Blame it on the Duke by Lenora Bell @lenora_bell #historicalromance

35030702Have you heard? The future Duke of Barrington has just been gambled away by his father. To an heiress!

The delicious details thus far . . . Nicolas, Lord Hatherly, never intended to marry – nor add to the ‘mad’ Hatherly line – but now he must honor his father’s debt to a social-climbing merchant or lose the family estate.

A notoriously wild marquess, won by her father at a game of cards, is the very last thing Miss Alice Tombs wants. She’s spent the last three seasons repelling suitors in spectacular fashion so she’d be at liberty to explore the world. She’ll just have to drive this one away as well.

Until Nick proposes an utterly tempting arrangement: one summer together to prove the legitimacy of their union, then Alice is free to travel while Nick revels in the time he has left before the Hatherly “madness” takes hold.

It will be easy to walk away after a few months of make-believe wedded bliss – won’t it? Alice and Nick are about to find out . . . one sultry night at a time.

This ought to be fun . . .

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Little, Brown Book Group Paperback 371 Piatkus Books Historical Romance May 4th, 2017

Blame it on the Duke was one of two books I requested from Little, Brown Book Group when I received the Piatkus highlights newsletter a couple of months back. The second book was Angel’s Share by J.R. Ward. You can find my review for here.

*Thank you to LB and Piatkus for providing me a paperback of the book in exchange for honest review!* 

Blame it on the Duke is #3 in The Disgraceful Dukes series and each book can be read as standalone even though it looks like they have some characters that make appearances in each of them.

Historical romance, hey? It’s not a genre I would often read and I’m hardly an expert at reviewing this genre but I will do my best. Thing is, with a blurb like that ↑↑↑, it was pretty difficult not to want to read what promised to be a fun experience.

I am sure you’re all sitting in suspense, wondering how this review is going to pan out… Let me enable you to take your finger off the pulse- I enjoyed the book immensely! I did!

Getting myself stuck into the 1820s+ was a delightful experience. Respectful (easily shocked/fainting) ladies and mannerly gentlemen… estates and social classes… gowns and tight breeches! *gulp* What’s not to love, right?… And yet, I was expecting a sort of a fluffy, shallow kind of read- a blushing bride ready to break out of her shell and discover her… ahem.. more seductive manners.

Blame it on the Duke positively surprised me with its plot and conflicts, main characters and the more intimate side of it. The plot was more than just Alice and Nick being ‘put together’ by bad luck and then fighting against each other with their stubbornness until they fell in love. Adding that extra bit of intrigue was the issue of Nick’s father, the Duke, being mad and loving his orchids. There was the issue of innocent people being submitted to a mental asylum for personal gain by evil husbands/siblings and of course, the texsts that Alice was working on. What texts? I don’t wish to say because finding out what Alice was doing was a brilliant surprise and even though it frightened me at first, thinking the subject matter was going to turn the book into a bang-fest, it didn’t.

The romance, even though unexpected and a ludicrous turn of events for both of the main characters, was a slow burning one which built up into epic proportions! It made me realize that I really have to like the characters’ qualities to be able to enjoy romance concluding with sex scenes. I dislike clingy, whining and seemingly weak women in any genre, but in romances, they really peeve me. Alice, and Nick as well, were both thoroughly likeable and it excited me to read their journey.

What also made Blame it on the Duke delightful was the cast of supporting characters. Alice’s aunt who’s a lady of outrageous qualities and skills in that historical setting ;), Nick’s ‘man-servants’ who seemingly have no manners whatsoever and Captain Lear! I enjoyed his presence a great deal- Lear is Nick’s friend, he’s also what some could call a pirate? Anyway, if you need exotic supplies, alcohol and flower seeds included, he’s your man!

Overall, you could be the Chairlady of the Prude Society and I can guarantee that you’ll loosen up and get a bit swoony as you read the book. There’s great conflicts, interesting to follow characters and some steamy scenes if it’s something you’re after. I was positively surprised by the book and I am glad I gave it a chance!

Blame it on the Duke on Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA 


  1. You had me at “one sultry night at a time” ;P I haven’t read a good romance in a while and this sounds like something light and fun that I’d enjoy! I’m glad you mention the fact that the romance is a slow burner. Nothing annoys me more than when two characters hop into bed two pages in! Relationships and romance are about so much more than sex and I enjoy books that show this! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “you could be the Chairlady of the Prude Society…” XD XD XD I cannot STOP laughing at that line! Perfection.

    I will admit, I was a bit shocked to see a historical romance here! But, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s great to see my blogger friends branching out! Is this the first historical romance you’ve ever read? I appreciate that you call attention to the secondary characters– they can be so important in fleshing out a book more. I don’t know if romance is my bag, but I won’t knock it until I try it! If this ever crosses my path I’ll be certain to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahahaha… happy to have entertained! 🙂

      Hmm… It’s not the first-first histrom I’ve read but it certainly has been a while! and I really did enjoy this book so much… and I truly think that given there isn’t an overload of graphic sex scenes, and the matter of interesting side story, you could easily enjoy this one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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