Series: The Disgraceful Dukes

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
Genres: Historical, Romance
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

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
Genres: Historical, Romance
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

Review: Blame it on the Duke by Lenora Bell

Posted May 4, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Blame it on the Duke by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
Blame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #3
Also in this series: How the Duke Was Won, How the Duke was won, If I Only Had a Duke
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Have you heard? The future Duke of Barrington has just been gambled away by his father. To an heiress!The delicious details thus far...

Nicolas, Lord Hatherly, never intended to marry—nor add to the “mad” Hatherly line—but now he must honor his father’s debt to a social-climbing merchant or lose the family estate.

A notoriously wild marquess, won by her father at a game of cards, is the very last thing Miss Alice Tombs wants. She’s spent the last three seasons repelling suitors in spectacular fashion so she’d be at liberty to explore the world. She’ll just have to drive this one away as well.
Until Nick proposes an utterly tempting arrangement: one summer together to prove the legitimacy of their union, then Alice is free to travel while Nick revels in the time he has left before the Hatherly Madness takes hold.

It will be easy to walk away after a few months of make-believe wedded bliss—won’t it? Alice and Nick are about to find out...one sultry night at a time.

This ought to be fun . . .

I have been looking forward to reading Alice’s book ever since I met her in book 1, How the Duke was Won and she went on and on about being a vegetarian. Her shenanigans were definitely memorable and I was thinking about how far she was likely to come from those days when I started this book. I don’t know why I was surprised that she was being paired up with Nick since this series follows all of the disgraceful Dukes and he was definitely one of those but I was a little surprised.

Nick is known around London for his completely inappropriate parties that he hosts at his house with his crazy father running amock. Nick and his friends love entertaining themselves with strippers and naughty dance shows. Their parties are filled to the brim with all sorts of wickedness and he wouldn’t have it any other way. When his father comes home and announces to a roomful of gentlemen trying to enjoy a show that he has gambled Nick away to an heiress and Nick will marry her pronto, Nick is floored.

The very last thing that Alice wants is a husband. Especially one that is forced on her, no matter how handsome he is. She’s spent so much time making herself as unbecoming as she can to chase away potential suitors so that she can travel that she’s furious when her Dad announces her engagement. She longs to travel to India to present some work on the Kama Sutra that she did and becoming a wife gets in the way of that. Once she’s married, her life is in the hands of her husband and she won’t ever be free again. But when Nick presents an arrangement that just might help Alice out, it’s hard for her to refuse. That’s why she finds herself getting to know Nick and the more she finds out about him, the more curious she becomes.

He’s not at all what she expected but the same can be said for him. They become friends of sorts and the more time they spend together, the closer they get.

I adored seeing them fall in love with each other. Alice was a fabulous heroine who knew her mind and knew what she wanted out of life. I loved how thirsty she was for knowledge and when Nick teaches her the art of lovemaking, it was so much fun. I loved Nick’s mission in life and I adored the way that he took care of his crazy father and felt his very real concerns about his own health as he gets older. The love he had for Alice, the way that he loved her for who she was and not for how pretty she was, hit me right in my feelings.

The romance between Nick and Alice was great. I loved that they fell in love slowly and that they really got to know each other over the course of their time together. They were great characters with great support systems in their friends and I just loved this book to pieces.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell

Posted April 25, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: How the Duke Was Won by Lenora BellReviewer: Tracy
How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #1
Also in this series: Blame It on the Duke, How the Duke was won, If I Only Had a Duke
Published by HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Romance
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.

James, the new Duke of Harland, is going to throw a house party.  The attendees will be himself, his friend Dalton, and the four women he’s considering marrying.  He chose those women because their fathers are influential in parliament.  He really doesn’t want to marry but he knows he needs an heir.  He plans on getting married, staying in England long enough to impregnate said bride and then he’ll head off to the West Indies where’s he has his cocoa plantation.

Lady Dorothea is the daughter of an earl and one of the chosen four women who will attend the house party.  Unfortunately, she’s on a boat sailing home from Italy and her mother, Lady Desmond, is not about to let this opportunity pass her daughter by.  She heads to a brothel called the Pink Feather, where her husband’s by-blow, Charlene, lives and works.  Charlene’s mother owns the brothel and Charlene does laundry and the books there – refusing to be a courtesan.  Charlene is also the spitting image of Lady Dorothea and Lady Desmond wants her to pretend to be Dorothea so that she can snag the Duke.  Once Dorothea’s back in town then she’ll marry the duke.  Charlene will earn enough money to pay off a loan for her mother and Charlene’s younger sister will be able to get away from the Pink Feather.

The weekend starts out well but from the get go James can’t seem to keep his eyes off of Charlene.  She thinks he’s handsome as well and makes every effort to grab his attention. Though she’s definitely unconventional, James seems to be attracted to that and soon the pair are finding it hard to stay away from each other.  James is falling for Charlene but in the end he’ll marry Dorothea and Charlene will have her heart broken.

The story is pretty simple even though it seems a bit twisty.  I really liked James as he was a bit of an ass but never to the women.  He just wanted what he wanted and wasn’t about to get anything less and was a bit belligerent about having to act civilized when he really wasn’t.  I loved that he adored Charlene’s unconventional attitude.  She really was just herself – only dressed as a lady of the ton.  She certainly didn’t act like it most of the time and that was a good thing.

James had a daughter, Flor, that Charlene bonded with during the course of the weekend. Charlene was a kind-hearted woman and she knew what it was like to grow up with her parents not being married.  She was really good with Flor and that part of the story was really well written.

Now of course James doesn’t end up marrying Dorothea, as he fell in love with Charlene, but the way that comes about was pretty great.  I won’t tell you as you’ll just have to read it for yourself but I found it to be a very satisfying conclusion to the story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars