Review: Blame It On the Duke by Lenora Bell

Review: Blame It On the Duke by Lenora BellBlame It on the Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes, #3) by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #3
Published by Avon on April 18th 2017
Genres: Historical, Historical Romance, Regency
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
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three-half-stars

Have you heard? The future Duke of Barrington has just been gambled away by his father. To an heiress!The delicious details thus far...
Nicolas, Lord Hatherly, never intended to marry—nor add to the “mad” Hatherly line—but now he must honor his father’s debt to a social-climbing merchant or lose the family estate.
A notoriously wild marquess, won by her father at a game of cards, is the very last thing Miss Alice Tombs wants. She’s spent the last three seasons repelling suitors in spectacular fashion so she’d be at liberty to explore the world. She’ll just have to drive this one away as well.
Until Nick proposes an utterly tempting arrangement: one summer together to prove the legitimacy of their union, then Alice is free to travel while Nick revels in the time he has left before the Hatherly Madness takes hold.
It will be easy to walk away after a few months of make-believe wedded bliss—won’t it? Alice and Nick are about to find out...one sultry night at a time.
This ought to be fun . . .

Review:

I have been looking forward to this book and while I didn’t love it as much as If I Only Had a Duke, this was still a sweet and fun read! Our heroine Miss Alice Tombs is bright, bold and sassy. Our hero Nick, Marquess of Hatherly, is roguish, charming and secretly has a heart of gold. I really enjoyed their chemistry and all their adorable and banter-y moments!

If he had to be locked in a library with a lady, she might as well make him laugh. And he might as well make her blush. He was beginning to enjoy making her blush.

The plot itself is a bit silly/ridiculous with Nick’s father (the duke) literally losing Nick to Alice’s father in a wager. This results in a fake marriage for Nick and Alice that ends up being true love, though of course not without some barriers to overcome first!

At her worried friends’ expressions, Alice smiled bravely. “I know what I’m doing. I’m far too sensible to fall in love with Lord Hartley.”

The romance was pretty cute. I love seeing two people who have vowed never to fall in love eat their words and slowly fall in love without realizing it, and Nick and Alice did it wonderfully.

He had to keep his arms around her because the night air held a frigid chill. It wasn’t because he never wanted to stop holding her. Or because she really was ridiculously pretty. The kind of pretty that made him feel like a fish out of water, flopping about waiting to be clubbed over the head and served on a platter with a sprig of parsley in his gaping mouth.

They developed a strong bond as they learned each others secrets, fears and goals. I really enjoyed Alice and her sass and her desire to travel and share her translation work. Nick ended up charming me. At first he just seemed like a scoundrel who had not a care, but you soon realize he carries some heavy burdens on his shoulders. I particularly enjoyed the subplot with Nick and his father who’s developing dementia. And I quite enjoyed the secondary characters in this story.

There is a bit of angst and drama that dragged a bit and it easily could have been resolved by talking and people not acting like the noble idiot. But I do enjoy a grand gesture so I suppose I can let that slide. Plus I’m a sucker for heroes to who talk to animals for love advice!

“You want me to tell her? Let her make her own decision?”
Kali purred approvingly.
Nick kissed the top of her head. “Thanks for the talk.”

Overall, this was an enjoyable marriage of convenience romance. Bell is definitely a historical romance author that’s easily becoming an auto-read for me! She writes sweet and fun romances with refreshing and lovable characters. Witty dialogue and adorable moments, Blame It on the Duke was a great addition to the Disgraceful Dukes series. Plus bonus points for The Princess Bride reference!

{* Thanks to Avon & Edelweiss for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Quotes (because there’s just so many cute moments!):

Kali raced down the hallway and rubbed against March’s ankles. The manservant made a face. “Oh, it’s you, you rodent of unusual size.”

&

“[…]My vision blurs.”
“Have you ever been examined by an eye doctor? You may need spectacles.”
“Rakes don’t wear spectacles,” he scoffed.
“Maybe you’re not a rake,” she rejoined.

&

Nick knew what the secret ingredient to brightening life was, and it wasn’t lemon. It was Alice.

three-half-stars

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

18 Replies to “Review: Blame It On the Duke by Lenora Bell”

  1. I love the trope of losing someone in a bet, so I think this would work well for me. I also love the animal conversations. It’s those little things that make a story memorable for me.
    Great review!

    1. It’s such a out there trope haha . I love animal conversations, too! Thanks, Angie!

  2. This one does sound like a riot. Its the kind where you set aside realistic and just go with it for the fun, it seems, and I like that now and then. Great review, Cyn!

    1. Just let the shenanigans take you where it will!
      Thanks, Sophia Rose!

  3. Love colors of the cover. I am glad you were able to have fun with this one even if it wasn’t perfect.

    1. This whole series, the covers were spot on! I was glad too 🙂

  4. I read a different book with that kind of set up and it was good. A tad silly, but it worked. Sounds like it’s an enjoyable book though.

    1. Sometime silly just works for a story! It was a fun read 🙂

  5. I haven’t read Lenora Bell yet, Cyn but you have me curious to try her now! I absolutely love the marriage of convenience trope! Especially is done right!

    1. Oh you should definitely give her a try, Zeee! I’m a big fan of the marriage of convenience trope, too!

  6. LOL I totally love when they talk to animals, too. Hope the next one is back up to totally clicking for ya.

    1. I’m such a sucker for animal talk, haha. Thanks, Anna!

  7. I don’t think that I have read Lenora Bell yet. This one does sound like a lot of fun. I love the fact that her dad lost her in a bet. Great review!

    1. She’s definitely worth checking out! Her books are pretty fun!

  8. I really liked the first two books in this series, so I’m excited to read this one! I love a good “rake” with a heart of gold. 🙂

    1. The second was my favourite! Hope you enjoy this one! Yay for rakes with hearts of gold 😉

  9. Okay, it’s official: I am the last person to discover how amazing Lenora Bell’s books are! This sounds adorable, so now I’ve got to scamper off and get a copy of If I Only Had a Duke so I can dive into this one. 🙂

    1. Yes, yes, yes! They are super adorable! Hope you enjoy them! If I Only Had a Duke is my favourite of the series 😀

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