I feel like with every new release I fall just a little bit more in love with Lenora Bell. This is the third book in the Disgraceful Dukes series and in my opinion the best yet.
Nick, better known as the Marquess of Hatherly, would rather spend his time indulging in imported wines and liquors, while eating rich food prepared by his French chef and watching opera singers and actresses perform in his home. Watching his father fall to lunacy at a young age and knowing his families history has convinced him that his future inevitably holds madness, which means he must live for the pleasures of today. He has no intention of ever taking a wife or siring an heir. He will revel in his hedonistic pleasures and take care of his aging, insane father until the future finally comes for him. So imagine his shock when he realizes that not only has his father’s caretaker allowed him to gamble, but that gambling led to the Duke losing his son in a card game.
Alice Tombs knows the men of the ton have only shown interest in her because of her father’s fortune. Unfortunately for them Alice has no intention of being stuck in a marriage of convenience where she is has no rights and no freedoms. She is determined that she will embark on an adventure, one that will take her to India and Fort William College in Calcutta where she hopes to donate a missing manuscript of the Kama Sutra as well as her translations. Well, her brother will have to take all the credit, but at least she will know of her accomplishments. Only, her brother marries an actress and writes home announcing there’s a babe on the way, and then her father informs her that he has won her a husband in a card game. And not just any husband, but the notorious rake Lord Hatherly.
Nick and Alice have no desire to wed, but they quickly realize that marrying each other will suit each of their needs perfectly. Nick will gain a wife who will warm his bed for a limited time, then sail off to foreign lands never to bother him again. Alice will gain the safety of marriage to a husband who has no wish to control her, the freedom to travel as she wishes and a teacher in all things pleasure for the month leading up to here departure. After all, the she needs experience in bedsport in order to better understand her translations. Love will not enter the equation.
BUT IT DOES! Oh, yes it does. I adored Nick and Alice equally. Nick with his tortured soul and belief that his future only holds insanity and darkness, but who shows kindness and offers protection to those who need kindness and protection the most. Nick who has jumped from woman to woman, always searching out sex, but never allowing any comfort or closeness. Then there is Alice, who is smart and capable and craves independence. She agrees to the marriage for two reasons… she will finally get her trip to India and she will gain the sexual experience she desires. I liked that this couple never lied to each other, and other than the truth of what Alice was really translating, never really kept secrets from each other. They were straightforward about their wants and expectations. It was a pleasure watching them fall into friendship, and then slowly into love. There weren’t any OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING moments,(thank goodness) just a slow progression of two people building a relationship. Lovely really. Also, I adored the sensuality and lustiness of Nick and Alice’s love scenes. She blossoms sexually, and he can’t get enough of it.
Fans of historical romance will definitely want to get their one-click fingers ready. Blame it on the Duke was a charming, sensual read that kept me up late into the night. Highly recommend. Final Grade- B+
God, it felt good to hold her.
Before he’d married her, he’d thought that she was his very favorite kind of trouble.
He’d been wrong.
She wasn’t just his favorite kind of trouble.
She was the best trouble he’d ever had.
Previous reviews in the Disgraceful Dukes series: