Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Edelweiss
After three failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl, or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season. The duke ruined her plans and he’ll just have to fix them.
Dalton, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage–he uses dalliances and public spectacle to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart…and he’s losing it to Thea.
This is the second book in the Disgraceful Dukes series and I thoroughly enjoyed this as much as the first one. I was looking forward to Dorothea’s book and I was not disappointed as we are treated to humor, danger and of course romance.
We met Dorothea (Thea) in the previous book; she caused a scandal when she left the Duke of Harland at the altar, through no fault of her own. She was manipulated by her mother who was incensed that her daughter had not found a husband after three unsuccessful seasons. Now Thea is happily exiled to Ireland where she is enjoying time with her aunt and trying to gain access to a neighboring duke’s attic for his paintings. When she travels to London because of her mother, she meets the neighbor, who promptly disrupts her future plans. Now she wants amends.
Dalton, the Duke of Osborne has been searching for the man who destroyed his family years ago. Never wanting to return to Ireland, he dismisses letters from a neighbor who wants access to some paintings of his fathers. When she comes to London, he assumes she is looking for a husband and after one dance he unwittingly makes her the bell of the ball, instead, she is angry and demands to be taken back to Ireland before her mother does something stupid like marry her off. And the antics begin.
What a fun, entertaining book. I was hooked from the beginning, the letters Thea and Dalton exchange before they meet are hilarious and I could not wait to get these two together.
Thea was intriguing from the beginning. I wanted to meet the woman whose mother tried to trick a duke into marrying her. Thea was always shy and often did not fit in with London society, and had a hard time talking to men. In the beginning I was not sure about her personality but she surprised me with her strength and independence and she was the perfect match for the duke.
Dalton was an amazing hero, albeit a bit preoccupied with the past and finding those that killed his brother. He thought he was doing something nice for Thea by dancing with her but instead found himself helping her escape her mother’s matchmaking threats. While on their way to Ireland, the two find danger and passion along with an unexpected revelation while investigating his past.
I loved the two together, the witty banter was hilarious and the undeniable attraction between them was extremely entertaining, they definitely had chemistry. I liked how they each received something from the other, she realizes that she can be happy and fall in love with someone and he learns that he should not dwell on the past. The pace worked well, a slow and steady buildup of their romance with spikes of dangerous and emotional scenes interspersed throughout. Secondary characters enriched the story line, especially Con and Molly. I also enjoyed seeing a few friends from the first book again, even if it had to be her mother. The ending came up a bit abruptly and there seemed to be some unfinished items from Dalton’s family, but over all a very enjoyable book. I am looking forward to more.
I give If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell 4 stars!