Book Review: If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell

Book Review: If I Only Had a Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes #2) by Lenora Bell

Rating: 5 Stars

Published August 30th 2016 by Avon
Summary: 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.
(from Goodreads)

Review: 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#)

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