If I Only Had a Duke
Book 2 in the Disgraceful Dukes series
Author Lenora Bell
Narrated by Beverley A. Crick
Published By Tantor Media
Publication date Jan 17, 2017
Running time 9 hrs 16 min
I voluntarily reviewed a publisher-provided, review copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
After three failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl, or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.
The duke ruined her plans, and he’ll just have to fix them.
Dalton, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage—he uses dalliances and public spectacle to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart . . . and he’s losing it to Thea.
It is the story of Thea’s quest to find the hidden and lost works of the Baroque artist, Artemesia Gentileschi, “she was the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arti del Disegno in Florence.” (http://www.uffizi.org/artworks/judith-and-holofernes-by-artemisia-gentileschi/) that makes this story worth reading and listening to. Only women with drive could forge the way to become painters and to be brave enough 150 years or more later to persist in her efforts to uncover the works of a woman who was abused personally and by the society and government of her time.
I liked the character of Dorothea as she continues [from the first book in the series] throwing off her golden handcuffs. I thought the rest of the story was telegraphed from the start. I was unsurprised by the surprise factor in the story, nor by the ultimate conclusion of that particular line. Of course, that I had read another book recently with a similar crisis.
I admire authors who use the romance format to actually explore women’s issues. The Regency period was both a period where women continued to be held back, but also a period when the Prince Regent’s daughter, Princess Charlotte Augusta, was expected to become a queen, and it set the stage for the reign of Queen Victoria. One could say, perhaps that consciousness of women’s infinite potentials was starting to rise.
The one who comes out ahead is any woman reading the book who had not heard of Artemesia Gentileschi.
Beverley Crick is not my favorite narrator, but she did a pretty good job here with the various voices, genders and characters.