The Forgotten Duke

Diamonds In The Rough Book 5

Romance - Historical
388 Pages
Reviewed on 10/21/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

USA Today Bestselling Author, Sophie Barnes, has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places around the world. Born in Denmark, 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 the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses. While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family. She currently lives on the East Coast.

The Forgotten Duke is the first self-published book in the Diamonds In The Rough series where at least one of the main characters in each story is an outsider with a questionable past who eventually becomes part of London's elite. Since beginning the series with A Most Unlikely Duke, I knew Carlton, the "villain" would one day have his own story and I was excited to write it because of the challenge he posed as an anti-hero. My goal here was to show how misunderstood a person can be and that things aren't always as simple as they may seem. Gradually, with Regina's help, Carlton reveals the past that made him the man he is - a character deserving of sympathy and understanding in spite of the dangerous persona he presents to the world.

Print available at B&N. Print coming to Amazon in January.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maureen Dangarembizi for Readers' Favorite

The Forgotten Duke: Diamonds In The Rough, Book 5 is a historical romance by Sophie Barnes. The year is 1820 in London, England. Eighteen-year-old Lady Regina Berkly knew she’d have to one day marry for advantage and possibly find love later. But her dreams are dashed when her father, the Earl of Hedgewick, arranges a sudden marriage for her with a cripple. The marriage would be advantageous but a future disaster, no matter how she looks at it. Left with no choice, she defies her parent and runs into the slums and into the arms of Carlton Guthrie, the Scoundrel of St Giles. The man has a wicked reputation, no doubt with good reason. But Regina has few options if she’s to avoid an unhappy marriage. It comes as a surprise when Guthrie offers her his assistance.

Sophie Barnes is a talented author who brings romance to brilliant life in this historical novel. There is nothing like an anti-hero who struggles with doing the right thing. Guthrie has this twenty-year-old vendetta that he’s sacrificed so much for. The last thing he wants is to fall in love with the enemy’s daughter. I had some hilarious moments as Guthrie’s crew did some unorthodox matchmaking. I really loved the secondary characters and the sub-plot that came with them. Lady Regina wasn’t a silly heroine but the kind of girl with reckless courage. She digs and digs until she finally uncovers Guthrie’s golden core. For anyone looking for an intense and absorbing romance, The Forgotten Duke is the book for you.


This novel was a very enjoyable read by Ms. Barnes. While most of the novel centers on Carlton Guthrie seeking revenge on the Earl of Hedgewick, there is so much more to it, including the relationship that builds between him and Regina and a mystery about missing girls. Regina has always been obedient to her parents, becoming the perfect wife for a duke and knowing her duty. However, she runs away from her own wedding to a duke, for she could not bear to marry someone she could not love. Carlton "comes" to her rescue and knows this is the perfect way to begin his revenge upon her father. Yet, what he could not predict was the feelings that would develop between them. Regina knows Carlton is the Scoundrel of St. Giles, yet she cannot help but want to know him. She sees the good things he does, even though she is very uncomfortable about people he has killed. However, as she gets to know him, the more she begins to understand his motives and what he stands for. Carlton sees a woman he cannot have, but is unlike any other woman he has ever met, which creates conflict between revenge and the life he craves.


Carlton Guthrie, the Scoundrel of St. Giles, encounters a runaway bride, he offers to help her. Not out of kindness, but because she's the Earl of Hedgewick's daughter.When I started reading I couldn't put it down.Sophie Barnes is magnifysent and amazing writer.I cannot wait to read more of there books.Keep up the great work.You should definitely read this book.Can't wait for the next book.


The Forgotten Duke is a clever sexy Regency era story featuring an extremely innocent runway bride and a scoundrel...or is Carlton really what he says he is? This book has secrets and a mystery to reveal that should delight readers of the genre. Along the way, Lady Regina learns that what appears on the surface might not always be the truth.. It was a fun read. I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book from NetGalley.


I was lucky enough to win this book and I am so happy I did. I really enjoyed this book. It's the first time I've read one of Ms. Barnes's books but it won't be the last. The Forgotten Duke was an easy read but it did have a few twists and turns that added fun to the book. I suggest that you read this book and you won't be sorry!

Sue's Romance Reviews

Lady Regina Berkly lives the charmed life. Her sole purpose to become an accomplished lady. And she is that and more. The one last requirement is to marry well. She understood her obligation to marry well and had no illusions that love wold play a part in her marriage.

But when she finally meets her groom for the first time, the day before they are to be married, she realizes that she wants more from her marriage and flees.

Carlton Guthrie is the Scoundrel of St. Giles. He has made a name for himself by being ruthless and cunning. He also lives for revenge.

When he helps Regina, he finds out she is related to the man he was sworn vengeance on for two decades. This is basically all he has ever lived for and will use Regina to further his agenda. That is until he realizes he wants something more.

Can a lady and a scoundrel find a happily ever after? Or is it asking too much?

This story starts off slow and I was beginning to wonder where it was headed. It’s a slow burn and the romance between the main characters takes time to heat up.

But, OMG!. I’m so glad I persisted because this book became phenomenal! The mystery and the angst had me agog and at the edge of my seat. Once the passion boiled over, it burned up the pages.

Guthrie is tormented and has a need for revenge. He’s as vicious as he is kind. He also has on heck of a past that made him into who and what he is today. But, Regina brings out his kindness more and more.

He knows he is not good enough for her and that they cannot have a future. But, day by day, step by step, she brings out the man he was meant to be. Protective kind and caring. He is such a badass sweetheart!

This is a spectacular read that I enjoyed thoroughly! Although I think it could have benefited from a bit more steam between the couple, it was simply amazing as is!

I received an ARC via NetGalley of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Thank you netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was a decent historical romance. Regina escapes an undesirable marriage and falls into the arms of a underground criminal. Carlton falls for her innocence and charm despite using her for his revenge against her father. They work through their differences and fall helplessly in love. Well written and charming.

Natalie - Kiss and let me tell you

Y'all, "The Forgotten Duke" let me tell you-

I'm a total judger of books by their covers. This is my first Sophie Barnes novel because (brace yourself) I don't like the font on her more recent book covers. It's too thin. I'm glad I took the high road and looked past the font (and the hero's peach fuzz cuz he can't even grow it) and read this book. Because I very much enjoyed it.

I liked the first half of the book but found it lacked a sharp, underlying intensity. The right words were there but that acute emotion that you find with Julia Anne Long and Sarah MacLean was absent for me. However, once I reached the top of the bell curve, I definitely started to feel much more emotionally engaged with the characters. I was hooked and read the book in two days. A lot happens in this book. It moves quickly but with detail that I loved and tells a bigger story besides reaching the HEA.

Our hero, Carlton Guthrie, is basically a rich, St. Giles version of Boondock Saints without the adorable Irish name. (Personally, "Guthrie" doesn't roll off the tongue easily. I feel like a "Guthrie" should be a hearing impaired heritage Butler who slips kids candy behind Dearest Darlingest Momsies and Popsicles backs.)

Carlton lacks the ruthlessness you seen in Charming Mickey from Elizabeth Holt's Scandalous Desires. He says things like "thank you" an awful lot which seems out of place in his position of cold-blooded criminal. He never came across as intimidating - until he did. Don't worry-he proves his rank.

And I'm so okay with it. Regina is our 18 year old Heroine. I have really been appreciating the older Heroine's that we've been seeing lately in some of the more recent releases, so I just pretended she was older. The first half of the book she's a little squishy for me, but I really grew to love her. She very firmly stands up for/with Carlton and what she believes is right for her. I appreciate her moment of panic on the ship- usually the H/H are always the strong one so it was nice to see this very human trait in our Heroine.

I'm super happy with the journey I took with Soph in this book. I'm definitely intrigued by the last chapter and plan on following the series!

Alrighty, they've kissed and I've told you about it!

Martine Francois

The Forgotten Duke is book 5 in the diamonds in the rough series by Sophie Barnes and in opinion the slowest paced book of all the series. I think that this is due to her attempt at building up the mystery of the disappearing women from Carlton Guthrie’s establishment and not because the book is not phenomenal.

Lady Regina becomes a runaway bride when she is being made to marry the Marques of Stokes, slated to become the Duke of Windham. He turns out to be nothing but a child without much to impress on a young lady nor much mobility due to his disability. She speaks with him and tries to be kind but she knows that she can not spend her life and make a future for herself with him no matter how dutiful a daughter she has been in the past. She decides to run away and is accosted while traveling in St Giles and is saved by the infamous gaming hell owner Carlton Guthrie.

It becomes quickly clear to Regina once he starts to be kind to her and looking out for her comfort and needs that Carlton being known as the scoundrel of St Giles though a well deserved title stems from a bigger mystery. Before this little adventure Regina had never lived, she has always done what was expected and not put her needs first. She did not even have hopes of a love match. Poor Regina just wanted at least a comfortable union with her perhaps the love and care of the heirs she knew it would have been her duty to provide. So she finds in the gaming hell a chance to explore life and discovers Carlton to be a man of principles and not a ruthless killer as rumored. At this point in Regina’s life it even begins to look as if he may be a man of better principles then perhaps her own father the Earl of Hedgewick who turns out by the books end to be a sore disappointment of a human being.

Once the characters are built up a few chapters in you find yourself drawn in and completely enthralled. You worry for the disappearing girls from the gaming hell and the issues of human trafficking and sex crimes rears it’s ugly head. Also you want to know why Carlton wants revenge so badly against the earl that he was at first willing to fight falling in love with Regina. The depth of emotions and volatility of anger, love and hate puts you in the thick of it as you read and feel for the characters. As with all the other books in the series, there is pain, discoveries about oneself and laughter as the characters interact and the book comes to culmination.

I really feel terrible for Marcus and hope that he perhaps gets his own story because he deserves not to suffer because of his parents misdeed. I think it’s bad enough he is now striped of his title and set adrift while his sister has found love. Since he now has a powerful family ally in the Duke of Windham perhaps he will be alright.

I received a complimentary download of this book on NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are completely my own and sincerely given.