About the Book:
Title: Never a Duke
Author: Grace Burrowes
Series: Rogues to Riches #7
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Synopsis: Despite having humble origins and a criminal past, Ned Wentworth has learned to dress, waltz, and express himself as elegantly as any lordling. When Lady Rosalind Kinwood’s maid goes missing, her ladyship turns to Ned, precisely because he still has friends in low places and skills no titled dandy would ever acquire, much less admit he possesses.
Rosalind is too opinionated and too intelligent, and has frequently suffered judgment at polite society’s hands. In the quietly observant Ned Wentworth, she finds a man who actually listens to her and who respects her for her outspokenness. As the search for the missing maids grow more perilous, Rosalind and Ned will have to risk everything—including their hearts—if they are to share the happily ever after that Mayfair’s matchmakers have begrudged them both.
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After reading the other books in the Rogues to Riches series, I was really curious about Ned’s story. Ned was introduced in previous books, and I always liked his character. Of course, I was eager to learn more about him, so I jumped at the chance to read this. In this story, Ned meets Lay Rosalind, who enlists his help finding several missing maids.
Rosalind is so different from the typical women Ned meets, and he finds her refreshing. Smart, self-assured, and willing to share her opinions no matter how unwelcome they are, Rosalind is devoted to many different causes, and Ned’s strong and liberal opinions very much coincide with hers. Ned asks Rosalind her opinions and thinks about what she says, wants, and needs. This is not something she generally experiences with the men in her life. Constantly ridiculed and insulted by her brothers and father, Rosalind has had a difficult childhood. I think this is why she is so taken by Ned’s thoughtful, kind, and supportive nature. The men she cares for have never treated her like a respected equal, and the more time she spends with Ned and his family, the more she sees how wrong her treatment has been.
Ned spends much of his life trying to be the person he thinks others want him to be. Proud and hard-working, he has made a name for himself in the Wentworth banking business. Though part of and wholly loved by the Wentworth family, he is constantly trying to prove himself to them. Ned needs to accept himself, but he struggles with guilt and trauma from the past. Ned is a good and honorable man who doesn’t see his own worth, and I love how Rosalind helps him through his emotional issues.
Ned and Rosalind have a wonderful romance. Something I really like about their love story is how honest they are with each other. They are not playing at anything, and there is no miscommunication. They both are pretty upfront in their feelings, and though there isn’t a lot of angst in their relationship, it progresses nicely and has many romantic moments. Outside obstacles stand in their way, especially Rosalind’s terrible father, Ned’s insecurities, and social expectations, but Ned and Rosalind are always honest and sincere with each other, which I loved!
The story is a romantic suspense, and the mystery behind the missing maids is intriguing with a few surprising twists and turns. This storyline, as well as Ned and Rosalind’s backstories, bring to light many of the issues that plagued England at the time including social disparities, prejudice, sex trafficking, poverty, illiteracy, abuse, and more.
This is the seventh book in the Rogues to Riches series, and though it could be read as a standalone, many of the characters from previous books in the series have prominent roles in this book, so I think readers would benefit from reading the other books first. There is some context provided, but I feel like it would be easy to become confused with the plethora of people and relationships introduced. That being said, this is a great read for people who enjoy historical romances with dynamic characters, a bit of intrigue, and a wonderful love story. Thanks so much to Forever Publishing and NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance!
- The intrigue!
I want to celebrate you.
We will talk more about your ambitions, because if they matter to you, they matter to me.
When common sense approaches sedition, the nation has reached a sorry pass.
You make me brave enough to grow past what holds me back.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical romance or romantic suspense.