Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #1
Genres: Historical, Romance, Historical Romance, Regency
The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.
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.
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 [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.
Need book 2 from Bell immediately.
My Thoughts on How the Duke Was Won
I picked this one up because Sarah MacLean wrote a special note about it in the publisher’s newsletter. I love MacLean’s books, and I’m always willing to give a recommendation a shot. It was totally worth it. After the end of How the Duke Was Won, I’m going to need book 2 when it comes out.
James, the Duke of Harland, isn’t your conventional duke. As the second son, he was never supposed to be duke. But now that he is, he finds that he needs a bride. One who’s born and bred to be a duchess. Then there’s Charlene, daughter of a courtesan, posing as her half-sister—an earl’s daughter—corralled into winning the duke’s proposal by the countess.
You don’t have to go much beyond that setup to realize how doomed the relationship is. Lies and nearly hard-wired beliefs go a long way toward keeping these two apart, even as they get closer. Charlene, raised in a bawdy house, seems to have the right skills to seduce a duke, even as she mangles their interactions.
James knows that Charlene-as-Dorothea is woman he wants… which is the worst kind of bride he could have. (Since he plans to leave.) Charlene is just fighting to get her sister and mom out of the bawdy house, and protect other women who have little choice in life about what they become.
A fantastic Regency-era romance that has enough hijinks and laugh-out-loud moments to make it difficult to put down, How the Duke Was Won is a debut that had me taking notice. Book 2 features Lady Dorothea, Charlene’s half-sister, and I cannot wait.