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What a Difference a Duke Makes

by Lenora Bell

Series: School for Dukes (1)

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824261,487 (3.83)None
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...?

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So we are back with another Lenora Bell book, and this time we are looking at What The Difference a Duke Makes, which is the first book her new series called the School for Duke. I was intrigued to see how this new series would play out, as I have had hit and miss books with this author before.

So with bearing with that in mind, rather than tell you about the story which you can read in the synopsis, I wanted to tell you the overall feel and flow of the book. I would say that the book is more of a Historical "lite" romance, as in its lite on the historical and heavy on the romance. And what I mean by that is that some of the expressionisms used in the book is a little too modern for the time period, and while I do not expect exact terminology to be used (it is fiction after all), I also don't want to see 21st century phrases used. And while for me that is a detraction, for others whom are not so historically nerdish, it's would be great. Overall the book is sweet and pleasant and if you are looking for a quick read, the book is perfect.

I give What the Difference a Duke Makes 3 stars
( )
  Cara_Ross | Dec 2, 2018 |
My first book by Ms. Bell, but definitely not my last!

What a Difference a Duke Makes was a fun and swoony read. Both Mari and Edgar a atypical for their time--he's a duke who (gasp!) also engages in trade and she's got about three times the backbone and chutzpah of your typical governess--but goodness, they're just so likable as a hero and heroine. Their initial attraction, though not wholly surprising, does manifest itself a bit abruptly (literally minutes into their first meeting he thinks about cutting her corset laces off of her) but once they get to know each other better it becomes absolutely believable. Throw his 9-year-old twins into the mix and it's pretty much impossible not to root for them with all you've got.

I loved--as did Edgar, obviously--the way that Mari constantly took the duke to task for the choices he was making and the mistaken beliefs that had been governing his life up to that point. She ends up being exactly what he and his children need in their lives, which (fortunately) makes things that much easier for her when her "big secret" is finally revealed. Things quickly come together in the end to bring them all a super-adorable HEA (too quickly and easily? Maybe, but I'm not going to complain one bit because seriously, this was so. Much. Fun. To. Read) that left me with a smile on my face as a quickly clicked the "want to read" button on the next book in the series. (India and Ravenwood--yessssssss!)

The writing was choppy at times and I'm sure historical accuracy took a backseat more than once, but honestly the characters and story were so engaging that I barely noticed. I can't wait to see what Ms. Bell has in store for future series characters!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 4, 2018 |
Mari Perkins finagles her way into a job as governess for Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, who has just had his twin and previously unknown illegitimate children thrust into his life. Of course, the Duke and the governess are attracted to each other despite the differences in their stations.
This is a pretty familiar trope in historical romances, but Ms. Bell has a fresh writing and witty style that makes this book a very enjoyable read. If you are a reader who likes their historicals to be accurate to the period, this isn't for you, but the characters are engaging, the story has some twists, and the h/h are a sweet couple. The children are adorable also without being real brats.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series where Edgar's sister, India, meets her match both in archeology and love. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Mar 29, 2018 |
It is books like this one that are bring me back to the regency genre. What a Difference a Duke Makes is pure enjoyment!

Mari is a surprise. A great one. In the beginning I thought she was timid but it quickly became apparent that there was more to Mari like a back bone. She fought her first battle with Edgar and then with the twins, Michel and Adele. Which, when I got to know the twins story and them very well; I just fell in love with their wild spirit. Another person who showed a wild spirit is Edgar's sister, India. I would love to see and read her story.

Edgar displayed no "airs" about him. He was warm and personable. In fact, it was through Mari and the twins that he opened up. Of course, there is romance as well. Yet, Mari and Edgar did not hook up until well into the story. Therefore, when they did, it was real. Again, as I stated previously, this is a fun read. ( )
  Cherylk | Mar 22, 2018 |
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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...?

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