Today on the site, we have a book excerpt and review for One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell. Not only is this book one of our favorite reads of the year, but it’s also our favorite read for the School for Dukes series. With fantastic characterization and a downright charming storyline, One Fine Duke is sure to be a hit with any longtime historical romance fan, and most especially any fan of Lenora Bell.
One Fine Duke by Lenora Bella
School for Dukes #3
Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny’s dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There’s only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe’s brother Drew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.
This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.
But Mina is no damsel in distress. She’s daring, intuitive, passionate…and halfway to melting Drew’s cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?
One Fine Duke
“There he is, Wilhelmina,” Grizzy whispered, staring reverently across the crowded ballroom. “The Duke of Thorndon.”
Holy hell he’s handsome, thought Mina.
Jaw-dropping-on-the-floor handsome. Drool-on-your-lace-fichu handsome.
Distract her from her plan with his brother, handsome.
Her uncle had been right. Thorndon was a fine figure of a man. Objectively speaking, the finest she’d ever beheld.
Tall as a doorframe, with a face hewn from the same granite as the rugged Cornish coastline.
A face rendered seductive by contrasts: sharp cheekbones and curved, sensuous lips. Gleaming ebony hair brushed his collar. His eyes were a light, gold-tinged brown—the only warm thing about him.
He owned this ballroom. Literally. And he owned everyone in it by dint of his oversized presence and the cold, unsmiling arrogance scrawled across his face.
He didn’t even follow the dictates of fashion, preferring plain black attire to the white pantaloons and gaily-colored waistcoats of the other gentlemen.
Why should he follow the dictates of fashion? Everyone should follow him.
“When you’re introduced to Thorndon, pray speak as seldom as possible,” Grizzy whispered. “Attempt to appear biddable and do try to recall my decorum lessons. Remember, no one in London knows anything about you, thank the Lord.”
Mina had seen several polished, elegant young ladies staring at her, nudging each other and whispering. She was an outsider, a usurper, her proper place in the social hierarchy not yet established.
They needn’t worry. She had no designs upon their prize duke. And she was about as unpolished as a debutante could be—as rough as an un-sanded plank. If anyone touched her they might get splinters.
She longed to shed her country skin swiftly and emerge as the sophisticated social butterfly her mother had been. But she knew that it would take time, observation, and experimentation.
Her first flirtatious conversation, first kiss, first taste of brandy, first adventure…it was all ahead of her.
She couldn’t wait to taste it all.
One Fine Duke
School for Dukes
One Fine Duke is utterly delightful. As the third book in historical romance author Lenora Bell’s School for Dukes series with Avon Romance, One Fine Duke is the story of Miss Mina Penny, a spunky though sheltered young woman who longs for freedom, and Andrew, the Duke of Thorndon, a reclusive man who struggles to deal with a traumatic experience in his past but who is just as determined to protect the siblings he left behind in London.
Mina’s uncle wishes her to marry a Duke, but Mina has other ideas, which is why she does everything in her power to make the Duke of Thorndon dislike her on sight. Except things don’t quite work out the way Mina wants, because instead of repelling the Duke, she manages to intrigue him, which only complicates her plot to marry his irreputable brother.
Mina is a strong, proud, and bold heroine who makes no apologies for things she wants, and the things she doesn’t. She has dreams that exist far outside of acceptable society topics and as such, she wants a man that will give her the freedom to pursue the interests she longs to chase.
Andrew is a brave man who shuns society in order to function without the painful memories that sometimes grip him. When he meets Mina, she’s exactly what he didn’t expect and every inch the kind of the woman he needs to help him heal.
Wonderfully entertaining and joyfully well-written, One Fine Duke is a must read for historical romance fans who love strong but complex characters, witty dialogue, intriguing and unexpected storylines, and fun, memorable scenes that will having you laughing out loud as well as sighing in completely charmed pleasure.
Category: Adult | Genre: Historical Romance
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Author LENORA BELL
Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has lived and worked on five continents. She currently lives in New Zealand with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves hearing from readers! Sign up for her mailing list to hear about new books, sales, and giveaways.