Tuesday, 1 May 2018

What a Difference A Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1) by Lenora Bell

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.
Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.
Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

Cover: I really like this simple historical cover, although I wish they cover model had red hair, as it's made obvious through the novel that the protagonist has red hair.

I've only read one other Lenora Bell novel, and I remember enjoying it, but not to the level of my favourite historical authors such as Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean, Margaret McPhee etc.  So I don't know why I haven't picked up another one of her novels before now.
This one I loved, and completely devoured it pretty much as soon as it turned up for review.
I think I enjoyed it so much because it's very much a historical romance with elements of both Jane Eyre and Mary Poppins mixed in.

Mary Poppins similarities-
Female protagonist name: Mari Perkins
Has a Parrot head umbrella.
The children constantly run away.
One of the twins is called Michel.
Children have to take a spoonful of medicine before bed.

Jane Eyre similarities-
Male protagonist name: Edgar Rochester
Mari is orphaned much like Jane, sent to a cold and strict religious school, where her only close friend, called Helena, catches a fever and dies.
She becomes a Governess.
She sees herself as plain and unattractive, unlike a potential suitor that the Duke has called Blanche.
One of the twins is called Adele.
A death bed confession leads Mari to know more about her past and her family.

As you can see, particularly if you are familiar with both stories, the similarities between them.  I've seen a few reviews where people have hated them, calling them a blatant rip off.  While I can understand that, I really enjoyed them and thought they were well done and I thought elements from two stories were blended together to make a thoroughly enjoyable historical novel.
I really look forward to picking up the next book in the series, and I will definitely be picking up Lenora Bell's other books.

4.5/5 stars.

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