I’ve found my new favorite romance author. Lenora Bell, that’s you!
If I Only Had A Duke begins with a peek at some correspondence between the Lady Dorothea (or Disastrous Dorothea as she’s known among the ton) and Dalton, Duke of Osborne. Dorothea is anxious to catalog an attic full of artwork that is hidden away in Dalton’s ancestral home in Ireland but the duke, for deep and dark reasons, is adamant that things remain as they are. So Dorothea sets out to waylay the roguish duke at a ball in London and plead her case. She certainly isn’t there to snare a husband, having failed for three previous seasons to do so; she simply wants to be ignored by society, return to Ireland where she hopes to live with her aunt, and catalog the duke’s artwork, of course. He wants nothing to do with the lady and so he decides that by honoring her with the first dance of the season she will be so beset by suitors that she’ll forget about his artwork. His ploy works but Dorothea is so angry that he has thwarted her hoped-for social failure that she seeks revenge upon the man. What follows is humorous, poignant, soul-wrenching (on the part of the duke), and love-inspiring.
A terrific journey through the British countryside and a boat ride later, you’ll be totally involved with these characters. I enjoyed the duke’s male companion, Connell, who provides much of the humor, especially when their carriage is beset upon by a girl dressed in boy’s clothing trying to pass herself off as a highwayman.
Looking forward to the next book by this talented author.
Rating: M M M M M