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.
Well, the duke ruined her plans and now he'll just have to fix them.
Dalton, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage - he uses dalliances 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 is the second book in The Disgraceful Dukes series. I read the first book, How the Duke Was Won, earlier this spring and I found it quite good. I'm very pleased to say that If I Only Had a Duke is just as funny to read as the first book in the series. I chuckled aloud several times during the first 1/3 of the book. Also, I really like this series heroines. They are all so bloody funny and feels refreshingly stubborn and independent. And, that, despite living in a time when women aren't more than a man's belonging.
Now, the book is not only funny, it has a serious streak as well. Dalton, Duke of Osborne is after the man that killed his young brother when he was a child. And, now he must flee the town in a hurry after confronting a man who wounded him and could identify him because of that. However, Lady Dorothea Beaumont demands that he takes her with him when she learns that he is going to Ireland since it's his fault that she now after a couple of seasons as a wallflower is now the most popular belle of the season. She has absolutely no plans at all to get married least of all to someone her mother or grandmother wants her to marry. But, traveling, with the handsome Dalton to Ireland may change her mind about marriage. However, will she be able to get the Duke to fall for her?
Nevertheless, as much as I enjoyed the book did I have a bit of problem with the story, and that's the seduction part, the mating ritual between Dalton and Thea. And, this is not the book's fault, this is something that seldom interests me in historical romance. I'm just not fond of reading about people lusting about each other. Especially not when it gets a bit too much. In a small dose, then it's fine. But, this is historical romance, and it's a big part. So, for the right person is that part probably just fine. However, I'm just the odd one out when it comes to that.
Also, the "twist" to the story was not especially surprising, but it at least made the book's ending sweet. Another thing, I just love the ending when Thea really puts down her foot against here families wishes and the result it brings. She really has guts.
I want to thank Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!
About the author
Lenora Bell grew up in a tiny town in Alaska with no streetlights, no movie theatre, but a very well-endowed library. A graduate of Portland State University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, she has lived and taught English on five continents. Lenora currently shares a cabin in Switzerland with her husband and two naughty tiger-striped kitties.