Publication Order of Disgraceful Dukes Books
|How the Duke Was Won||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|If I Only Had a Duke||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Blame It on the Duke||(2017)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Lenora Bell is an American author best known for the Disgraceful Dukes series of novels in the historical romance genre. She was born in a tiny town in the state of Alaska that still does not have a movie theater or traffic lights but has a very big library. She graduated from the MFA in Creative Writing program from the Portland State University.
Lenora Bell is a well-travelled author that has lived in countries across five continents including Bolivia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, France, and Australia teaching English. She always had a craving for writing romantic novels and scribbling romance plots on grocery receipts and cocktail napkins all over the world is one thing she has done from time to time.
With nothing to do during the long and dark winters in Alaska, she used to read Anais Nin, Virginia Woolf, Luisa May Alcott, Charlotte Bronte, and Jane Austen. However, it was not until she read Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James that she was taken with romance novels. Having read the novel in one night, she began dreaming of seeing her name embellish the cover of a historical romance in her hometown’s library shelves.
After writing a terrible first novel, which failed spectacularly, she entered the Avon Fan Lit online writing contest where she met Courtney Milan and Tessa Dare among other supportive writers that had just as much passion in historical romance as she had. She would leave writing behind as she undertook a master’s degree and later a teaching career, which saw her travel overseas.
While she was overseas, her critique partners and friends Tessa and Courtney constantly nudged and encouraged her to get back into writing. She finally gave in and wrote Charlene and the Duchess Factory that she entered in the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Contest. The book went on to win the 2014 RWA Award for Best Historical Romance novel.
She credits the winning of the RWA’s Golden Heart Award for launching her a career. It is through being nominated and finally winning the contest that she met her agent Alexandra Machinist of ICM Partners.
She currently lives in a cabin in Switzerland that she shares with her husband and two tiger striped kittens. When not writing historical romances, she loves to listen to musicals, vinyl records, karaoke, collect vintage clothing, and travel.
Summary of How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell
The new Duke of Harland is unhappy at being saddled with a vast estate and a whole lot of money since he hates the responsibility that comes with it. He hatches a plan to have four women come to his house from which he would pick a new wife. He would then live abroad only coming home to impregnate the wife before disappearing again. None of the women knows of his plan, but he does not care, as he deems all women conniving creatures.
The heroine in the story is Charlene Beckett an illegitimate daughter of an earl who is in debt to the evil Lord Grant. Whereas her mother runs a brothel, Charlene would never sell her body for money even though Grant has voiced his desire for her. She learns Japanese martial arts and vows to protect her sister from knowing the cruel nature of the world. She will stay put and work hard washing other people’s clothes and scrubbing floors to make a living.
The plot changes when one of the girls that James invites to his palace cannot make it. Luckily, she is Charlene’s half-sister. The mother of the girls asks Charlene to stand in for her since her looks are similar enough to the missing girl to fool the Duke. She hopes that she can then use her magic tricks to make James the Duke marry her daughter. When James meets her, he starts making his moves on her and immediately gets some Kung Fu treatment. When he learns that she is to be his wife, he is conflicted as all he wants is a loveless arrangement not a marriage with a woman he loves.
On discovering that Charlene is not the girl that he had invited he loses it and begins accusing her of being a faithless whore. James is quite the hypocritical man as he plans to abandon his estate and his wife, yet sees Charlene as the faithless one. She begins getting deeper into the complex web of James while putting her younger sister in danger of the Duke’s machinations. The characters are in love with each other, even though none of them would admit it to themselves or to each other.
Summary of If I Only had a Duke by Lenora Bell
Lenora Bell’s second novel in the Disgraceful Dukes series features Dalton, the Duke of Osbourne and Duke Harland’s best friend and Charlene’s half-sister Lady Dorothea Beaumont. After experiencing the ignominy of being left at the altar, Thea has given up on society or ever getting married. She has no desire to ever get a husband, preferring a life of solitude with her aunt in Ireland. Nothing would make her happier than leaving her mother and her expectations behind and becoming a bee farmer and an art student at her aunt’s place.
Meanwhile, Dalton is dealing with his own demons as he searches for the killer of his brother brutally murdered years ago. While by day he is the carefree, gentlemanly Duke, at night he turns into a hellish, mask wearing fiend seeking to save men from their gaming traps and vices. No one has any idea that he is looking for his brother’s killer, and that the only clue he has is a list of people his father had robbed. While he views Thea as a nuisance that nearly trapped Duke Harland in a loveless marriage, he believes that he can get rid of her by making her the belle of the dance. However, he soon realizes that he underestimated her as her determination means that he has to take her with him when he is forced to leave the city.
The book has the reader under its thrall from start to finish. It begins with some great banter between Thea and Dalton that makes for some good opening sequences. Thea craves independence and will do anything in her power to get it though she wants to do it without the help of a man. Once they leave the city, she loses all her social anxiety, shyness, and reservations. She is indifferent to the power that Dalton wields as a lord, seeing him as just another man who stands in the way of a woman being independent. However, she feels a strong desire for him after they are alone on the road for so long.
This is just another classic from Lenora Bell that establishes her as one of the best historical romance writers out there.Book Series In Order » Authors » Lenora Bell