‘If I Only Had a Duke’ by Lenora Bell

iiohad-lbSTORY: After four 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 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.

REVIEW: 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

REVIEW: The Duke of Osborne has a home in County Cork Ireland called Balfry House but he has not been there in many years. The home is filled with an enormous amount of rare works of art.

Lady Dorothea (Thea) Beaumont is staying with her aunt near Balfry House and has been granted a tour of the place where she admired these art pieces. She writes the Duke about his art collection. She asks if he would like for her to catalogue his collection of art, however he is taken aback as she was once involved in a scandal with his friend, the Duke of Harland.

Thea is a very intelligent young woman who has been well educated. However, her cloistered upbringing resulted in a disastrous comeout where she was too frightened to make a mistake that she could find nothing to say to anyone. After two seasons of disasters, she was sent with her grandmother to tour Italy. There she fell in love with all of the beautiful art, many pieces of which were created by women. One artist in particular, Artemisia, truly grabbed her interest.

When she returned to London, her parents try to marry her to a Duke whom she does not even know. He thinks she is someone else and Thea stops the wedding. It turns out that her parents were trying to pair her up with none other than the Duke of Harland, friend of the Duke of Osborne. Thus, she was banished to Ireland by her parents. But Thea is happy there living with her aunt raising bees and making marmalade.

Now that she has found a painting in the Duke of Osborne’s attic at Balfry House by her favorite female artist, Artemisia, she is determined to learn more about it. But her pursuit is delayed when her parents call her back to London for another season.

When Thea sees Dalton, the Duke of Osborne, she wants to meet him and pursue her quest for access to Artemisia’s works. But Dalton has an agenda to avenge the murder of his brother and nothing will stop him from finding the man responsible.

As Dalton and Thea become better acquainted, they are attracted to another, not just physically but intellectually as well. Dalton admires her boldness and she realizes he has some deep secrets and pain that he is carrying. Can her love break down the barriers he has built up over many years?

This was a good plot and I liked the characters. Come join in the adventures that Dalton and Thea take to find the answer that Dalton seeks.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

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