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If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
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If I Only Had a Duke

by Lenora Bell

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306367,255 (3.79)None
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All of Lenora Bell’s Disgraceful Dukes books are… I don’t want to say “based on,” so let’s say… linked with a book/movie/story. They are as follows:
How the Duke Was Won (The Disgraceful Dukes #1) - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
If I Only Had a Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes #2) - The Wizard of Oz
Blame It on the Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes 3#) - Alice in Wonderland

Lenora Bell is one of my favorite new authors. While I didn't love this second installment in The Disgraceful Dukes *quite* as much as the first book (How the Duke Was Won), it was still a delightful romp. I actually liked If I Only Had a Duke more on my second read through, which was the audiobook as narrated by Beverly A. Crick. Ms. Crick does an excellent job narrating, giving great personality to the voices of the characters and making the men sound alluring and deep-voiced without putting on a falsely high voice for the women. I feel like Ms. Crick's narration helped bring forth the personalities for both Thea and Dalton and help me enjoy this book even more.

As you can probably tell from the title, If I Only Had a Duke is filled with delightful nods to The Wizard of Oz. Not only is the story great, I had a lot of fun ferreting out the little references Bell makes to The Wiz. The heroine, Dorothea (Dorothy, anyone?) has an Aunt Hen (Uncle Henry) who gives her some red leather boots (her ruby slippers) as a birthday gift. Dorothea (or Thea, as she prefers to be called) spends the majority of the book trying to get back to her Aunt Em (Auntie Em! Auntie Em!) in Ireland (a.k.a. the Emerald Isle... or Emerald City, perhaps?) along with the reluctant help of Dalton, Duke of Osborne, who is a rake with no heart (a regular Tin-Man, he).

As an avid watcher of shows like DareDevil, Arrow, and The Flash, I really loved the vigilante aspect of Dalton's character. Thea was a bit of a struggle for me, perhaps because I had a previous vision of her based on Charlene's portrayal of her in How the Duke Was Won.

I am VERY MUCH looking forward to the third installment in the series, Blame It on the Duke, which features my favorite character from the first book, Miss Alice Tombs. Lenora Bell has tagged blurbs about the third book with "#AliceInWonderland" on her Facebook page, so I am EVEN MORE EXCITED to find fun references to my favorite children's story in the next novel as well! (This is from my original review on Goodreads, which was written before the release of the third book. The third book was everything I hoped for an more!!)

Check out my reviews of the other books in the series:
How the Duke Was Won (The Disgraceful Dukes #1)
If I Only Had a Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes #2)
Blame It on the Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes 3#) ( )
  ElleyOtter | Nov 28, 2017 |
If I only had a Duke is the second book in The Disgraceful Dukes series. I read the first book, How the Duke Was Won, earlier this spring and I found it quite good. I'm very pleased to say that If I Only Had a Duke is just as funny to read as the first book in the series. I chuckled aloud several times during the first 1/3 of the book. Also, I really like this series heroines. They are all so bloody funny and feels refreshingly stubborn and independent. And, that, despite living in a time when women aren't more than a man's belonging.

Now, the book is not only funny, it has a serious streak as well. Dalton, Duke of Osborne is after the man that killed his young brother when he was a child. And, now he must flee the town in a hurry after confronting a man who wounded him and could identify him because of that. However, Lady Dorothea Beaumont demands that he takes her with him when she learns that he is going to Ireland since it's his fault that she now after a couple of seasons as a wallflower is now the most popular belle of the season. She has absolutely no plans at all to get married least of all to someone her mother or grandmother wants her to marry. But, traveling, with the handsome Dalton to Ireland may change her mind about marriage. However, will she be able to get the Duke to fall for her?

Nevertheless, as much as I enjoyed the book did I have a bit of problem with the story, and that's the seduction part, the mating ritual between Dalton and Thea. And, this is not the book's fault, this is something that seldom interests me in historical romance. I'm just not fond of reading about people lusting about each other. Especially not when it gets a bit too much. In a small dose, then it's fine. But, this is historical romance, and it's a big part. So, for the right person is that part probably just fine. However, I'm just the odd one out when it comes to that.

Also, the "twist" to the story was not especially surprising, but it at least made the book's ending sweet. Another thing, I just love the ending when Thea really puts down her foot against here families wishes and the result it brings. She really has guts.

I want to thank Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Nov 19, 2017 |
If I Only Had a Duke in which the “real” Dorothea gets her happily ever after, is as much fun as was How the Duke Was Won.

Here are the reasons behind my love of this story. The excerpt below is of our heroine sneaking in the hero's room, pretending to be a masseuse, while he's half naked waiting for his massage...

"And then the true enormity of her task became clear. She was meant to climb. On top. Of a duke. She should have brought a rope and pickaxe. This wasn't a crossroads -it was a mountain expedition."

I also loved the author's prose.

"In the lamplight, Osborne's face was formed from obdurate angles and foreboding shadows, as if the playful cleft in the middle of his chin had wandered there from someone else's visage and lost the way home."

And how can you not love a hero as described like this:

"Everyone knew he burned through mistresses as if they were kindling and he aimed to start a bonfire large enough to incinerate London."

Can I just say that the sensuality was off the charts?! Check it out!

"His lips were gentle, yet demanding, moving over her as a brush slid across a canvas. She felt his kiss spread all the way down to her leather-encased toes, like a drop of Prussian-blue watercolor paint touched to a wash of water to create a hazy, cloud-strewn blue sky."


.... sigh ..............


I have no doubt that the third book Blame It on the Duke will be just as good and fun!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author
( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
I’ve found my new favorite romance author. Lenora Bell, that’s you!

If I Only Had A Duke begins with a peek at some correspondence between the Lady Dorothea (or Disastrous Dorothea as she’s known among the ton) and Dalton, Duke of Osborne. Dorothea is anxious to catalog an attic full of artwork that is hidden away in Dalton’s ancestral home in Ireland but the duke, for deep and dark reasons, is adamant that things remain as they are. So Dorothea sets out to waylay the roguish duke at a ball in London and plead her case. She certainly isn’t there to snare a husband, having failed for three previous seasons to do so; she simply wants to be ignored by society, return to Ireland where she hopes to live with her aunt, and catalog the duke’s artwork, of course. He wants nothing to do with the lady and so he decides that by honoring her with the first dance of the season she will be so beset by suitors that she’ll forget about his artwork. His ploy works but Dorothea is so angry that he has thwarted her hoped-for social failure that she seeks revenge upon the man. What follows is humorous, poignant, soul-wrenching (on the part of the duke), and love-inspiring.

A terrific journey through the British countryside and a boat ride later, you’ll be totally involved with these characters. I enjoyed the duke’s male companion, Connell, who provides much of the humor, especially when their carriage is beset upon by a girl dressed in boy’s clothing trying to pass herself off as a highwayman.

Looking forward to the next book by this talented author. ( )
  AuthorMarion | Feb 6, 2017 |
3.5 Stars | Hot Steam

After adoring Lenora Bell’s dazzling debut, How the Duke Was Won, I couldn’t wait to read Lady Dorothea and The Duke of Osborne’s happily ever after. Though not as spellbinding as the first novel in the Disgraceful Dukes series, Thea and Garrett’s tale is a nicely written and pleasing afternoon diversion that’s filled with madcap adventure, humor, rich romance, and toe-curling passion.

The instant Garrett appeared as a disgruntled pen pal responding to Thea, the uninvited and pushy miss invading his estate’s attics, I was in lust. Combative, formidable, and wildly appealing, that enraged duke was just my flavor of alpha male—complicated, tortured, gruff but honorable, and a phenom in the bedroom. He commanded and enthralled in each scene he inhabited. And, ultimately, it was his delectable character that inspired me to keep turning the pages because I found Thea’s character problematic for a lot of the story. While undoubtedly smart, very sweet, and kind hearted, her excessive quirks, absurd snap decisions, and general over-the-top behavior tested my suspension of disbelief over and over. I would have preferred less Thea-driven vaudevillian escapades in exchange for more potent, intense, and emotionally raw scenes to propel the plot. My opinion of her began to shift positively however when I discovered that her impulsiveness, blind gusto, and irrepressibleness in Garrett’s embrace became wicked and wanton assets that were a delight to read. The radiant Thea I observed swept up in passion—exploring, experiencing, and in full bloom—was the Thea I’d yearned for. Thankfully, as the novel progressed, her green, sheltered perspective seasons, her outlandish actions become endearing, and she emerges a sympathetic, grounded, worldly, and relatable woman.

And those steamy scenes that changed my mind? Oh my goodness! So many to enjoy! Lengthy, lusciously detailed, and blistering hot, their encounters are happily seared into my memory.

Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  TheLustyLiterate | Sep 8, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062397745, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

 

Dalton, 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 faught 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.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:45:55 -0400)

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. Dalton, 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 faught 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.… (more)

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