What a Difference a Duke Makes
by Lenora Bell
Series: School For Dukes (Each book is a standalone story.)
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Wanted: Governess for duke’s unruly children
Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have terrorized half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.
Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke
Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won’t be quite so easy to control. And there’s something else she can’t seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time Edgar is near.
Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny
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 . . .?
“Not one in one thousand governesses would lecture me as you do, Miss Perkins.”
“As a governess I have a duty to point out misbehavior.”
Why was he grinning at her as if he liked impudent minxes more than anything? And why couldn’t she stop noticing how nicely shaped his lips were? Firm on top, yet sensually flared below.
“Perhaps I deserve a thorough tongue-lashing,” he mused.
Which sounded quite wicked when spoken in such a low, husky voice.
His gaze shifted to her lips. “Are you planning to give me another?”
“Only if you’re bad, Your Grace.”
He must have taken a step nearer to her. Or had she been the one to move closer? So close.
A reckless desire formed in her mind, blotting out her customary good sense. A desire to misbehave. Just this once.
“Or . . .” She rose to her tiptoes, placing her palms against his rock-solid chest. “I could be the bad one . . .”
My first book by Ms. Bell, but definitely not my last!
What a Difference a Duke Makes was a fun and swoony read–and a bit of a mashup of Mary Poppins and Jane Eyre to boot 🙂 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 I quickly clicked the “want to read” button on the next book in the series. (India and Ravenwood–yessssssss! Hapshetsut FTW, people!)
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.
About Lenora Bell:
Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. She blames the long, dark winters in her tiny Alaskan hometown for making her a lifelong bookworm. A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing who has lived on five continents, Lenora currently shares an old farmhouse in the Pacific Northwest with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves to hear from readers!
Tour Wide Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES, we’re giving away a cloth bag with a paperback copies of the book and Lenora’s entire back list!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a cloth bag filled with paperback copies of What a Difference a Duke Makes and Lenora Bell’s entire back list. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 4/9/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!