Duke Most Wicked
by Lenora Bell
A Wallflowers vs Rogues Novel
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a wicked duke who has gambled away his fortune must be in want of an heiress.
Scarred by a dark secret, Brandan Delamar, Duke of Westbury, must concede his misdeeds have finally caught up with him. With five younger sisters to support, he must marry for money.
Sunny and steadfast, Viola Beaton is no heiress. As music instructor to the duke’s sisters, she’s developed a genuine affection for the bright young ladies. Unfortunately, she’s also developed a forbidden passion for her wildly attractive employer.
It must be the way he inspires her to compose sonatas about moonlight and kisses. Or how his gaze smolders and lingers on her skin. Or because he makes her heart whisper impossible things.
When Westbury decrees that he’ll choose not only a bride, but grooms for his sisters, Viola can’t allow him to curtail their freedom. She strikes a bargain: if he allows his sisters to attend the Season, Viola will chaperone them and keep them safe from scandal.
Only…what if Viola and the duke are the ones most likely to cause a scandal?
The first word that comes to mind when I think of this book is "sparkling." That's not to say it doesn't also contain emotional depth. It does. In fact, there are many layers to the story. But the overwhelming feeling I got while reading it was joy. There's an effervescence to Bell's writing that keeps me smiling, and eagerly turning pages from start to finish, secure in the knowledge that I'm in for a humorous, witty, heartfelt, hopeful, sparkling, steamy, romantic ride.
Viola and West are characters who engaged my emotions almost immediately. My heart ached for what West had endured at his father's hand during his childhood. I almost didn't blame him for the course he took when he vowed to be the most wicked duke in London. I rejoiced when he proved to not be beyond redemption, having been first awaked by his sisters' (five of them!) predicament then guided onto the right path by their music teacher, Miss Viola Beaton. Of course, I also rejoiced when he kept a bit of that wickedness in reserve to share with our (not so) prim and proper miss.
Viola was an absolute delight and a bit of a surprise. She had hidden layers that I was not expecting but that were oh, so enjoyable. I loved how she went toe-to-toe with West even as her crush on him caused her to flutter and stammer. I loved the role music played in her life and how the author used it in a variety of scenes. I loved how adamant she was in support of his sisters...and everyone else, actually. It was satisfying to watch her finally stand up for herself. That's when the fun really started. The wicked fun.
These two are so good together. I loved their banter, how they each slowly revealed their layers to the other, how they brought out the best in one another. The love scenes were steamy, organic, and so much fun. I imagine much laughter in their bedroom...in all the rooms. They've become one of my favorite Lenora Bell couples. I have no doubt that I will visit their story again.
If you're a fan of books by Julia Quinn or Tessa Dare and have not yet discovered Lenora Bell, I encourage you to give her a try. Duke Most Wicked would be a great place to begin.
Have you read Lenora Bell?
Do you have a favorite of her books?
Do you enjoy a wicked hero who is (somewhat) tamed by the heroine? We don't want them to lose all that wicked fun, do we? ;-)
One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, December 4 will receive a signed copy of Duke Most Wicked from PJ.
One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, December 4 will receive a special prize package from Lenora Bell. The package includes:
*Signed copy of Duke Most Wicked
*Round sticker and bookmark
*Pearl hair pin
*Copy of the Yuletide Carol from the book (written and composed by Lenora's mother)
*Must be 18
I have read her books and enjoyed them very much. I never can pick a favorite other than the one that i'm currently reading lol.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for reading my books!Delete
I have read her books and she writes the kind of stories that you don't want to put down. Can't wait to read new one.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much!Delete
Lenora Bell has written such wonderful books. They are all my faves. Yes, a wicked hero who can be tamed is always intriguing.ReplyDelete
Happy holidays and thanks for reading!Delete
I have read her books and enjoyed them greatly. Would love to read this one too especially about a wicked hero.ReplyDelete
He's definitely wicked in the beginning but Viola brings him to his knees ;-)Delete
Ms Bell is a new to me author. It sounds like she would definitely be an author who appeals to me with the wit, humor and charm in her writing. Thanks for the review and introduction to this new to me author. You keep giving me more reasons to win the lottery just for the book money.ReplyDelete
Nice to meet you, Annette! Isn't the Romance Dish a wonderful place?Delete
I've read one of Lenora's books and enjoyed it so she's definitely on my 'to read' radar', and I always perk up when I see a Duke is involved.ReplyDelete
I do love those dukes! Thanks for reading my books and happy holidays!Delete
I have read her books before and enjoyed them, And yes I love those wicked hero, penneyReplyDelete
Hi Penney! So nice to see you here. Happy holidays!Delete
She is a new to me author. I do enjoy a wicked hero as long as he gets mostly redeemed by influence of the heroine.ReplyDelete
So lovely to meet you, Cherie!Delete
I've a couple of her books on my TBR but haven't had a chance to dive in yet. I do love the cover of this newest! And wicked heroes? Absolutely, especially when they have a shot at some redemption...ReplyDelete
I really like all Lenora Bell books, so can't pick a favorite. Thanks for the chance to win a signed copy.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by!Delete
Hi PJ! Thank you for the excellent review! I have been looking forward to reading this since I heard Lenora speaking about it in October. I love a redeemed (somewhat) rake!ReplyDelete
Hope you enjoy it, Sharlene!Delete
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the review and recommendation. I do not believe I have read Lenora Bell, but likely have one of her books in my TBR mountain. I enjoy seeing a wicked (but not in a mean way) hero tamed a bit by the heroine. A wise woman will likely not tame all of his wickedness, which after all may be what attracted her in the first place.ReplyDelete
While I’ve never read any of your books, this sounds amazing! It’s just the type I like to read.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on this work, and thank you for the chance to win! Happy holidays, and happy writing!
I haven’t read any of her books. This one sounds delightful! I would love to win!!ReplyDelete
Recently learned about Lenora’s historical romance books featuring dukes. So far, I have not read any of them.ReplyDelete
They say reformed rogues make the best husbands.
I prefer heroes that are hard to tame or even catch. Adds conflict and makes the story more interesting.