There’s no chemistry between the two MCs, too much inner monologue, too much repetition. The thing with Wakefield constantly saying the wrong word and being corrected was cute a first, but became irritating.

Overall, this one just wasn’t for me. I always need banter and passion between my MCs and these two didn’t have it.

**Huge thanks to Avon for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,230 reviews1,805 followers
September 13, 2022
It started off really good with a fun single father dynamic and his 8 year old boy. It was just these two against the world and then our heroine steps in and it's the three musketeers! Exciting. Great. But then it goes into insta-love territory and our hero was a major dork who knew less than out virgin heroine about romance/seduction. And then it gets really slow and I get super bored.
Profile Image for Becky (romantic_pursuing_feels).
684 reviews384 followers
February 22, 2021
Overall: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars
Plot/Storyline: 📖📖📖📖 4 books
Emotional Depth: 💔💔💔 3 broken hearts
Romance: 💞💞💞 3 hearts
Sensuality: 🔥 1 fire
Sexual Tension: ⚡⚡ 2 lightnings
Feels: 🦋🦋🦋 3 butterflies
Sex Scene Length: 0 peaches
Number of Sex Scenes: 0 eggplants

This was my first Lisa Berne. You might get more out of this series by reading in order. I will say it was fine to pick up and read though, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. There are some small scenes with Gabriel and Olivia in them, and they are the couple from book 1 (You May Kiss the Bride).

So, Anthony is the worst duke in the world. He hates London, he never cares to marry again, he’s far from handsome, and spends his free time with a pig named Duchess. Raising his son Wakefield is one of his only purposes in life. Until Jane Kent comes along.

Jane is a long lost member of the Penhallow family. Embraced by great grandmother and welcomed into the family, she becomes a part of the duke’s neighborhood and strikes up an instant friendship with Wakefield.

Give this book a try if you are in the mood for:
- Regency time period, but in the country (1817). Some time does happen in London, but it’s a small percentage of the book
- You want your focus on the couple. There’s a few instances of family drama, but that is it.
- A humorous read. Berne has quite a few silly moments and funny lines.
- Low steam – no sex scenes, but there are kisses. Nothing too racy.
- Class differences – Jane’s parents never married and Anthony is a duke
- You like a child in the story. Anthony’s son (I believe he’s 8?), Wakefield, has plenty of page time and is just so fun!
- You want a different hero! He’s uncertain at times, he’s not drop dead gorgeous, he’s lacking confidence...more beta than alpha.

Now I went into this book with very, very low expectations. All the reviews I had seen beforehand were not super favorable. I was completely surprised when I found myself just adoring the first half of the book.

Berne has a unique writing style. I think it’s going to be a love it or hate it thing. It almost has a rambling feel, but it was quite endearing to me, like reading a diary of experiences. Her writing was quite funny. I found myself grinning and even laughing in some parts. Some parts were just so, so sweet.

I just adored Jane. Her personality was quite fun. She is such a survivor and always seemed to have a smile on her face despite her challenges she faced. But she definitely wasn’t a pushover. She could rely on herself, because she had to growing up, take care of herself. And I enjoyed that she addressed problems she had. She was my favorite character in the book.

Anthony. Well. I started to love him. In fact, the first kiss in this book is probably one of my favorites. It makes my top ten list. Is he the worst duke in the world? Well you start to think not. But then, maybe he is. If you’ve read it, let me know. But he makes some decisions I was not happy with in the latter half of the book and I was left feeling lackluster about how he makes it up to the heroine. I felt like the romance was there in the first half, the tension was there. But it definitely fizzled for me at the end sadly.

I’ll leave you with some of Anthony’s thoughts regarding his emotions about Jane. I think it captures her writing style and some of the silliness presented throughout the story.

And as the day wore on, Anthony had felt something within himself.
He was…
It took him a while to find the words. They didn’t come easily.
He was….opening up to Jane again.
Opening up to her like…
Several analogies presented themselves, one after the other.
Things that opened.
Flower-buds, eyes, bottles, books….
Doors and windows…
Gates, drawbridges, sluices, oysters…
Oysters? Anthony slide a little lower in his chair.
Comparing himself to an oyster was rather undignified, but still apt.
Because, dammit, they did open.
He smiled a little, picturing himself as the world’s largest oyster.

Locations of kisses
Profile Image for Luana ☆.
504 reviews76 followers
January 23, 2021
This was sweet. Not great but funny.
This is a rags to riches story, and I never laughed so much about food as I did in the begging of this book.
There is a child, dogs, pigs. There's a Duke whom is inexperiente with woman and had a horrible first marriage and a horrible family, so he does not want to ever get married again. He is very shy and not someone that stands out but as time passes you start liking him more and more (not that I would choose him as my book boyfriend hehehe).
The heroine just thinks about eating after spending so long with little to no food and wants to fatten up a bit.
In general not a great read, but funny enough that I gave a 3.5⭐
Profile Image for PlotTrysts.
554 reviews156 followers
January 20, 2021
This is an extremely cute, extremely low-angst book. If you like compatible, adult couples who (eventually) talk about their feelings and hopes for the future, you will probably enjoy The Worst Duke in the World. Anthony's a single dad duke who's focused on raising his son and avoiding the matrimonial traps his sister keeps setting up for him. Jane is a worldly-wise young woman who has just discovered her connection to one of the richest and most influential families in the realm. When they meet, sparks fly. The dialogue is very fun, with our main characters constantly "blithering" at each other because they are deeply infatuated. The prose mirrors the dialogue, with lengthy sentences that somehow manage to be charmingly cute instead of confusing.

Here are the reasons why this is not a five-star book for us - judge for yourself if these points would be issues for you:

1. While we do love mature, low-angst love stories, we do look for a little bit more in the plot. The Worst Duke in the World really doesn't have much happening other than a few dances and a tooth extraction. (No seriously, a tooth extraction is probably the wildest thing that happens in this book.)

2. There is a Cute Kid who provides much of what exists of the plot (it's his tooth that gets extracted). In addition, he facilitates the courtship between Anthony and Jane by proving their compatibility (they both parent the same way!) and by bringing them together (he invites Jane to lunch!). If you love Cute Kids, you may really like this portion of the book. It's not our thing though.

3. There is not very much sex. Although Anthony and Jane engage in some heavy make-out sessions and think about kissing/fondling/etc. a lot, there's no open-door sex in the novel. Their sexual histories were catnip to us (Jane is not a virgin and Anthony has only ever been with his now-deceased wife) but a great setup can only do so much when the door gets pretty firmly closed in your face.

21-Word Summaries:

Meg: Jane meets Anthony & he’s not all that cute but later she meets his kid & his pig & then she thinks he’s hot.

Laine: Is the conflict in this novel (1) her illegitimacy (2) their families hate the match (3) her former lover or (4) he's sworn off marriage?

This objective review was based on a complimentary advanced reader copy provided by NetGalley and the publisher.

Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,038 reviews804 followers
January 22, 2021
i feel i need to explain the main reasons me and this book didn't get along so... here u go

— i have never read a child who sounds less like a child and it was the most irritating thing. you want me to believe this is an 8-year old? also the thing with getting the long words wrong wasn't cute.

— anthony and jane needed more than the two scenes they were afforded to properly get to know each other before they all but decided they were in love. as it was, they had absolutely no chemistry.

— if you're going to do an about-face in the last chapter and make the viper-like sister actually nice but only the way she is because of her husband, you could at least give some hints throughout the rest of the book.

— i don't understand whatsoever the problems jane's great grandmother had with anthony, but i suppose those were the least of my worries, given the rest of it.
Profile Image for ChasingLeslie.
337 reviews48 followers
August 8, 2020
After surviving a miserable arranged marriage, Anthony Farr, Duke of Radcliffe, has no interest in entering into another marriage...no matter how many debutantes his sister parades in front of him. When Miss Jane Kent arrives at the Duke's neighboring estate and befriends the Duke’s son, Anthony struggles between his bachelorhood and his growing attraction to Jane.

This is the fifth book in the Penhallow Dynasty series. It can be read alone, but it helps to have read book one. I found these characters really refreshing! Jane was a great heroine, and I really enjoyed her relationship with Anthony's son. There was humor, warmth, and I loved how the couple's friendship and relationship developed. Why four stars and not five...? The build up didn't pay off. It was almost a clean romance, which was unexpected and disappointing; and after such a lovely story, I didn't find the ending satisfying.
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
1,984 reviews304 followers
December 18, 2020
The Worst Duke In The World
By Lisa Berne

The Worst Duke In The World is a fun read and the fifth book in the Penhallow Dynasty by Lisa Berne. This is my first book in the series and I was highly entertained by this historical romance with great characters that kept my attention and turning those pages.

Anthony Farr is the Duke of Radcliffe and once married with a son. Understandably, Anthony is quite reluctant to jump into another marriage no matter how much his sister tries and would rather live the life of a bachelor which would make him the worst duke in the world. Then comes along Miss Jane Kent - will she be able to turn him around and offer that proposal?

This was a really fun read and I did enjoyed the characters and the situation is so much more modern than I thought it would be. I love the banter, the comedic situations that had me laughing out loud. I really enjoyed this one for a fun escape read.
Profile Image for Niki (mustreadalltheromance).
1,121 reviews78 followers
March 17, 2021
Anthony Farr, the Duke of Radcliffe, is well aware of the duties that come along with the title he was never meant to inherit. He has a son already but is under immense pressure since his wife’s death to remarry and produce a spare. His meddlesome sister persists in inviting various unwed misses to his country home, but all Anthony wants is to be a good father to his son and never marry again, even if that makes him a terrible duke.

A lost relation of the esteemed Penhallow family, Jane Kent arrives in the neighborhood and her new family sets about preparing her for society. She befriends the duke’s son during their shared mathematics lessons and soon has Anthony charmed as well. But no matter that he enjoys Jane’s company and finds her desirable, Anthony refuses to go back on his word to himself that he’d never again be bound by marriage, even if his heart wants something more.

This was a sweet story with some lovely, light-hearted humor and I enjoyed the descriptions of the simple sensuality to be found in minor contact with another human. Unfortunately, it really didn’t hold my attention and I couldn’t get through much of it in one sitting. I appreciate a low angst story with a good beta hero, but while Anthony’s shyness was charming, his refusal to stand up for himself, his son, or Jane against his hateful sister was frustrating and just made him seem weak. Of course, Anthony eventually came into his own but even then, it took so long for him and Jane to come together that I lost interest all over again. I did find Mrs. Penhallow’s disdain for Anthony to be a bit far-fetched since his title, no matter how ill-suited he was to it, put him miles above Jane in social standing and he had done nothing to deserve such censure. The lightness of this story and the humor was nice but the pace was too slow to keep me interested and both main characters were too immature to compel me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog link: https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...
655 reviews2 followers
February 11, 2023
Anthony Farr, Duke of Radcliffe, doesn't want a lot out of life - he wants to be a good father to his young son, enjoy his farm, make sure Duchess - his prize pig wins first prize at the local fete, and to absolutely NOT get married again. His unhappy and determined also widowed sister Margaret is having none of it, she is constantly telling him he is the worst duke in the world, and parading a series of debutantes in front of him. Anthony just has no interest in them.

Jane Kent is left destitute in Nantwich, when her maternal Great Grandmother died. She finds a letter from a Titus Penhallow to her Grandmother Charity, and she realsises she might be related to them. When she arrives at Surmont Hall, shabby, starving and emaciated it is confirmed that her grandfather Titus was son to old Mrs Penhallow, so Jane is her Great Granddaughter, and Gabriel is Jane's Great Uncle.

Jane needs to be fed and have her wardrobe and education seen to, to be able to be confident in the society she has found herself in, so it is arranged that she will be taught by the local vicar Mr Pressley, who is also tutoring Wakefield, Anthony's son.

Cue the loveliest, most humorous and romantic fairy tale. The overly thin, frankly greedy and pretty naive Jane imagines an ermine clad and imposing sort of a duke, then meets Anthony at tea and is a little disconcerted at His appearance more closely resembling a stablehand, than in ermine. They take no notice of each other until the tea arrives, and then a duel to the end is on for the fish paste sandwiches, butter cakes and York biscuits.

"Piqued, Anthony glanced pointedly at the empty sandwich platter. It would be ungallant in him to openly accuse her of guile, subterfuge or outright thievery. Still he had Miss Kent's measure now, and the next time they had tea together he would know what to do.
He watched as Miss Kent popped the last bit of sandwich in her mouth, chewed, swallowed, and dabbed at those Provins (rose)-pink lips of hers with a napkin.
Yes indeed, he was looking forward to besting her"

The whole thing was a perfect confection of a book, where Jane, Wakefield and the duke get on like a house on fire, and in perfect charity with one another. As Jane and the Duke fall in love, Margaret tries to exclude Jane on account of her background in trade. Can Anthony avoid Margaret's marriage machinations, can Jane fatten up, and settle in and feel comfortable in her new life, will the duke's pigman trust that Jane is not there to sabotage The Duchess's chances at the local fair, and finally can Anthony let go of his unhappy past and accept his feelings and make sure he and Jane get an HEA.

I loved this, especially the interaction between Wakefield and Anthony and Wakefield and Jane. unlike a lot of other readers I loved both the characters and how they came together. Just gorgeous.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Tracy Emro.
1,752 reviews44 followers
January 6, 2021
When Jane Kent finds an old letter in a book, she has no idea how much her life is going to change. She travels to Surmont Hall to see Harriet Penhallow – the woman she believes to be her great-grandmother. Her reception at Surmont Hall is beyond her wildest dreams, the family accepts her immediately and for the first time in her life, Jane is pampered and spoiled. Old Mrs. Penhallow is ecstatic to have Jane living with her and sets out to give her the life she should have had, complete with a room of her own, a new wardrobe, and lessons with the local vicar. She is settling in and is introduced to several neighbors, including Anthony Farr, the Duke of Radcliffe. Jane has never met a duke and honestly, she is not impressed. But later when she meets his son Wakefield and visits the duke’s home – her feelings start to change and soon she is falling for him.

Anthony was born the spare to the dukedom and never thought he would inherit not only the title but his brother’s betrothed. His five-year marriage to Selina was a nightmare and the only good thing to come out of it was his son Wakefield. And despite his nasty sister Margaret’s non-stop attempts to find him a new bride, he has no plans to remarry and is content to spend his time in the country with his son, his studies, and his pig – Duchess. But then he meets Jane and for the first time in his life, he is falling in love – but as much as he enjoys Jane and her company, he holds firm to his vow to never remarry. However, when Jane leaves for a season in London he is miserable, and when he hears that she is a success and will probably marry one of the many men vying for her hand, will he finally admit his feelings and win her heart, or will it be too little, too late?

This was a quick read; it is light and fluffy and at times a bit silly. At first, I enjoyed the lightness of the book, but as the story went on, it began to annoy me. I liked Anthony and Jane and I have to agree with other reviews – they were both portrayed as very immature and almost juvenile in their interactions. I loved Wakefield and his “That’s what I said” line – truly, he was my favorite character in the book. I felt the book was going well, even with the ridiculous/annoying dialogue, until the end – then it was like the author just gave up and the last couple of chapters had a lot of narrative, but very little dialogue. I can’t say I really enjoyed the book, but I didn’t hate it, and if you are looking for a fun/silly read with likable characters, no steam love scenes, and a happy ever after – this book is for you. This is the fifth book in the series, but it can easily be read as a standalone title with no problems.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. *
Profile Image for Jewels Tate.
79 reviews
October 28, 2020
2.5 stars
I recieved this book as an arc in return for a honest review. These are my thoughts and mine alone.

This book falls under these trope categories: Rags To Riches/different stations in life/second chances. Also, This is installment #5 from the series The Penhallow Dynasty but can be read as a standalone.

I was so excited to start this book. The cover was beautifully designed, and synopsis drew me in but at 20 % I realized this book was not my cup of tea. I struggled to this finish this book. At 60% i wanted to dnf but I still wanted to give this book a chance.

This book is about Jane Kent and Anthony, Duke of Radcliffe. Their story also revolves around Anthony's son Wakefield. His little personality is cute but can get a bit overwhelming.

Anyways Jane is alone in the world, hungry, and struggling. Then one day she finds a secret letter that binds her to very wealthy and powerful family the Penhallow's. She turns out to be the great granddaughter of the older Mrs. Penhallow.

Anyways the way Jane met Anthony was funny. They meet while having tea and they start a food battle. Each trying to outdue the other.

Anthony vows to never marry again after being in a horrible arranged marriage. When he started to develop feelings for Jane, he builds a wall to protect his heart. I noticed after a few days of him feeling happy is when he gets into his moods. Its his (protect my heart) moods & when that happens he treats her as if she's not important, and gives her the cold shoulders.

She tells him she's falling in loves with him and he goes into the deep end. It takes her to leave to london in order for him to get his act together. That's when he realizes he loves her.

Reasons I felt this book was not for me:
1. Anthony is a weak person/week minded
2. The dialect and writing style did not feel like it belonged to historical romance novel
3. No Romance. I felt like the book was not romantic enough.
4. Too clean, and no steam.

I encourage everyone to try this book out. Just because I felt this way doesn't mean you will.
3,234 reviews48 followers
October 18, 2020
The Worst Duke in the World by Lisa Berne

A delightful Regency romance set not in the sparkling ballrooms of London but mostly in the countryside where a duke was more caught up in animal husbandry and his farms than the pleasures of town and a penniless young woman had reunited with her long-lost family. The side characters in this book played a big part, particularly the duke’s son, Wakefield, who was a precocious young boy.

I liked the relationship between Anthony and Jane; it was built on time spent together in mundane things that made up life in the country and talking. They had a nice banter, interspersed with inane sentences and awkward silences which showed two people less than 100% sure of themselves falling in love. Anthony was unusual in that the duke was far from the usually self-assured somewhat arrogant dukes that appear in most Regencies. He was more retiring than an alpha male but he was able to assert his authority when it was really needed. Jane was more confident in herself in the relationship and often took the lead which was a nice turnaround from most Regencies.

Sometimes the dialogue got repetitive and robotic. Also, the duke let his sister walk over him far too often. He had a close relationship with his son and it wasn't in his character to let her harangue the boy so much. There wasn't much he could do about her complaining but he did have the ability to stop her actions.

Overall, an enjoyable read that was a little different than your run-of-the-mill Regency.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sheila Samuelson .
840 reviews17 followers
February 18, 2022
Rating: 5 Stars!!
This was my first time reading a Historical Romance by this author so i wasnt sure what to expect but i enjoyed it tho i have to say if you enjoy Romance novels you might be disappointed in this one.

The Characters were so entertaining and funny especially Wakefield, while the book never mentioned how old he is, he came across to me as a funny 5-7 year old boy.

The Setting was beautifully described which made me feel like i was actually in Somerset County England in 1817 since it was so easy to picture the scenery mentioned about England.

As for the Genre part of this book, it's very deceiving that it's listed as a Romance and published by a Romance Publisher since there was NO Romance til Chapters 11-21 so if you are a fan of The Romance Genre, you will be VERY Disappointed for the first 10 chapters.

I loved this book because for me being a Historical Fiction Fan i found that this book had the right about of Historical Fiction especially when it mentioned my favorite Classic's Author and Book.

Overall a good Historical Fiction Read and Can't wait to read more by Lisa in the future!!
Profile Image for Michelle Rupe.
242 reviews20 followers
September 2, 2020
I recieved an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I had never read Lisa Berne before, but I saw this cover and it looked sweet. The heroine was smiling, and I just felt compelled to read it. Unfortunately, this book did not work for me.

Jane Kent comes to find out that she is an illegitimate relation to a good family, and since she has been struggling decides to pay a call on them. They completely welcome her with open arms, literally not one question asked or raise any concerns even though she is illegitimate, and they move her right in. She then starts studying with the Duke's son, Wakefield, at the vicarage. She develops a friendship with Wakefield, and eventually a friendship with his father, Anthony. Anthony has said that he refuses to marry again, and even though he loves Jane he pushes her away. He then decides he loves her and goes to marry her.

There was zero passion in this book, and I mean zero. I didn't feel like they couldn't live without each other, and how they were so miserable being apart. It just felt like it wasn't real. On top of that, the dialogue was so repetitive at times that I just had a hard time staying invested in their conversations. I mean, how many times can someone say "that's nice" in more than one sentence, but each person says it multiple times. I want the witty banter. I want a heroine who gives the hero a tongue lashing when he pushes her away. Jane didn't throw a fit or get angry. Jane, make me feel your pain and your anger at this man telling you that you never meant anything to him. It just was not believable that they were in love, let alone liked each other and were going to spend their lives together. On top of that, when he finally decides he loves her she lets him back in her life with zero groveling or begging. It's I'm sorry, marry me? She says maybe for a paragraph, and then she is in love again and all in. Frustrating to read that.

Wakefield was cute, but at the same time the trick of him saying something wrong and being corrected was adorable, but overdone. Too many times, and it stops being cute and starts grating on your nerves.

I really was so excited for this book, but it just wasn't for me. It was pretty cookie cutter.
Profile Image for Lori D.
3,495 reviews86 followers
September 7, 2020
I usually love stories by this author and this one did not disappoint. It was a sweet story of Anthony, Duke of Radcliff, a widow with a son, who really does not want to marry again. His sister parades endless ladies in front of him to try to get his interest.
Jane Kent, finds she is a relation to the Penhallow family and arrives at their illustrious home. She soon gets to know the son of the neighboring Duke, while studying at the vicarage and eventually the Duke himself.
A delightful story of an attraction that cannot be denied!
2,819 reviews42 followers
March 31, 2022
Loved this slow paced story about a heroine with hidden strengths. The H is a good man but his life experience is very limited, and much of it has been unpleasant. Hi son is a wonderful character and I loved how the h carefully builds her relationship with him. This is such a feel good story but it bordered on Telling rather too much, but kept my interest, but cost a star. Loved the short epilogue.
3,870 reviews7 followers
January 13, 2021
A bit of fluff.

Anthony is a duke, who spends his time with the pigman and his prize pig.
He has a son and he has vowed not to marry again.
Jane is just the one to stir things up with his vow...

At times a bit odd, a little off center and a bit of fluff.
Profile Image for Gail.
Author 29 books199 followers
August 27, 2021
Cute historical rom-com about the recently discovered great granddaughter of a wealthy woman in the neighborhood. The hero is a widowed neighboring duke who likes country living and dotes on his son and his prize pig. The language is cute. It's totally a fun read. I liked it a lot.
Profile Image for Wende.
1,091 reviews7 followers
January 13, 2021
So good

I loved Wake so much. He made this book! Anthony and Jane were such a sweet couple. I was rooting for them from the beginning. Jane was so sweet.
Profile Image for Norah Gibbons.
834 reviews8 followers
January 12, 2021
I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+. All opinions are my own. The Worst Duke in the World by Lisa Berne is the fifth book in her Penhallow Dynasty Series. It can be read as a stand-alone. The second son of a duke Anthony Farr grew up constantly being told he was a disappointment to his father, and when his older brother died, his parents married him off to his brother's betrothed. After his disaster of a marriage ended, Anthony’s main concerns as a duke are being a good father, taking care of his estate and tenants, his prize-winning pig Duchess, and never ever marrying again despite the best efforts of his older sister who invites a parade of eligible young ladies to the estate. I adored the heroine in this book Jane Kent, she’s smart, kind, brave and not afraid to stand up for herself and ask for what she wants/needs. The story has a nice balance of angst and humour, and I enjoyed it immensely, with Wakefield’s (the duke’s son) takes on Shakespeare’s story being a delight to read. Medium Steam. Publishing Date: January 12, 2021 #EdelweissPlus #TheWorstDukeInTheWorld #LisaBernes #HistoricalRomance #AvonRomance #HarperCollinsCanada #HCCFrenzy #MyBookPledge #bookstagram #bookstagrammer
Profile Image for Tamara.
405 reviews7 followers
January 27, 2021
2.5 stars. This book was amusing at times, with humorous moments and a variety of interesting characters. My big problem was that I found the hero and heroine to both be too immature and at times ridiculous. I don’t understand why after nearly starving to death Jane would risk her place with her grandmother to flirt with a stranger. And the couple’s discussion of kissing and more reads like pre-teens who don’t know what kissing is. The man has a child; he should know what to expect.

Overall, the mix of implausibility, frankly boring dialogue, and weirdly immature thoughts during their steamier scenes made me unable to really enjoy this book. It’s not the worst romance, but it is not one I would ever read again.

I have not read the previous books in the series, though I apparently own them. Maybe that would have helped, but it seems doubtful.

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher and Net Galley in return for a fair review.
Profile Image for Andrea.
1,123 reviews16 followers
April 27, 2021
This book reminds me why I'm continuing with the Penhallow books. I thoroughly enjoyed this, from the characters who always seem to really be enjoying their food to the long, elaborate, clause-ridden sentences that are a sheer delight to read. Jane has grown up in poverty far away from her Penhallow family and she is warmly received by them, fed, and given beautiful clothes and an education. Anthony, the Duke of Radcliffe, who lives in the same neighborhood as the Penhallows and has vowed never to marry again, meets Jane and is immediately intrigued by her. Anthony cares about his pigs, his property, his crops, and his eight-year-old son, who really is a delight, and watching him fall for Jane even though he tries not to is very entertaining. I loved this and will continue with the Penhallow books.
Profile Image for Shae.
2,541 reviews292 followers
January 3, 2021
3.5 star rating

So, this book started out with a lot of things I love. A rags to riches heroine, a broody hero who is a single parent, and an interesting dynamic between the couple.

Where this book kind of fell flat to me is the plot. I was honestly kind of bored reading it. This book had a lot of potential to be amazing, and just fell flat for me.

I do think this is a case of it's me, not the book. The writing was lovely. I just didn't connect with the plot enough to keep my interest very easily.
645 reviews8 followers
September 3, 2020
I liked the heroine Jane who is a poor girl who finds herself a long lost relative of a rich and powerful family. I did not like the hero, Anthony, who is a duke who takes way too long to appreciate Jane. He seemed too stupid and, I thought, was indeed not good enough for her! I received an ARC from NetGalley and Avon for my honest review.
Profile Image for Claire.
1,171 reviews11 followers
June 19, 2022
This was real annoying - the kid, the absence of emotional depth, not a single raised eyebrow about the FL background. DNF’ed.
Profile Image for Alexis The Nerdy Bruja .
719 reviews83 followers
December 30, 2020
2/5 Stars

** I received this as an E-ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, Thank you!**

I wanted to really love this book. I really loved the cover but had never read from the author before. I had no concerns about picking up a book in the middle of a series ( which was the case here). I'm not sure if that took part in my enjoyment or not. This was sadly not a book for me. I wasn't a fan of the writing style or the characters. I didn't feel like our main characters had any chemistry at all. Everything just fell dull and boring. I felt like I was missing something here but wasn't sure what I had missed. As I stated, I haven't read all the books in this series so this may be something you enjoy, it was just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Brandi Pearl Reynolds.
102 reviews4 followers
January 25, 2021
It was amusing and quite original, though sometimes the dialogue between Jane & the Duke struck me as reminiscent of Jane Eyre. Wakefield was my favorite character, he was quite endearing. The book was well-written and easy-to-read. I would recommend this book to historical romance lovers looking for something a little different.

I obtained my copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway and I appreciate the opportunity to read & review it.
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