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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited, and love is out of the question.

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke's proposal. All she must do is:

Be the perfect English rose (Ha!)

Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns (blast Lady Dorothea's sylph-like figure)

Charm and seduce a wild duke (without appearing to try)

Keep said duke far, far from her heart (no matter how tempting)

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything, including her heart.

©2016 Lenora Bell (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Colorful supporting characters, plentiful plot twists, and the trials of star-crossed lovers make for a sizzling and heartwarming page-turner." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy T
  • Jacksonville, FL USA
  • 02-27-17

Really enjoyed this book a lot! Great Narration!

This was such and fun book. Very entertaining all the way through.

I loved Charlene and James, the disgraceful Duke of Harland. The chemistry and attraction between these two was great. It felt real and genuine. There was a couple very well written sex scenes. Not erotica not rated G, but steamy.

Very strong female lead character. No simpering whiny heroine here. A great hero in the disgraceful duke.

The story line and plot was fun. The were some fun characters. Great dialogue throughout the entire book.

I totally recommend this book.

As for the narration it was great. Beverly Crick did a fantastic job! She does great with the men's voices. She reads with emotion as called for ie, laughing, crying, yelling etc. She has a nice reading voice too.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Unconventional Bride Hunt

If you could sum up How the Duke Was Won in three words, what would they be?

Eccentric love story!

What did you like best about this story?

His invitation to four eligible debutantes and their mothers to visit his estate with the objective of choosing a bride. Pretending to be a Footman the handsome Duke wants to see his prospective brides when they were not being pretentious. His meeting with his four prospective brides as the "Footman" was hilarious.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the Duke first met Lady Dorothea (Charlene Beckett) flirting with her as the Footman. To say he was surprised by "LADY" Dorothea's reaction is putting it mildly. Forming a mental picture of the scene still puts a smile on my face.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Trouble = inviting four prospective brides and their hopeful mamma's to the Ducal Estate to compete for the position of Duchess.

Any additional comments?

This is Lenora Bell's debut novel but you'd never know it. I enjoyed "How the Duke Was Won" more than many books I have read/heard from seasoned authors. It was fresh, well written entertainment. Beverley A. Crick gave a great performance. I highly recommend it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

FUNNY, ROMANTIC, ENGAGING!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes the narrator Beverley A. Crick was Wonderful to listen too. She nailed all the characters and made the story even better. Really Good Historical Romance

What did you like best about this story?

I Love it!! It was Romantic, Funny, Well Written and Engaging Characters. I listen to it in one setting.

Which character – as performed by Beverley A. Crick – was your favorite?

She was Amazing in all of them, but I guest if I had to choose one it would be James The Duke of Harland

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I don't know

Any additional comments?

How The Duke Was Won was a funny, romantic, face moving story. I read it in one sitting. It hit all the bells and whistles of a very well written and believable Historical Romance. I Highly Recommend How the Duke Was Won.

James Edward Warren was a second son of the Duke of Harland. His father and his brother were killed in a carriage accident and he is now the 7th Duke of Harland, Marquess of Langdon, Earl of Guilford and Baron of Warren and Clyde. Wow so many titles that he was not expecting to have. Now he must marry and provide the proper heir. James selects 4 young debutantes to come and compete for the title of Duchess of Harland. Lady Vivienne, Miss Alice Tombs, Lady Augusta and Lady Dorothea. The ladies are chaperone by there mothers and all arrive at Warbury Park to meet the Disgraceful Duke as he is being called.

Dorothea's Mother Countess of Desmond needs her husbands illegitimate daughter Charlene Beckett to pretend she is Dorothea. They look like twins. When the invitation arrived inviting Dorothea she was in Italy. Charlene Beckett is the daughter of the Earl of Desmond and a Courtesan. Charlene has been raised to be a courtesan but Never will stoop to that level of degradation like her mother. She refuses to be any mans mistress. But they are in desperate need of money. Charlene wants to close her mother's Bawdy House the Pink Feather and pay off the loan to a Evil Perverse Baron Lord Grant, who likes to brand his conquest with a hot iron. Charlene also, has a younger sister Lulu who is a very good artist. She doesn't want her sister to ever know the real life they live. So she excepts the offer made by Lady Desmond to pretend to be Dorothea and to secure the a proposal from the Duke. But It will be the real Dorothea who actually will marry the Duke.

Who will James choose to be his new Duchess? What secret is James hiding? Will James find out the truth of the deception being played on him by the Lady Desmond, Charlene, her father Lord Desmond and the real Dorothea? Will he marry the Real Dorothea? You have to read it to find out. But I know you will enjoy the unraveling of How The Duke Was Won. I could not stop reading this story. Now I am off to read bk 2 If I Had A Duke but I am really more anxious for bk 3 Blame it on a Duke. If I had one complaint it would be That Lord Grant did get enough of punishment for what he was trying to do to Charlene and what he had done to many other young girls. I wish the author had had him branded and buggered!!




2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A first for me

I'm very glad I started off with this title by Lenora Bell. This was a very interest story and I loved the main characters. The narrator was very engaging even though sometimes I struggled to differentiate the characters from her narration. Her voice grew on me as I'm used to male narrators. I will definitely continue with more audios by Lenora Bell and books as well.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it...different

I liked both the H & H...the story was a little different from many books. Fun and sweet romance..sexy at times.

My only problem was there was a little too much mention of social injustices...i mean sometimes it just seemed like too much.

So far I'm really liking the next in the series.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Just too sexual for me

What disappointed you about How the Duke Was Won?

I wanted more romance and less sexual. It was too graphic. I look for the subtleties.

What could Lenora Bell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Remember that her audience are women, not men.

How could the performance have been better?

The performance was fine.

Any additional comments?

I returned the book before I finished because of the overt sexuality.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

ruined at the end

liked the story for the most part, but the moralizing social "lesson" at the end was too preachy. though based in fact the presentation of the issues of the times were presented in a manner I found patronizing. sounds like the author is more interested in the pushing the social agenda...oh, and let's throw a baby in there for a last ditch close.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A lovely fairy tail

After listening to so many books it becomes difficult to like fluffy stories and mediocre writing. The characters here were believable and storyline cute. A bit unrealistic but I doubt any of us reading these books and adoring them for originality and believability. It helped me escape my life and I was thoroughly engaged and enjoying it. The last hour was a bit too mushy for me but one can't have it all :).

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A truly disgraceful Duke.

this was the first time I had written a book by Lenora Bell. I think she has true talent and brings with, class, fun, and a little bit of drama to her characters. The heroine in this book has a lot to handle, but she handles it with class. I would encourage you to spend your credit on this book.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Trish R.
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 03-01-17

Really? A spanking? WTH?

This was a good story, mostly. Charlene was supposed to take the place of Lady Dorthea, her half-sister. Charlene was the by-blow daughter of Dorthea's father, who was raised in a brothel, Dorthea was Lord and Lady Desmond’s sainted daughter who was on her way from Italy. James, the duke, invited four young ladies to his home for three days then he would decide who would be his duchess. And, let the fun begin!

I knew there would be a big difference in Charlene and Dorthea when it came to changing places. Lady Desmond was crazy to think that just because Charlene was the by-blow of her husband’s and therefore could pass for Dorthea’s twin that they’d have the same personalities and temperaments.

This book, just like so many others, didn’t have to be almost 400 pages. I probably skimmed past about 100 pages altogether. Plus, this was her debut novel and she decided to add a spanking to it? Overall, it was a good story but I can’t stand “spanking” in my romance novels. Had I known there was spanking I would never have bought it, and since there’s spanking in this book I’m sure there’s spanking in others. What a disappointment. When it happened at 75% I was tempted to stop reading it but I decided to just finish it. There wasn’t enough lust, with the exception of James mentioning or thinking about Charlene’s breasts all the time, going on in this book to ever make me think there might be a spanking. I know a lot of you ladies find spanking titillating, unfortunately I'm not one who does. It was wholly unnecessary.

And WTH was that dream James had at about 93%. That was stupid and didn’t add a thing to the storyline. It was like the author said, “Hmm, let me just add this nonsense right here and it’ll add more useless pages.” Jeez, I didn’t get that at all.

There was sex in this book, once right after he spanked her and three times in the last 20%. And, as with all historical novels there was no swearing, unless you consider bloody or blast swearing.

I did like most the other characters: Kyuzo, Flor, Lulu, Susan, Diane, Alice (really liked her because she was too funny,) Augusta (who was kind of slutty) and Vivienne (who was very conniving,) and the other girl I don't even remember she left so soon into their gathering. Loved Lord Dalton. Hated Lord Grant, what a piece of work he was. And Lady Desmond was simply crazy.

As to the narration: Ms. Crick did a very good job overall. The women’s voices were all different and she read with lots of emotion BUT I just wasn’t crazy about the men’s voices. Mostly they were OK but sometimes they sounded too feminine.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful