Sunday, April 24, 2016

ARC Review of How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell

A cup of hot chocolate, smooth, rich, decadent and irresistible.  

That is what you experience when you read Lenora's debut Historical Romance Novel. 

Charlene is the illegitimate daughter of an Earl and a Courtesan.  She is strong, stubborn, and determined to rescue her mother and younger sister from the life that has brought nothing but pain and sorrow.  She is also a radical who wants to open a Boarding House to help all the poor young girls who turn to selling their bodies to survive.  She has promised herself that she will never become a whore and will protect her young naive sister who sees life through her painting.

James the Duke of Harland has come back to England for one purpose.  To find a bride to be his Duchess and raise his illegitimate daughter who's mother was an actress in Trinidad.  He wants a young lady who is proper in every way and will teach his daughter to control her emotions and make her strong to protect herself.  James was the second son who lost his beloved mother when he was 14.  He father was a tyrant who abused him and banished him to a sugar plantation in Trinidad.  He has traveled the world and found his passion, cocoa.  He became very wealthy and dedicated himself to eliminating slave labor and bring cocoa to the masses.  This can only be accomplished by returning to England, finding a pure debutante bride who has an influential father who can help him eliminate the high taxes on imports and stop using slave labor on plantations.  Then he can leave and return to Trinidad and only return to England to sire another child on his perfect Duchess.

Charlene agrees to a deception that will help her mother get well and give her sister a chance to live in the country and have a mentor to help her with her art.  The scheme goes wrong from the start.  Instead of pretending to a proper young lady that is supposed to catch a Duke she and James are instantly attracted to each other.  Neither want the feelings that are instantly apparent.

Will Charlene be able to go through with the charade without her heart breaking?  Will James be able to ignore Charlene and choose the proper bride he came back to England to find and get the hell out England?

I really, really enjoyed this book.  Lenora's writing flows effortlessly throughout the story.  Her characters are amazingly real and the story catches you from the start and never lets go.  Sensual love scenes, witty banter and captivating descriptions make this debut author someone to watch.  Do not Miss it!!!  

Cannot wait for the next book in the series!!

Received a complimentary copy from the publisher for an honest review.

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