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


If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #2
Published: 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Pages: 372
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: May 14-23, 2019
Grade: C
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)



I read this for the Bus challenge for Romanceopoly: Read a book where the character(s) have to go on a journey which involves travel.

Readability: 5/5

This book has original, fun-to-read wording. Bell is good with words. The way she describes emotions and sensations is fresh and a pleasure to read. You don’t realize how special that kind of writing is until you haven’t seen it for a while and just happen to come across it without expecting it.

Characterization: 3/5

Here’s where Bell fell a little short for me. While I do think there were good, distinct layers to these characters, I just didn’t feel for them like I should have, which leads me to the…

Plot: 3/5

The conflicts in this story were wrapped up neatly in a tidy little bow a bit too easily. I wasn’t worried at all for the characters, and the plot was very predictable. So, while the story was nice, that’s all it was — nice.

Setting: 4/5

I thought the journey to Ireland was fun and especially enjoyed the pitstops along the way.

Total: 15/20 = 75% C

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Because that seductive smile was a formidable weapon and she’d been asked to defend Rome against the Visigoths with only a toy sword.” (Loc 306)
  • “In this brave new motherless world maybe dukes did not take precedence. Maybe they were simply men. Maybe they didn’t deserve her respect or adulation based solely on their birthright.” (Loc 1656)
  • “But words and rules sometimes formed barriers as strong as the thickest dungeon walls.” (Loc 3878)
  • “As long as we draw breath we can change. Until we’re only bones resting in a crypt we have the power to shape our own destinies.” (Loc 4356)

The Book Depository | Amazon | Library | Goodreads

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