Hi guys, and happy Monday! Today I am absolutely excited to post my review of “If I Only Had a Duke” by Lenora Bell as a part of the blog tour. This book is the second in the Disgraceful Dukes series and I will do anything in my power to read the first novel as soon as possible, because I immediately fell in love with Ms Bell’s writing style and her absolutely lovely, quirky, sassy heroine Dorothea! And really, whatever you do, make sure you have pre – ordered this book – it is a brilliant read!
If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
Publishing Date: 30th August 2016
Series: Disgraceful Dukes #2
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 384
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
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.
“If I Only Had a Duke” by Lenora Bell is the second book in the Disgraceful Dukes series and I sadly admit that I haven’t read the first book – yet! However, this novel can be read as a stand – alone: there are some flashbacks to the previous events, enough to bring us closer to what happened and that Lady Dorothea was involved in those events, but this book follows the totally separate period of time in her life. And totally different adventures. Nevertheless, “If I Only Had a Duke” awaked my curiosity and I really do hope I’ll be able to read “How the Duke Was Won” as soon as possible – and if it’s as good as this novel, the better!
Because yes, I loved this novel. I haven’t expected that I’m going to like it as much as I did, but the book had it all – it was a great historical fiction, it had a fierce, sassy heroine and a dark, brooding duke, brilliant one – liners, it was full of humour and action and I read it in almost one sitting. I had a real blast reading it.
The story started already in a brilliant way and the letters exchange between Lady Dorothea and Duke of Osborne had me in giggles. I immediately fell in love with Dorothea – she’s a woman for herself and if she wants something, nothing can hinder her in achieving her goal, for example, she loves living with her aunt in Ireland, she loves being “in exile” and even though her mother and grandmother have other plans, she’s determined to stay in Ireland and NOT. GET. MARRIED. Enter Duke of Osborne. Afraid that Thea wants to entrap him – using the paintings in his ancestral home (hence the letters at the beginning of the book!) – he decides to make her popular, and that means that there will be a queue for Thea’s hand and there won’t be any more letters to him. And he’s right! He didn’t predict one thing only – that Thea DOESN’T. WANT. TO. GET. MARRIED. And that leads to a crazy journey to Ireland in a carriage that had a bed instead of a seat. A crazy journey of those two characters, I mean – Thea and Dalton!
Back to Thea. As I’ve already mentioned, I loved her. She was incredibly funny and incredibly clever, and you know what I adore so much in those heroines in historical fiction? They are so aware of their own bodies! All the heroines in our present times are mostly ashamed of the way they look like, they’re either too big or to small, their boobs are too big or too small, the legs are not like thy should be… complexes; complexes, complexes. But no complexes for our Thea, no way. Could you imagine any present heroine taking her clothes off without thinking if everything is ok and without turning out the lights? Me neither. Thea didn’t have any such problems! Moreover, Thea was also incredibly independent and educated and her passion for art was brilliant and really, she was not the one to let anything stand in her way when she wanted something – but it’s not like she was walking over the corpses, oh no, she just wanted to experience everything, she wanted to live life on her own rules, she wanted to taste the freedom. I loved to see how the Duke tried to harness her and was, in fact, powerless, and I was thinking, go girl, it’s your time, show him what you can.
The moody and broody Duke was much more complicated that we could think, as he was living a double life, but not going to tell you what kind of double life it was, oh no, you must read for yourself 🙂 And guys, oh my word, the author has captured him so brilliantly – he was thinking he has everything under control and then he met Thea, and it was a joy to see how, very, very cleverly, Thea does with him whatever she wants and let him still thinking he’s in control! Standing ovation to Lady Dorothea, really, we can learn a lot from her and her diplomatic ways in getting whatever she wanted 🙂 And truly, Dalton could do and say whatever he wanted, I simply loved him for the real hero that he was, for having so much depth to him, for caring for his mother, for having feelings.
Thea and Dalton were the best couple ever and their banter was absolutely brilliant and hilarious. There is so much more to both of them than meet the eye and they both can learn from each other. No matter how much they didn’t want to feel any attraction, it was there between them and usually the fireworks were flying. This was one of the best chemistry between characters I’ve ever come across!
I can’t not mention the background characters, Con, Molly or Thea’s mother or grandmother. Even if it were only a scene or two that they entered, they were all larger than life, brilliant personalities. Especially Molly – her subplot in the book was not only incredibly funny and unusual, but also very poignant. You can’t help but love the main characters, but it is the same with the others as well. They were all so interesting and so colourful and I’d love to see more of them!
The pace was incredibly quick, and there was a lot happening and I raced through the book. However, there were sometimes moments that dragged on a little, and I mean the reflections and inner monologues of the characters – I appreciate that it was rather funny but sometimes it was just too long and, used to the quick tempo of the story already, they put me a little off stride. But other than that I adored the writing style and the way the story flew, the author has a great way with words and is a brilliant story – teller, I really couldn’t put the book for a moment away, I was so drawn.
“If I Only Had a Duke” was a great roller – coaster ride to Ireland, full of twists and turns, surprising events and undesirable characters disturbing. It was incredibly entertaining tale of friendship, trust, family bonds and forgiveness. If you want to be taken on a wild adventure that is full of surprises, but also a tender, incredibly erotic romance full of passion, than look no further and read “If I Only Had a Duke”. Highly recommended!
BE SURE TO SEE THE OTHER BLOG TOUR STOPS!