Author: Lenora Bell

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

What a Difference a Duke Makes starts Lenora Bell’s School for Dukes series off with a bang. I have enjoyed every single book that I’ve read by Lenora Bell and after finishing this book, my enjoyment of her books hasn’t stopped.

Edgar Rochester is the Duke of Banksford and he has two kids out of wedlock that he just found out about and is now caring for. But he’s much too busy building a steam engine empire to care for them so he needs a governess to teach and care for them when he’s not around. The problem with that is his children have run off more governesses than he’d care to admit so finding one that will stick is proving to be difficult.

Miss Mari Perkins is out on her ear with no references and in desperate need of a job. She was promised a governess job but when that falls through, she hears about another job and uses her wiles to steal that job right from under her would be employer’s nose. Her plan is to dazzle her new employer, the Duke of Banksford with her awesome governessing skills that he’ll want to keep her on when the other shoe drops.

Neither Edgar or Mari was expecting the fierce attraction that bursts between them but when Mari starts proving herself to be a capable governess that the children have warmed up to, Edgar can’t turn her away. Keeping their space from each other seems to be the only way to go about this but the heart will always want what the heart wants and theirs want each other.

I really enjoy Lenora Bell’s writing style and this book was more proof that she can write the heck out of a story. Being a part of Edgar and Mari’s (rhymes with starry, hehe) romance was great fun. Their chemistry was strong and the other characters were pretty fabulous, too. I thoroughly enjoyed the shenanigans that the twins got into and I loved seeing their relationship blossom with their father but also with Mari. Their actions in the end melted me and I loved seeing Mari really grow into her own over the course of the story. I was super thrilled when she found out all about her family.

Overall, this was a wonderful historical romance that made me happy. I cannot wait to read India and Ravenwood’s book because I’m confident that they’ll keep the party going. Kudos to Lenora Bell on winning me over with yet another fabulous historical romance. What a Difference a Duke Makes is not to be missed.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted March 26, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellReviewer: Tracy
What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

Mari is desperate.  She’s traveled to London to take a post as a governess but on her way she stops to help a child from getting hit by a carriage and ends up being late to the agency.  The lady who runs the governess agency tells her in no uncertain terms that if she can’t be on time then she doesn’t deserve a post and kicks her out.  She has very little money and nowhere to go so when she overhears another governess has quit a position because of the unruly children Mari decides that she’s the woman for the job.  She heads to the duke’s house but tells him she’s from Mrs. Trilby’s Agency Superior Governesses (which she’s not) and that she’s more than qualified to be his children’s governess (which she’s not) but manages to secure the position anyway.

Mari loves the duke’s children and manages to thwart their unruly ways in no time.  She also thinks the duke is a lovely man and loves spending time with him as well.  She would like to be with the duke but as she has no idea who her parents were she knows that their stations in life would not allow such a thing.  She’s not only in London to earn a wage, she’s also there to find out who her parents were.

This was a lovely story.  I really liked Mari, despite her impertinence.  She was raised in an orphanage and frankly I could see how the director wouldn’t like her too much only because she couldn’t hold her tongue.  I, however, enjoyed it tremendously.  I thought she was funny and smart and knew just what to do to take care of the duke’s children. I also loved that she didn’t care at all that they were illegitimate, as the previous governesses had.  She was just a gem and I could see how the duke was attracted to her.

The duke was a bit of a curmudgeon at first but he slowly thawed toward Mari as the book went on. He’s had a rough life and held himself back because of it.  I was happy when he finally allowed himself to love Mari because I truly think she was the best thing for him.

This is the first book in a new series by Bell and I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the books in this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted March 25, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I read my first book by Lenora Bell last year and when I finished, I started on my second book by her immediately after and then I started my third book directly after that. I enjoyed her The Disgraceful Dukes series a lot so I’m looking forward to trying out this new one.

The first book in her School for Dukes series comes out on Tuesday and we’re over the moon to be featuring What a Difference a Duke Makes here on the blog today.

Sunday Spotlight: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellWhat a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1), What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

“Are you happy, Miss Perkins?”

“Very happy. The sea is more spectacular than I ever imagined.”

“Isn’t it?” Adele picked up a speckled gray rock, smoothing it with her finger. “But there’s one thing missing, isn’t there?” She avoided Mari’s eyes, staring at the rock instead.

Mari shaded her eyes with her hand and looked over the horizon, where the sea met the sky.

“Yes,” she said, “I wish your father were here as well but he’s very busy right now with his steam engines. He’s going to build an engine that will fight even the worst fires and save many lives.”

He’d said he hadn’t been back to Southend since the fire that claimed his house, and nearly claimed his life.

The painful memory had kept him away for so many years. She couldn’t help thinking that if he had come with them it might have helped bury the dark memories for good.

“You smile more when Father is near,” said Adele, throwing the rock toward the sea.

“Do I?” Mari replied, flustered.

Adele nodded. “What’s Father’s real name?”

“Edgar,” Mari said, her voice catching.

Adele hopped up and grabbed a sharp stick of driftwood.

“E-D-G-A-R. . .” she wrote with the stick, etching his name into the damp sand.

She surveyed her handiwork. “Edgar,” she spoke. “Yes, it sounds like him. Hard around the edges but with a promising ahhh in the middle.”

Adele was definitely going to be a poetess.

“What’s your first name?” Adele asked Mari.

“Mari. Like Mary, but with an i.”

Adele spelled out Mari in the sand next to Edgar.

Michel approached and took the stick from Adele. He gave Mari a devilish grin and drew a heart around both of their names.

“Why did you do that?” Mari asked.

“Because you belong together,” shouted Michel, already running away.

Adele chased after him and they both disappeared behind a jagged outcropping of rocks.

Edgar and Mari, written in crooked, childish script and bordered by a lopsided heart.

Mari rose, intending to sweep the names away, but something stopped her. The words danced in her vision and a sharp-edged thought scratched at her mind.

If Edgar was learning to care for his children . . . could he learn to care for her?

Because she didn’t just love these intelligent, inquisitive children. She cared for their father as well.

She reached down and lifted a conch shell to her ear. She had a secret to whisper into the shell’s dark interior. “I’m falling in love with Edgar,” she announced.

She lifted the shell to her ear. No answer except the roaring of her own blood pounding in her ears.

“I know it’s a thoroughly impractical thing to do,” she told the shell. “I know it will end badly and I’ll be hurt. But do I really even have a choice?”

Of course the lonely governess tumbled madly in love with the handsome duke. It happened all the time in the novels she read.

It was happening to her right now.

Awww, how cute is this scene? I’m super stoked about the release of this book. Enjoy!

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Lenora Bell

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. She grew up in a small Alaskan town that still has no traffic lights and she blames those long, dark winters for turning her into a lifelong bookworm. She has lived and worked on five continents but can currently be found in an old farmhouse in the Pacific Northwest with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. In 2014 she won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award for Best Historical and her first Regency romance was published by Avon Books in 2016.


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell

Posted May 19, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #2
Also in this series: How the Duke Was Won, Blame It on the Duke, How the Duke was won
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

After three failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl, or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.

The duke ruined her plans and he’ll just have to fix them.

Garrett, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage—he uses dalliances and public spectacle to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart . . . and he’s losing it to Thea.

I was mighty curious about this book because it featured the drunken friend of the hero from the first book and the woman that the heroine of the first book pretended to be. I didn’t know what to expect since Dorothea had such a small part in How the Duke was Won and while I knew that I was going to love Dalton, I wasn’t prepared for how much I was going to love him.

I loved him a lot.

So this book follows James’ friend, the Duke of Osborne as he finds his happily ever after with the real Lady Dorothea Beaumont. You see, Garrett (the guy we know as Dalton from How the Duke was Won) knows all about who Lady Dorothea is. He knows that with her mother’s help, she tried to trick his friend into marrying her and he’s not a fan of hers at all. Lady Dorothea has plans that don’t include snatching up a titled gentleman for husband. She wants to retire to her Aunt’s estate in Ireland and all she has to do is get through one more season without a marriage proposal. Everything was going swimmingly until he danced with her. After that waltz, Dorothea was whisked out of the shadows and into the spotlight. She’s got gentlemen callers and while her mother is thrilled at her instant rise to popularity, Dorothea is pissed. All of her plans to retire to Ireland are in jeopardy and it’s all Osborne’s fault. Dorothea’s mind is made up and Osborne is going to be the one to fix the pickle she’s found herself in. He is going to escort her to her Aunt’s estate pronto.

Osborne thought he was doing the woman a favor. She wasn’t going to get anywhere sitting in the shadows of every ballroom. She wasn’t going to find a husband and if he got a little thrill out of embarrassing her, he figures that’s what she gets for misleading his best friend. Nobody is more surprised than Osborne is when Dorothea shows up at his house and demands that he escorts her to Ireland. He doesn’t have time for a shrew dodging his every step and since he was already on his way to Ireland, Garrett finds himself taking Dorothea with him. He’s got plans and things to do and Dorothea is not included in any of that but over the course of the trip, plans change and Dorothea becomes a lot more important to him than he imagined.

What a fun book this turned out to be. I already loved Dalton before but I really enjoyed Dorothea’s character. The chemistry between Garrett and Dorothea was off the charts and their romance hit all of my love buttons so of course I was a happy camper.

Lenora Bell cemented a spot for herself on my auto buy author list with this book and I’m so glad that I finally took a chance on this new to me author. Her romances are charming, fun and her characters are colorful and full of life. This was a great story with fantastic dialogue and characters that wormed their way right into my heart and stayed. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a charming historical romance full of love and laughter.

Grade: 4.5 out uof 5

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell

Posted May 9, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: How the Duke was Won by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
How the Duke was won by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #1
Also in this series: How the Duke Was Won, Blame It on the Duke, If I Only Had a Duke
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.

Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]
* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.

How the Duke was Won is the first book that I’ve read by Lenora Bell and it won’t be the last. It’s also the first book in the Disgraceful Dukes series. I’ve heard great things about this series and after my sister read and enjoyed it, I figured it was about time I read it for myself. I’m glad that I did because James and Charlene were a fabulous couple!

This book follows James, the Duke of Harland and he needs a wife. Someone that he can knock up with his heir so that he can go back to what he loves (make chocolate for hot chocolate). He didn’t want the title of Duke and he certainly doesn’t want wife, or love. So the quickest way that he can think to get back to his life of making chocolate is by hosting a party and only inviting four potential brides so that he can pick one of them then be on his merry way.

Charlene is the bastard child of an earl and nobody is more surprised when her father’s wife shows up at her house to offer her a job that will bring a whole lot of money her way. The money is welcome as she’s tired of struggling to pay the bills and all she’d have to do is pose as her half-sister, the legitimate daughter, Lady Dorothea. If she can pretend to be her, make the duke choose Dorothea as his bride then she’ll walk away with more money than she ever hoped to have.

There was a whole lot of shenanigans going on at this party and even though the beginning dragged a bit, I enjoyed the story as a whole. I enjoyed getting to know both Charlene and James. I enjoyed Alice and I really enjoyed Dalton. Lenora Bell wrote a charming historical romance that really gathered storm as the story progressed and it was a lot of fun. I’m so glad that I took a chance on this new to me author and I definitely recommend her stuff to anyone wanting a solid historical romance.

Both James and Charlene were fun and the chemistry between them steamed up my kindle so they get no complaints from me. I couldn’t wait to jump into the next book so that should say something. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,