What a Difference a Duke Makes: School for Dukes

What a Difference a Duke Makes: School for Dukes

by Lenora Bell

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Wanted: Governess for duke’s unruly children


Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have terrorized half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.


Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke


Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won’t be quite so easy to control. And there’s something else she can’t seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time Edgar is near.


Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny


As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she’s the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win . . .?


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062692429
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2018
Series: School for Dukes , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 6,489
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has lived and worked on five continents. She currently lives in New Zealand with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves hearing from readers! Sign up for her mailing list to hear about new books, sales, and giveaways.

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What a Difference a Duke Makes: School for Dukes 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in two days. I truly enjoyed it. Mari was refreshing and interesting. The twins were lovely and adventurous children. The Duke protective and inspiring.
Diane Rossitto 1 days ago
What an enjoyable book. Loved Mari and the twins.
Victoria Minutella 3 months ago
Great book. I enjoyed reading this book. Give 4 stars
LEH0644 More than 1 year ago
The twin children of Edgar Rochester, the Duke of Banksford, have driven of their governesses and the Duke is at his wit’s end. Mari Perkins comes to apply for the position but one look at her and the Duke says no. She is too young and too beautiful. An orphan, Mari needs the job and the Duke agrees to give her a week. His children have never been as well-behave as they have become under Mari’s care. Edgar was attracted to her beauty when he first saw her. Now he finds himself falling in love with her. He tells himself he has a business that needs his attention not a woman. His heart has other ideas. I totally loved this book and feel it deserves more than 5 stars! Loved the growing love between serious Edgar and saucy Mari. She broke through his icy demeanor and found the warm and loving man beneath. With him, she found a family of her own.
MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
This is a fun tribute to Mary Poppins, Jane Eyre, and all those classic tales where the governess gets the guy. With all the interest in the return of Mary Poppins to the big screen, it's fun to see all the references to the story in this book. Mari Perkins is desperate for a job as governess, but when she finagles her way into Edgar Rochester's household for an interview, she has no idea he is one of the most formidable and unconventional dukes in England. Edgar would rather be working on his steam engine designs, but he has two unruly children who have recently sent his household into chaos. He's desperate for a governess to control the children, but a very pretty, impertinent young governess is not what he had in mind. He's determined never to repeat his father's horrible behavior, so he firmly places Mari in the "off limits" category. Good thing Mari is determined to bring him closer to his children, break down his walls, and show him what a little love could mean for his family. I liked that the story spent a lot of time showing how Mari helped the children settle into their new life and didn't just shove them to the side as an afterthought. It was also interesting that Edgar was an inventor and hard worker, not just a pampered duke. The secondary characters added a lot to the story, as well. I'm looking forward to the story of Edgar's sister, India.
GayleC More than 1 year ago
What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell is the story of a novice governesses foray into the world of the Banksford household in London. Mari is a young lady with a good head on her shoulders and a strong backbone. She was raised in an oppressive charity school and there is some mystery regarding her parentage. Down to her last chance, Mari boldly seizes an opportunity and finds herself in the household of the Duke of Banksford. The Duke has recently acquired two children who excel at running off governesses. Mari may not be the governess that Edgar wants but she is definitely the governess his family needs. Edgar and Mari are charming and sympathetic characters. I loved their scenes together as they met, struggled with attraction and fell into something more. They lit up the page with their conversations. The Banksford household is a terrific place to spend time in with excellent secondary characters and interesting insights into the beginning of industrial change in England. Lenora Bell has written a fun, poignant and truly heartfelt book with nods to Mary Poppins and other literary classics. I highly recommend this book to readers who like clever humor, witty dialogue and a household of lively and unusual folk who seem to leap off the page. What a Difference a Duke Makes is a joy to read. This is the first book I have read written by Lenora Bell, but I know it won't be the last. I'm looking forward to the follow-up in this series For the Duke's Eyes Only.
Keoweegirl More than 1 year ago
Lenora Bell uses one of my favorite stories, Mary Poppins, as inspiration for her newest historical romance, WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES. Infusing her story with heart, humor, and the same sense of whimsy that Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke brought to their film roles, she’s created a romance that charms and delights. I especially enjoyed Mari - - rhymes with starry - - who refuses to give up in the face of overwhelming odds. I admired her intelligence, her humor, and her big heart; her ability to guide Edgar Rochester, the Duke of Banksford’s high-spirited children with kindness and fun, not force, and her determination to help the children and their father bond as a family. She won my heart as surely as she won theirs. Edgar is a hard-working, honorable businessman, not your typical duke, whose life has been turned upside down with the appearance of nine-year-old twins who, until recently, he didn’t know existed. He has no idea how to relate to them and watching him struggle with his growing feelings for his children and their governess is both poignant and fun, especially with Mari and the twins all leading him a merry chase. I very much enjoyed Mari and Edgar as a couple and cheered their happily ever after the whole way. The banter between them sparkles as brightly as their shared chemistry, eliciting sighs as well as laughter. The twins fairly leap from the page so vividly are they depicted and the Duke’s sister, India is a vibrant, outside-the-box, secondary character who immediately engaged my interest. I’m very much looking forward to her story. The only fly in the ointment for me was Edgar’s mother. The enmity between the two is so deep and long-running that I found the rather quick and easy resolution hard to believe. But that’s a small hiccup in an otherwise delightful story. If you’re looking for something light, witty, and romantic that makes your heart sing, I enthusiastically recommend this book.
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
Mari is in London to find work and to discover more about her background. She was raised at an orphanage, but she recently received information about possible family. There's a lawyer who knows more, but she needs to find him first. She's looking for a job as a governess to earn a living. When she arrives at the agency she's being treated appallingly, but Mari knows how to take care of herself and immediately finds an opportunity. The Duke of Banksford is desperate, his twins have chased away all of their governesses so far. Mari is convinced she won't suffer the same fate. Edgar might be a wealthy Duke, but he doesn't know how to make his children listen. When he meets the beautiful Mari he isn't convinced she has what it takes to be their governess, but Mari cleverly changes his opinion. She gets her chance and that means she'll be part of the Duke's household. Being near him proves to be a challenge. Edgar likes his governess, but he's a Duke and her employer, so knows he should keep his distance. Will he be able to resist temptation? What a Difference a Duke Makes is an amazing entertaining romantic story. Mari is fierce, outspoken, confident and kind. I absolutely loved her sparkling personality and had to laugh out loud several times because of all the hilarious little Mary Poppins references in the story. There are some similarities, but definitely not too many and because I'm such a fan of Mary Poppins, reading them was a real treat. I enjoyed every single one of Mari's adventures. She's a practically perfect governess, she's cheeky, smart and amazing with children. She doesn't only change the childrens' lives she also makes sure she tutors their father in matters of the heart. I loved the chemistry between them and their strained conversations filled with Mari's wicked comments are fabulous. Lenora Bell has written a fantastic book. What a Difference a Duke Makes has a huge feelgood factor. I had a big smile on my face while I was reading this book. It's charming, dazzling and dynamic. There's plenty of tension, there's a lot of unconditional love and there are many amusing scenes. Lenora Bell has written such a great book. She balances wonderful heartwarming cheerfulness with serious issues in life and that gives the story the exact right amount of depth. I absolutely loved What a Difference a Duke Makes, it's absolutely delightful.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
My first book by Ms. Bell, but definitely not my last! What a Difference a Duke Makes was a fun and swoony read. Both Mari and Edgar a atypical for their time--he's a duke who (gasp!) also engages in trade and she's got about three times the backbone and chutzpah of your typical governess--but goodness, they're just so likable as a hero and heroine. Their initial attraction, though not wholly surprising, does manifest itself a bit abruptly (literally minutes into their first meeting he thinks about cutting her corset laces off of her) but once they get to know each other better it becomes absolutely believable. Throw his 9-year-old twins into the mix and it's pretty much impossible not to root for them with all you've got. I loved--as did Edgar, obviously--the way that Mari constantly took the duke to task for the choices he was making and the mistaken beliefs that had been governing his life up to that point. She ends up being exactly what he and his children need in their lives, which (fortunately) makes things that much easier for her when her "big secret" is finally revealed. Things quickly come together in the end to bring them all a super-adorable HEA (too quickly and easily? Maybe, but I'm not going to complain one bit because seriously, this was so. Much. Fun. To. Read) that left me with a smile on my face as a quickly clicked the "want to read" button on the next book in the series. (India and Ravenwood--yessssssss!) The writing was choppy at times and I'm sure historical accuracy took a backseat more than once, but honestly the characters and story were so engaging that I barely noticed. I can't wait to see what Ms. Bell has in store for future series characters! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this. Nice to see a duke and a governess who are intelligent and willing to love each other. Oh there were some twists & turns but it was a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing is fine, but it's basically the jane eyer plot with some extra plot lines added in. Some events or wordings are exact to eyre while some are slightly similar. I would have given it 4 stars but due to the closeness of the plot - it was way too predictable. If you have not read eyre then you'll be ok.
reviewsbycat More than 1 year ago
WHAT AN DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES by Lenora Bell. What an delightful story! I simply adored the characters, the plot and the writing style of Ms. Bell. Mari is happiness and life and strength and hope all wrapped up into one single being. Edgar is a bit gruff but has a huge heart, even if he fights against it at times. The story, while a bit predictable, had me smiling and cheering for the lovely couple throughout. Ms. Bell has a knack for keeping the story light yet deals with some tough situations. The fluidity of the tale made this one an easy and fast read for me, never wanting to put it down until the end. (received ARC for honest review)
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell is the First book in the School for Dukes series. This is the story of Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford and Mari Perkins. Mari is just hit a down on your luck part in her life when she hears that the Duke is looking for a Nanny for his twins Michel and Adele. Mari goes forward to get that job and with it her heart is becoming lost to Edgar and the children. Edgar doesn't want to be involved with Mari since she is is new nanny but it is becoming harder to fight the attraction to her. This was a great entertaining story I thought and truly enjoyed it.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell is the First book in the School for Dukes series. This is the story of Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford and Mari Perkins. Mari is just hit a down on your luck part in her life when she hears that the Duke is looking for a Nanny for his twins Michel and Adele. Mari goes forward to get that job and with it her heart is becoming lost to Edgar and the children. Edgar doesn't want to be involved with Mari since she is is new nanny but it is becoming harder to fight the attraction to her. This was a great entertaining story I thought and truly enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
London - Mrs. Trilby’s Agency for Superior Governesses Miss Mari Perkins has arrived a few minutes late for her appointment with Mrs. Trilby because she tried to help a lame girl across the road and some ruffians stole her trunk. Mari has been promised a position as governess to Mr. Folsom who has 8 children, but the job has been given to someone else because she was late. Mari was raised as an orphan in a charity school, but she is very well educated. Even though Mrs. Trilby has told her to leave her office, she slips back inside just as another governess arrives to quit a difficult job. When Mari overhears that the position the woman has left is with the Duke of Bansford of Grosvenor Square, she takes off to apply for the job herself. Edgar, the Duke of Bansford and his sister, Lady India Rochester, are chatting when Mari arrives requesting to be considered for the position of governess. Edgar had a liaison with a French woman who later gave birth to twins, Michel and Adele. Edgar just found out about the 9-year-old children after the death of their mother. He has had several governesses but the children have run them off. Mari convinces him that she can do the job. Soon, Mari enchants the children by taking them out and teaching them history first hand by visiting historical sites. She also proves to them that they cannot scare her off with snakes and such which has terrified their other governesses. Mari is a petite and pretty young woman and Edgar tries not to let himself be enticed by her. However, she stands up to him and does not let him intimidate her which only intrigues him more. When Mari had been left at the orphanage, a bible and a unique toy were left with her. Mari wants to find out if these items could help her discover who her mother was. I enjoyed this book and found Mari to be intelligent and in her element with children. Edgar is OK but seems to lack self confidence. I’m sure this can be traced back to his childhood. I think readers will be intrigued by Edgar’s sister, India, and I can’t help but hope there might be a book in the works centered on her. Be sure to read this book. It’s filled with lots of things that will keep you turning the pages. Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Lenora Bell’s fabulous debut novel had cured my reading funk when it came out, and the extraordinary WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES outshines How the Duke Was Won on every level! Mari Perkins had worked too hard to be instantaneously turned away from Mrs. Trilby’s Agency for Superior Governesses. On her way to the agency, Mari’s possessions were stolen, and she needs a position; she has nothing left. Almost on her way out, Mari hears that the Duke of Banksford’s new governess just quit, and Mari gets herself hired by the Duke. His nine year-old twins, Michel and Adele, are unmanageable, but nothing that Mari can’t handle. Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is busy with his steam engines; he needs peace and quiet, but governesses are forever leaving, so he reluctantly agrees to a one-week trial for Mari. It doesn’t take long before Edgar realises it had been a mistake to hire Miss Perkins … WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES has a bit of a Mary Poppins vibe, but it’s not all fluff and froth. I was invested in Mari and Edgar’s story from the start because of Ms. Bell’s outstanding writing, her scintillating dialogues, the compelling and clever premise, and her exceptional characterisations, and this is only the beginning. Mari is very engaging, confident in her abilities, and her love and respect for children are palpable, this is done so well, that in one instance, it brought tears to my eyes. I believe Lenora Bell has written my favourite children in a romance novel ever. Michel and Adele are intrinsic components of the story, and the link to much growth from several characters. In spite of appearing unbending and gruff, Edgar’s heart is in the right place, and his backstory is one of the best I have ever seen, and makes believable things that otherwise might have been less convincing. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES provides the undeniable proof that solid backstories make for a more solid foundation to build the narrative, and supply the environment needed for characters to build and move on. The characters are works of art: every single one well fleshed out. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES unfolds at a brisk pace, and the prose is witty, sparkling, luminous; the writing is positively marvellous! Ms. Bell’s meticulous research shines through delightful period details about steam engines, fire brigades, child rearing, toys, books, which only serve to further enhance the genuineness of the story. The romance isn’t rushed; it builds slowly through trust, communication, respect, kindness, and Edgar is exactly the sort of hero I love reading about, and I wish there were more of his kind in romanceland. Mari is also on a personal quest, which concludes in a charming and whimsical manner; and Edgar’s relentless pursuit on improving fire engines contributes to the fabulous conclusion as well. There is no useless detail to this story, neither is there a single superfluous word, nor the slightest little lull. I cannot fail to mention the splendiferous India, Edgar’s sister, who captured my imagination like few characters do, and I am beyond thrilled that her story will be next; this is a book that will not release quickly enough! WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DUKE MAKES has one of the most satisfying HEA ever; it is perfectly enchanting!
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I have never read anything from this author, but I really liked the synopsis, so I figured why not try it. I liked Mari and Edgar well enough. They’re both good people, smart, and they have excellent banter. The kids were pretty cute and I enjoyed their interactions with everyone. And Edgar’s sister India was probably the best part. Plot wise, it was sort of meh. There are a lot of moving pieces and some of them didn’t feel necessary. The very small bit of conflict was more of an annoyance and was resolved in a chapter. My main complaint is that I didn’t see the chemistry outside of the banter. We’re told that each one is attracted to the other, but it didn’t actually translate for me. Overall, it was a quick read with characters I liked. I’m not sure if I would read the next one. Unless it’s India and a hate to love with her rival. **Huge thanks to Avon Books for providing the arc free of charge**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like author but not this book. not going to finish it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bad pacing??? One sentence paragraphs???? This book is a mess, we deserve better.