Review: A Beauty for the Scarred Duke by Bridget Barton

Print Length: 503 pages
Publisher: Bridget Barton (September 17, 2017)

From As young girls, Lady Isabella Tate, daughter of the Earl of Upperton, and her friend, Esme, told each other terrifying tales of the monster. But not just any monster. This monster was alive and living in his old mansion behind a tangle of overgrown hawthorn trees in the very same county. This monster was none other than Elliot Covington, the Duke of Caldwell.
The Duke of Caldwell, scarred for life in a fire which claimed the lives of those dearest to him has been hiding in his mansion for almost eighteen years. He knows he is a figure of fear and speculation in the county and chose many years before to live a life of self-imposed isolation. But he is the loneliest Duke in all of England. When the Earl of Upperton sells his daughter off as a bride for the disfigured Duke, Isabella has never been more terrified. Due to marry a man she has never met and always believed to be a monster, she truly believes her life is over.
But is life with the Duke really something to be afraid of? Will Isabella be able to get past her own prejudice and see the man beneath the scars? And will the Duke be able to let go of the pain and guilt that has swallowed him whole for almost two decades and find a new life with a new love?

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for a story that features flawed characters - either physically or emotionally. So I was SOLD by the premise of this story. It even started off strong, albeit slightly unbelievable. And then it just kind of... stalled. 

It felt like the characters were never really entirely fleshed out. And instead of meaningful character or story development we got page after page of "Elliot would't face her head on" or "Elliot kept the scarred version of his face averted". The female of our story, as I loathe to call her a heroine, wasn't much better. It seemed like she had no backbone or thought of her own. She couldn't seem to come up with an idea or a plan unless it was suggested to her by someone else. 

The whole story was more them dragging their heels, supposedly falling in love without giving any cause to have done so, and seemingly random roadblocks thrown in their paths. One of the biggest letdowns of this entire story was the mention of an annulment. Acting as though it wouldn't in some way, harm the reputation of Isabella. 

Don't get me wrong it had it's moments, however I feel like it could have been vastly improved if we had a little more depth to the characters. 

Overall, I do believe this story may still appeal to those who enjoy slightly unconventional historically romance novels. I would read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


A Beauty for the Scarred Duke is available from

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