Series: School for Dukes #1
Published by Avon on March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
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Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children
Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.
Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke
Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.
Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny
As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES
by Lenora Bell
I used to read a lot of Historical Romance but stopped because sometimes even a good thing can become too much. I’d gorged myself on HR and it started to bore me. A couple years later the books I read are so diverse that I savor each HR even if it’s not a complete winner.
Mari is in a bit of a pickle – after all her belongings were stolen her delayed arrival to an appointment costs her a potential job as a governess. She relies on the agency owner’s charity since Mari’s parentage is, well, questionable. Unfortunately the owner doesn’t feel charitable. Mari overhears a conversation, however, that the Duke of Banksford needs a governess for his illegitimate offspring. There’s nothing for it so Mari grabs the chance with both hands.
Edgar doesn’t want to be exposed to Mari’s charm around the clock but does he really have a choice? Mari is a potential threat for his peace of mind and the walls he has erected around his heart, however, his unmanageable children have run off every governess after a few days. So again, there’s nothing for it and Edgar recruits the bold young woman. Soon he finds himself wanting to break all his self-imposed rules.
The starry-eyed Miss Perkins was precisely what he did not require—a small, yet dangerous, bundle of crackling energy ready to burn through what little remained of his sanity.
Both male and female lead were truly likable characters and are somehow pioneers among their peers. Marie is an outgoing, very forward and spontaneous woman with a big heart. Her spunky, spirited personality charms the duke from the moment he meets her. Her spontaneity leads to regret sometimes but ultimately it has always worked out for her.
Edgar is a craftsman – which is really unusual for this time period. He is kind, a little troubled but good to the core. Edgar’s push and pull was a little confusing – according to his inner monologue he was all in one minute, the next one he had to keep Mari at arm’s length. I think it was supposed to show his confusion with his own feelings. I loved that he opened his heart little by little and saw how good Mari was for him and his children. (Also, can I say, I’m not a big fan of the name Edgar.)
The character’s speech was a little too modern for Regency London (although now that I think about it I can’t remember that a time period was mentioned). I also found the writing style a little choppy, over-simplified and interrupted the flow.
Her lower lip trembled when he raised the dagger. He made short work of her frayed bootlaces. Her corset laces would be much more fun to cut. Enough.
I don’t have kids but once upon a moon I was 9 years old and I can’t remember that I talked like that. I thought that Adele in particular talked a little too much like a grown-up. Otherwise the twins were a cute addition.
The story line itself is quite entertaining although you’ll have to suspend belief. I like my HR with a dose of realism and a governess and a duke? Yeah, that wouldn’t have happened…but still, the story was light and enjoyable.
This is my first book by Lenora Bell and while I probably expected a little more I was entertained.