Judging Duke (Liverpool Boys Series Book 4) by Alex J. Adams

A former friends turned enemies to lovers romance. Judging Duke is book 4 of the Liverpool Boys series from Alex J Adams and shows only moving forward and not letting your past dictate you can lead to true love and happiness.

From the blurb:


Life is good.

It didn’t used to be.

Shame, prostitution, abuse - you name it, I knew about it.

I finally felt I could move on, and get my life back on track. I had a stable job and a very healthy sex life. Then he sauntered in, large as life, and everything went to the wall.

Old feelings reared their head and I couldn’t forget him, no matter how hard I tried.

I hated him. Loathed him. So why did I want him so badly?


Life is good.

It didn’t used to be.

Guilt, depression, anxiety - I knew all about it.

I was doing well. A thriving business, bucketloads of cash, and finally, a light at the end of the tunnel.

But a chance meeting and he’s back in my life again, sending everything into a tailspin.

I hated him. Loathed him. So why was that kiss all I could think about?

When Duke and Simon meet again sparks fly. First hate, then lust. Can they finally put the past behind them and move on together? Will Simon ever stop judging Duke for the mistake he made?

Judging Duke is the fourth and final book in the Liverpool Boys series. Enemies to lovers, this is a darker romance with a HEA. Can be read as a standalone.

Rogue's review:

- Series
- enemies to lovers
- best friend's brother
- second chance

This is the final of the Liverpool Boys series, and while it does feature some recurring characters, and Duke has appeared before, this can be read as a standalone.

Simon and Duke meet after years apart, their lives both having taken very different turns after an accident years ago to Simon's brother that he blames on Duke. That also changed the path of Duke's life too, and not for the better. I will admit that at the start I struggled to like either Simon or Duke, Duke I thought was arrogant and more than a little overbearing, and I wasn't a fan of Simon's violent tendencies.

However, as the story went on, the character of both guys developed quite nicely and once I found out more about both, I was really rooting for the two of them. They absolutely hate each other at the start, and there's lots of delicious hate making out for them, because their chemistry is absolutely off the scale. They grow together very well as the story goes on and I enjoyed their story immensely.

While I'd say this is a slow-ish burn, it's also Alex's hottest book so far. These two can't keep their hands off each other once they start, they fairly scorch the pages. I also think this is the best book she's written so far, it seems each book is better than the last because I couldn't put this one down once I started.

I'm sad to see the end of the Liverpool Boys stories, but excited to see where Alex goes from here.

Molly Otto's review:

One night will forever change the course of these once friends to years of heartache from a past they can't move from. Duke left for a fear he couldn't move past. This event left him to become one of the Liverpool Boys. Simon blames Duke for the accident that hurt his brother and caused him to take a path to support his crumbling family. When they meet again, the tension is palpable, but Barbara, a dear friend of Dukes, sees something more. The lovely lady causes them to have to see who they are now, not who they once were. They don't have an easy journey, but once it clicks the way, it should be they are beautiful together. An enemies to lovers romance that you can see the change as it happens, making it all the more believable. My only issue was some of the early interactions of them finding each other again, which is why I dropped half a star, but the later parts more than made up with this minor annoyance in the beginning.

SNik's review:

Fourth in series (Liverpool Boys), series finales, but can be read as a standalone. Adversarial to lovers. Second chance. Former best friend’s brother. POC representation. Slow burn. Dual POV. Heed content warnings.

One mistake fifteen years ago changed the trajectory of more than just Duke and Simon’s lives, but they’ve both struggled and now they are crossing paths once again. Trying to live his best life, Duke is a highly sought after masseur, and running into Simon who is now a famous porn star is entirely unexpected. It takes a while for a reconciliation, but their chemistry is still strong, and each of them recognize something worth pursuing with each other.

I wish there had been more of Duke and Simon getting to know each other as they are now, as the reader gets to see each man’s motivations and insecurities; it would have been more emotional if they shared with each other more. Overall an entertaining read and I am truly sad that this series is over.

Judging Duke is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription