Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review: How The Duke Was Won

The Disgraceful Dukes #1
Lenora Bell
Historical Romance
384 pages
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.

Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]

* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]

* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]

* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.

How the Duke Was Won is a gem of a historical romance, making us swoon and laugh our way through James and Charlene's matrimonial journey until we regrettably find ourselves turning the last page.

Romances involving a mistaken identity can often be a source of stress, causing us to be so focused on the impending reveal that it's hard to get caught up in the fledgling relationship, but Ms. Bell makes this familiar trope work oh-so well. Instead of posing as her half-sister for some sort of revenge or spy-based plot, Charlene simply seeks the financial means to save herself and her sister from the courtesan life awaiting them thanks to their mother. She bears no ill-will toward James, nor is she interested in keeping tabs on him to uncover his darkest secrets and blackmail him, he's simply a job for her and one she plans to execute to the best of her ability.

Of course things become infinitely more complicated the more time they spend together, Charlene finding in him someone she never expected in a wealthy duke with a terrible reputation. Their interactions bring both a smile to our lips and heat to our cheeks, Charlene often struggling to impersonate the epitome of refinement and Societal elegance and instead slipping and calling things as she sees them. Her fellow competitors for the title of duchess also add a great deal of humor to this story, with one in particular standing out so much that we can't help but hope she gets her own book in the not-too distant future.

Overall, How the Duke Was Won is engaging from beginning to end, the perfect blend of chemistry, intimacy, and emotional connection with a side of cute banter and laugh out loud moments.

Rating: 4.5/5

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This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.


  1. I always love a good HR book and this one sounds quite well done: I didn't know about it but now I want to try!

  2. Of course I would read it, I love all HR :)

  3. Clearly this one historical romance I need to read ASAP! *goes to one-click on Amazon*

  4. Ohhh a Bachelor-like premise. What could go wrong, indeed. Lol. Sounds like a hoot, regardless. :)

  5. Thanks so much for this lovely review, Jenny! I so glad you enjoyed the book and so grateful you took the time to post this. As a debut author it means so very much. Cheers!

  6. I love that this had so much humor in it as well as those swoon worthy moments. It sounds amazing!

  7. I picked this one for my book club to read over the summer :) I am looking forward to it!

  8. Jenny! This sounds absolutely amazing. I'm always looking to read more HR from authors I haven't tried yet and this sounds right up my alley. I'm glad to hear the mistaken identity is done well. I'm off to get myself a copy now!
    Lovely review! :)

  9. Sounds so fun! I'm not into historical, but may have to give this a go anyway!

  10. Jenny! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I recently picked it up and loved it too. :D Now I want the next book in the series!

  11. Wonderful review Jenny I love everything from the chemistry to the characters!

  12. I just LOVE this trope so I'm squealing with excitement over having found a new romance to pick up! I haven't read a really good historical romance novel in at least a month or two so I definitely plan on getting my hands on this ASAP. Thanks for putting it on my radar, Jenny--will need to check out more by this author too! :)

  13. This is a very creative and interesting review to read, Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.