Book review: How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell

DukeJames, 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.
Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…
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 
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns 
* Charm and seduce a wild duke 
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart 

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.


When it comes to Regency romances I tend to have my favourite authors. When I got sent How the Duke Was Won (The Disgraceful Dukes) I hadn’t heard of Lenora Bell before. However, I’m always on the lookout for new authors in this genre as there aren’t really that many!

How the Duke Was Won started off very differently to other books in this genre. Protagonist Charlene is a ‘common’ girl from Covent Garden, the area known for brothels! She’s definitely not your regular Lady. In fact, she was the complete opposite. I certainly haven’t read about any woman in this genre who knows self-defense. I loved Charlene, her character was so full of fire and humour!

The plot really revolves around James, the Duke of Harland and his search for a wife. He’s been living overseas for a while but knows he has to live up to his title. I was a bit unsure about James for quite a while to be honest. He invites four ladies to his home, at the same time, to see which of them are suitable! Charlene, not actually being a lady at all steps in to impersonate her half sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the Duke’s heart on her behalf.

How the Duke Was Won was a really fun book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. However, as you can probably guess with a name such as Charlene popping up, it’s not terribly historically accurate. Now, I’m not a historian so I don’t really care but I can see things like this annoying some people.

How the Duke Was Won is the first book in The Disgraceful Dukes series. The second book, If Only I Had a Duke is out now as well!

How the Duke Was Won was released by Piatkus on 26th May 2016.

Buy on Amazon!

Disclaimer: We were sent this book for review. All opinions are our own. 

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