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One Fine Duke

by Lenora Bell

Series: School for Dukes (3)

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415482,538 (3.7)None
A Mass Market Original--Also Available in a Hardcover Library Edition USA Today bestselling author Lenora Bell returns with her third book in the sexy School for Dukes series. Ready. Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny's dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There's only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe's brother Drew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon. Aim. This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost. Desire! But Mina is no damsel in distress. She's daring, intuitive, passionate...and halfway to melting Drew's cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
My first and last Lenora Bell read. I should have known I wouldn't like this based on the spy element of the plot alone. Combine a ridiculous plot driver with a wooden hero and the author's inability to write realistic dialogue instead of hackneyed cliches and it was a complete flop for me. I've never read a published book with such terrible, trite conversations.

Midway through the story, I couldn't see how the author could possibly reconcile the heroine's intense desire for adventure and excitement with the hero's need for quiet, routine country days. I kept reading just to solve that mystery, even when I was frustrated by the horrible plot. Sadly, the author chose to sum it all up and sweep the characters' drastically different dreams under a rug. What's the point of writing a female character so unconventional for her time and then having her marry an utterly conventional man who wants to live quietly in the country? She'll be miserable. She'll make him miserable. I predict no happily-ever-after ending for these two.

Will be remembered as one of the few books that has ever been so boring I actually fell asleep while reading. ( )
  hlkate | Oct 12, 2020 |
Loved it. ( )
  Addams95 | Sep 24, 2019 |
** 4.5 Stars **

I read this fast-paced, fun, steamy book in one sitting – and the pages just flew by. I loved the humor and found myself chuckling on numerous occasions during my reading. It is well-written, well-plotted with interesting characters and scenarios.

Miss Wilhelmina (Mina) Penny has been chafing from the overprotective, restrictive, lonely existence she has lived since being orphaned. Her guardian (and uncle) is Sir Malcolm Penny, England’s spymaster. Mina’s parents were spies, as a matter of fact, she comes from a long line of spies and she desperately wants to follow in their footsteps. Her uncle has kept her under heavy guard on his estate, Sutton Hall, but she’s made good use of her time there – to spy on the spymaster. She’s learned all about his operation as well as how to pick locks, decode messages and has developed a real affinity for mechanical devices.

Finally, Mina has persuaded her uncle to provide her a season in London and she plans to take full advantage of it. She wants excitement and independence – freedom. Her plan is simple. She’ll find Lord Rafe Bentley and make him a proposal (literally) that he can’t refuse. Rafe is the biggest, most debauched rake in the ton as well as one of her uncle’s spies who is currently in disgrace. If he marries her and they become partners, she’ll share all of her knowledge of her uncle’s operations with him and get him back in her uncle’s good graces. Well – that was the plan – then – there was a kiss from someone else and well …

Andrew (Drew) Bentley, Duke of Thorndon and Rafe’s reclusive brother is NOT in London by choice. He received a blackmail letter at his estate in Cornwall and it said that if he didn’t pay, his sister, Beatrice, would be kidnapped. It also stated that they knew what Rafe had done. Talk about anger and frustration! While he’s in London to deal with Rafe and the blackmailer, he might as well find himself a bride. He shouldn’t have a problem finding some amenable debutante who could stand the wilds of Cornwall since he has absolutely no intention of ever living in London.

Drew suffered an extremely traumatic event when he was fifteen and he has had to deal with the ramifications of that ever since. He panics at certain scents, enclosed spaces and crowds – so he lives exclusively on his country estate in Cornwall where his days are orderly and repetitive. No surprises.

When Drew dances with Mina at her first ball, the sparks fly – but not in the way you think. She does all in her power to send him fleeing -- too bad that her actions have the opposite effect. She isn’t looking to be a duchess, she’s looking to be a spy and Drew won’t get her there. Yet, in a gardening shed later that evening, he kisses her and sparks really do fly. That can’t change her mind though.

I loved both Drew and Mina and could see where and why each of them felt as they did. I could also see that they were a perfect match for each other. Each’s strengths bolstered the other’s weaknesses. Drew didn’t at all match what Mina thought he’d be – he was actually supportive and caring.

So, why didn’t I give it 5-stars? Well – I just thought the villain was overcome entirely too easily. I also thought Mina held on to the ‘I won’t marry Drew’ thing way too long. I also felt a little like I was left hanging with the information on Drew’s traumatic event. I would have liked to see the reason his father refused to pay – was it because he was a cold-hearted jerk or was there some mix-up, didn’t he love Drew. There was a vague reason given, but – I couldn’t understand why that would be the reason. Another thing is that I thought Mina was much too promiscuous for a young woman who had led such a sheltered life - even if she did overhear many crass things from her uncle's visitors.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read and hope you will as well.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ( )
  BarbaraRogers | Jul 19, 2019 |
I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell is the 3rd book in her The School for Dukes Trilogy. It can be read as a standalone but I very much enjoyed the first two books and recommend reading them all. After her parents died Mis Wilhelmina Penny (Mina) came under the care of her Uncle who devastated by the loss of her parents and his wife and daughter has been very overprotective and now that she has a chance to have a London season she is going to do her best to enjoy it to the utmost, so she is quite dismayed when her Uncle tells her she must marry and suggests that the Duke of Thorndale is the man for her. When She meets Andrew (Drew) Bentley, Duke of Thorndale (who is by the way one fine Duke … sigh) she does her best to repulse him and inadvertently peaks his interest instead. Spies and blackmail, revenge, a scandalous red dress and an even more scandalous mechanical chair make this funny and steamy story a delight to read. I enjoyed it very much. Medium Steam. Publishing Date July 23, 2019 #edelweissplus #OneFineDuke #LenoraBell #AvonRomance #HarperCollinsCanada #harpercollinspublishers #AvonBooks #HistoricalRomanceBooks #Bookstagram ( )
  nmgski | Jul 11, 2019 |
One Fine Duke is the third book in Lenora Bell’s latest series “School For Dukes”. This book took me so long to read, and to be honest I was very close to DNF and I can’t believe I am saying that for a Lenora Bell novel because I have really adored her work in the past. But this book was a story that I couldn’t stay fully invested in the story and I think the heroine rubbed me the wrong way at times. Trust me I wanted to really love her but I just couldn’t get behind her in many ways. I believe another aspect I was struggling with a bit was the theme of “spies” in this book. I have read many spy themed romances and I feel like the espionage element was downplayed and I would have liked a bit more balanced focused on this element. The story itself seemed fragmented at times and trust me I don’t mean to be critical of this story or this author in any way but I do need to share my honest opinion of the story.

The story itself surrounds a heroine who has been sheltered all of her life and wants some adventure and quite frankly she is bored and wants excitement and I feel like her character although I understood her good intentions, was a bit frivolous at times. She wanted to be a spy because her parents were spies but her character really bothered me because of how careless she could be and never thought of the dangers she put herself and others in and just viewed it as exciting even though her parents were killed because of their espionage activities.

The hero was so swoony and I loved seeing his character in this story. He is quite the opposite of our heroine. He suffered some trauma has a teenager and now is more reclusive and he is still haunted by his past. He definitely is the reason and the common sense that Mina needs and she brings a fresh breath of fresh air to Drew’s life. In many ways their personalities compliment each other quite perfectly. Their love story was sassy, eye opening and packed with energy. It isn’t my favorite my this author in any way, but its a solid story that many fans of Regency Romance will fall in love with. SPLENDID! ( )
  addictofromance | Jun 9, 2019 |
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A Mass Market Original--Also Available in a Hardcover Library Edition USA Today bestselling author Lenora Bell returns with her third book in the sexy School for Dukes series. Ready. Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny's dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There's only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe's brother Drew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon. Aim. This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost. Desire! But Mina is no damsel in distress. She's daring, intuitive, passionate...and halfway to melting Drew's cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?

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