Review: Blame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell

Reviewed by Jen

This is my first book from Lenora Bell and my feelings for it is pretty lukewarm. I found the premise a little intriguing: The hero is a sexually experienced rake who refuses to fall in love because he is afraid he is going to go mad one day like his father. And his match is the smart, independent lady who only marries him for the freedom to live her life as she pleases. Together, they agree to a short time together –basically to get it on– and then go their separate ways to live their lives married, yet apart.

Raise your hand if you think that is how things will play out.

It’s not so much the predictability of how the romance would unspool that left me kind of meh. I think it was the unlikeliness of so many elements of the story. Yes, it is fiction and a romance fantasy, but some things just kind of took me out of the story.

For instance, Alice is translating a lost section of the Kama Sutra. I can totally buy that she smart and that she knows six languages or whatever, but that she just so happens to have a lost portion of such a renowned text? Come on. And then there’s the subject matter of it. This woman who is an innocent virgin is literally translating the most well known text on sex and sensuality ever.

Add to that, she has been hellbent on never getting married, then a few promises and one kiss from Nick and she agrees to marry him on the spot. This, after her father won Nick in a card game against Nick’s senile father. Again I say, come on.

I give Bell props for the surprising side story about Nick’s heroic dealings with the mentally ill. But it had the potential to be so much more. It ended up being, I don’t know, superficial. I did not connect deeply with any part of this book nor the romance. It was all OK, but really that was it. Just OK.

To be fair, a lot of people loved this on Goodreads. Maybe you’ll connect with it more than I did. Maybe the details won’t mess with your suspension of disbelief. It does have some sweet moments and a satisfying ending.

Rating: B-

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Blame It on the Duke
by Lenora Bell
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Avon

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