Book Review: Don’t Judge a Duke by His Cover by Emily EK Murdoch

Don’t judge a duke by his cover by Emily EK Murdoch

This isn’t the first book by the author that I’ve read.

The last one was The Impoverished Dowry, which was also courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher!

She’s a prolific writer with close to 90 titles under her belt! Don’t Judge a Due by His Cover is her first book in the Dukes in Danger series. It’s 242 pages long and came out today! This book, like all her others (I think) is available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers, and available for purchase for $0.99 as an ebook. The next book in the series, Strike While the Duke is Hot, is available for preorder as well and will be out on the 24th of March!

Book Review:

Weirdly enough, despite all the stupid things our heroine does in the book I enjoyed reading it. Yes, of course, as a member of the ton you wouldn’t be ashamed of who you are. She doesn’t register for one moment when Lawrence comes over dressed up and able to understand Latin and use the 4 different spoons that he may be hiding something. She’s a bit too caught up in her own feelings and head to understand that. She also accepts every possible explanation he gives her and honestly reminds me a lot of some people who saw massive red flags and were like that’s just pretty.

Which leads to my biggest concern in the book; there was just far too much rebellion, and stupid rebellion, to be believable. You’ve attended one boxing match with your brother, but how are you able to, as a woman in those times, sneak out this much and never be caught or seen? How is there absolutely no danger until that one last time when we need a scene for reconciliation? How does Julia think that Lawrence is punching a man and not telling her why because her brother told him to stay away from her and Lawrence thinks this is the best strategy? Lastly, perhaps this was explained but for the life of me I cannot remember why John Mortimor killed Lawrence’s brother and why he’s a traitor to the crown. There was also no active search on Lawrence’s part to find the man, unless you count boxing. One would imagine that they’d be some other search going on, trying to build up a network or friends to find the man, but no.

That being said, I liked Lawrence who was doing his best to cover up his identity (while slipping up with her) and also boxing and adapting to the new circumstances. I enjoyed reading his point of view. I was a bit worried about how Julia’s mom wasn’t able to recognise him; he is a duke and she surely must’ve scoped him out as a potential for Julia.


Lawrence, Duke of Penshaw, is undercover and getting punched on a daily basis.

Devastated by the murder of his brother by a traitor to the Crown, Lawrence agrees to leave his identity as Duke behind to go undercover at an illegal boxing ring in London. He’s waiting for the killer to return from France, and absolutely must not get distracted. Especially by a beauty from Society who absolutely should not be here.

Julia Dryden knows her mother would be scandalized by her presence at the boxing matches—it flies in the face of their agreement for her to choose a husband by Easter. After all, she isn’t getting any younger.

But her eye is caught by a tall, handsome man who gives everything in the ring and seems to have no fear of danger.
From two different worlds—but not the ones she thinks—Julia has no idea the man she’s falling in love with is not a common rogue.

And Lawrence has to keep it that way for if he loses focus, just for a moment, he may lose everything.

The chance to catch a killer, put a traitor behind bars, revenge his brother…and Julia’s heart.

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