What a Difference a Duke Makes

Written by Lenora Bell
Review by Ray Thompson

After being raised in an orphanage, Mari Perkins is determined to make her way in the world as a governess and learn something about her family; Edgar, Duke of Banksford, is desperate to find a governess for his two illegitimate and unruly children; when Mari arrives on his doorstep, however, mutual physical attraction soon develops into love.

It is the Cinderella story again, but the principal characters have unusual backgrounds: after a serious family dispute, Edgar renounced his aristocratic birthright to work in a foundry and runs his own foundry business now that he has inherited; the children experienced a highly irregular upbringing in France after their free-spirited, poet mother concealed their birth from their father; and Mari is an intriguing combination of Mary Poppins, with her progressive views on education, and Anne of Green Gables, with her quick mind and tongue. She also has red hair, freckles, and a passionate nature that welcomes the sexual encounters with her employer. It is an uneasy mixture of elements.

Although the sexual scenes are expanded at unnecessary length, the characters are attractive, the dialogue is lively, and the information on firefighting and children’s toys

interesting: an enjoyable read for Regency lovers.