Cover Image: Once Upon a Duke's Wish

Once Upon a Duke's Wish

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Historical Romance with Mystery

The search for treasure has tempted people throughout history, and many have killed and died for their quests. After her treasure hunter father died, Ella and her sister returned to London to see if they could mend fences with their grandfather. Their mother had eloped with their father, jilting her groom at the time, and breaking his heart. Now, the son of that jilted groom is a friend of her grandfather’s. When Leo heard of the arrival of the granddaughters, he was skeptical, but evidence supported their claim. Leo also found himself attracted to Ella. When Ella discovered her father’s journal missing, her grandfather asked Leo to help with the search. Leo reluctantly agreed, but he did not want Ella to assist with the dangerous quest. However, Ella did not listen. What would the search reveal about the stolen journal? Who stole it, and to what lengths would they go? I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to those who like historical romance with mystery and suspense.
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Ella and her two sisters leave their home on Oak Island after their parents deaths to travel to London to their grandfather, the Duke of Rothwood.  The Duke initially wants nothing to do with his granddaughters due to past hurts, but he does take them in.  The Duke contacts Leo Stanton, Earl of Marbury who has always been like a grandson to him.  He asks Leo to help take care of the 3 granddaughters for him so he doesn't have to.
There are wonderful characters, story is well-written, and the lost journal that may lead to a treasure.
Highly recommend.
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I have not had the opportunity to read anything  by this author before and I was excited to try this book out. I was not disappointed! This is the first installment of The Duke's Lost Treasures series and what a brilliant start it is! 
After the death of Ella's father, she takes her two sisters to London to their estranged grandfather, the Duke of Rothwood,  hoping that she can convince him to take them in. Her mother had been estranged from him ever since she decided to marry Ella's father, who was not her grandfather's choice. When Leo hears the ladies have come to stay with the Duke of Rothwood, he is worried they will take advantage of him. The duke has been like a grandfather to Leo, whose father was the man originally intended for Ella's mother. Ella's father was a treasure hunter, and his journal has gone missing and the duke enlists Leo's help to find the journal, which he reluctantly agrees, if only out of loyalty to the duke and to protect him and keep the girls from taking advantage of him. Despite the disdain he originally felt for the girls, he can't help but become captivated by Ella. Will he hold on to old grudges or let himself have a future with her?
This was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable story filled with intrigue and mystery and wonderfully delightful characters. I enjoyed the build-up of the romance between Ella and Leo  - they were so perfect together and there was no question as to how strong their chemistry was. Such a fun and captivating story and great start to what looks to be a very entertaining series! 

I received a complimentary copy from Dragonblade Publishing via Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.
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I received a copy of this story from NetGalley and this is my freely given opinion.

This is the start of a series about the three Nova Scotian-born granddaughters of an English duke. Their mother ran off with a treasure hunter, abandoning her aristocratic family and and jilting her fiance to run off with a treasure hunter. Their father, the treasure hunter, spent the rest of his life trying to find the legendary treasure of Oak Island; dying in his quest. Having lost their mother to small pox a few years earlier, there was nothing left for the daughters in Canada, so they travel to England to connect with the only family they have remaining; their estranged grandfather, the Duke of Rothwood.

When his daughter ran off, it appeared to break Rothwood's heart, and he broke off ties with her, never even reading her letters, so it was quite the surprise for him when they show up on his doorstep. He never denies they are his granddaughters, as they all look so much like his daughter in appearance, but he maintains quite the emotional distance, taking care to not speak to them, dine with them, etc.

Ella, the eldest daughter, uprooted her sisters and brought the to England in the hopes of being able to help them marry and have better lives. Despite her parents love of adventure and treasure hunting, it is not the life the girls aspire to, and she is just hoping to get her two sisters settled, even if their grandfather doesn't want anything to do with them. They do not know much about their mother's life in London, and her history in Society, including the scandalous jilting of her fiance, the Earl of Marbury. He unfortunately never got over the loss of his bride, despite marrying another, and this affected the rest of his life, including his marriage and his son.

Leo, the son and current Earl of Marbury, is good friends with the Duke, and is drawn into tangle of the Duke and his granddaughters. First, Leo was concerned about who they were and what their intentions were, as he sees the Duke as being a lonely, vulnerable old man and friend. But then the Duke also uses him as a buffer between himself. Also, he is drawn into an adventure when a precious keepsake of Ella's is stolen, a final reminder of her father, and his Oak Island adventures, which may be seen as something valuable by other treasure hunters. Leo and Ella also fight their growing attraction to each other, especially in light of the people hurt by her mother's actions in the past, and revisiting the scandal that came from that.

I did enjoy this story, especially with the real legend of Nova Scotia's Oak Island treasure with the various traps and supposed curse. Leo and Ella were sweet, but I found their fears of having a relationship because of how the past was a bit of a non-issue, especially as it had nothing to do with either one of them, and they should not feel responsible for the actions of their parents. I was frustrated/befuddled also by the Duke's behaviour since it seemed rather immature to me how he was walling himself off from his granddaughters, and not communicating with them, but also tacitly wanting them in his life and controlling things such as their launch in society and having Leo intervening and reporting as well. I guess I could understand him not wanting to be hurt again, but his daughter reached out and tried to maintain contact with him over the years; he was the one who cut her off.

Regardless, I did find it to be a light, enjoyable read with an interesting hook with the Oak Island history (if you do not know about it, there is a long standing series about it on the History channel called the Curse of Oak Island - and the treasure so far found seems to be the fact that the show has lasted so many seasons!). I would have liked to have seen more development in the relationship between the Duke of Rothwell and his long-lost granddaughters, considering those are his only remaining relations, and a fair amount was put into about how lonely he was and how concerned Leo was about that.

3.25 stars out of 5.
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Once Upon A Duke's Wish by Lana Williams has a plot that is somewhat different: the duke has three granddaughters. His daughter ran away and married someone beneath her, leaving her father and her betrothed both heart-broken. Over the years she had written to her father to try to bridge the divide. He didn't even read most of the letters. Her betrothed went on to marry another but never really got over her and it made life difficult for his wife and his son. Now, with both parents dead, the young women have appeared at the duke's house, where they are allowed entrance. The duke ignores them until they force him not to, which is very entertaining to watch. The duke's good friend is the son of the man their mother jilted. His primary concern is his mother and her feelings. This looks like a hopeless mess until the eldest of the women, Ella, discovers her father's journal is missing, presumably stolen. The duke, hearing about it from his staff, contacts his friend, Leo, the Earl of Marbury, to assist in finding the journal. 

Of course any reader worth their salt knows how this will end but the journey/story is a good one. Things happen that draw the families closer together, as the search for the journal moves forward. The season starts and the duke's granddaughters are an instant sensation since they are all beautiful, looking just like their long-lost mother. The thief is found, although not easily, and all is put well. This is a character-driven romance (naturally) and the main characters, Ella and Leo, are distinctive and well-written. The plot is different and it serves the novel well. It is a book worth reading. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Once Upon a Duke's Wish by Dragonblade, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #dragonblade #lanawilliams #onceuponadukeswish
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Her mother left his father at the altar to elope with another man.  This does not sound like the beginning of a love story.  

Following the recent death of their father, Ella Wright and her two sisters travel from Nova Scotia to London to find their maternal grandfather, the Duke of Rothwood.  The duke doesn’t throw them out, but he doesn’t exactly welcome them.  Shortly after they arrive, they meet Leo Stanton, Earl of Marbury, grandfather’s friend and the son of the man their mother jilted.  The duke charges Leo with finding what happened to their father’s treasure hunting journal.   The search brings Leo and Ella together more than they would like, but they finally form an uncertain friendship.  Can they find the journal?  Can this shaky relationship become more?  Romance and mystery always make a good story, and this one does not disappoint.  The characters are engaging.  It is a story filled with emotion, hurt from the past, uncertainty for the future, healing families, and finding trust and love.  There is mystery, danger, and a lot of questions.  The romance between Leo and Ella moves very slowly.  The duke and his granddaughters make a start.  You will love learning what the duke wished and if it come true.  A very enjoyable story.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  My review is voluntary.
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Hunting down a stolen journal, was not on the Earl of Marbury's agenda. However, when the Duke of Rothwood's granddaughters arrive on his mentor's doorstep, Leo has no choice but to intervene, if only to protect the old man and prevent the sisters from exploiting the Duke. Discovering that Emma is the young woman he bumped into on the docks and his initial reaction to her, makes Leo tread carefully.  The sisters knew that their grandfather could make things difficult for them, especially since he had disowned their mother when she ran off with their treasure-hunting father. Discovering the theft of her father's journal alerts Emma to the fact that more is at stake than just her father's writings, and when Leo becomes involved in searching out the thief, Emma, and her sisters join him in the investigation, leading them into the seamier side of London life. The novel is romantic and somewhat suspenseful, with some humor and lighter moments as the sisters entice their grandfather out from behind his protective shield. The story is a standalone and comes to a good conclusion, although a number of questions remain unanswered. They will probably be answered in future books in this series. I received a copy of this romance as a gift from Dragonblade Publishing and NetGalley and this is my honest and voluntary review.
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Great start to a new series. Romance (clean) drama and a good mystery what more could you ask for. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Very enjoyable story.  Ella and Leo were destined for each other.  Although her mother and his father had a painful past, that should have been enough to keep them apart.  But love has a way of pulling each other together and healing past wounds.  That’s what it did for Ella and Leo.  Getting to that future together wasn’t easy.  They had to overcome a stolen journal, treasure hunters, bodily injury, a mother’s heart that was shattered, a grandfather who was too stubborn to acknowledge them and two sisters that needed to have their season.  Oh boy!  Lots of excitement in this story and a mystery to solve.  I’m looking forward to the next story.  Which sister will be next to fall in love?
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Ella Wright and her two sisters have just lost their father, in a tunnel cave in, on Oak Island.  Their father was a treasure hunter and believed that Captain Kidd, among others, had buried pirate treasure on the island.  As they have lost both parents now, they find themselves alone.   Buying tickets on a steam ship, they headed to London and a grandfather they knew nothing about.  The Duke of Rothwoods daughter, their mother, had left her betrothed at the marriage altar and married their father, a treasure hunter.  Would the Duke even acknowledge that they are indeed his daughter’s children?  I loved the plot of this book as it relates to history that today is still being looked for.  The characters are wonderful, and the story line is infectious.  Thank you for an unusual story line that catches the imagination.
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What a tangled web. A grumpy grandfather who is a Duke, the earl son of the man his daughter jolted at the altar, and the 3 unknown granddaughters who arrived from across the pond.  Plus some mystery. A very enjoyable read!
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This book was so much fun! 
I liked the treasure hunt/finding lost journal plot. It kept the story exciting and made it unique among the many historical romances out today. 
The characters were great too. I particularly liked the heroine. I thought she was clever and likable. 
The writing and pacing were top notch! I read this in one sitting. 
This is a first in a series so I’ll be sure to keep my eye out for the next one!
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An Unexpected Love

Ella and her sisters arrived in London to introduce themselves to their Grandfather the Duke of Rothwood whom they have never met before. 

Leo Stanton, the Earl of Marbury is like a grandson to the Duke and is very close to him. When Ella and her sisters turned up he is immediately suspicious although he had met Ella once before and was immediately drawn with her.

A wonderful well written story of mystery, intrigue and adventure, trying to find her father’s missing journal about missing treasure with the help of Leo. All the while the romance between Ella and Leo is slow to burn until it simmers, both finding they are falling in love with each other. 

I always love a story which has an added extra at the end and this doesn’t fail to please. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Once Upon a Duke’s Wish by Lana Williams is the first book in the Duke’s Lost Treasures series. When Ella Wright brings her two younger sisters to London after their treasure hunter father tragically dies on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, she knows it will be a challenge. Their grandfather became estranged from their mother after she eloped with their father and jilted another man. The Duke has no knowledge of his three granddaughters. Leo Stanton, the Earl of Marbury, is a close friend of the Duke. When he learns that his friend has invited three ladies into his home who claim to be his granddaughters, he is worried the trio will take advantage of him. Then the ladies’ late father’s journal gets stolen, and the Duke puts Leo on the case. Leo and Ella struggle to put the past behind them as they find themselves drawn to each other.

I enjoyed the mystery quite a bit. I do wish we’d gotten more romance scenes, though. I feel I would have enjoyed the couple much more.
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When her father dies Ella Wright brings her two younger sisters to London & hopes to convince their estranged grandfather, the intimidating Duke of Rothwood, to take them in. Then their father’s journal, which details his search for pirate treasure is stolen, and Ella has no idea who to trust. Leo Stanton, the Earl of Marbury, is alarmed when he hears three ladies claiming to be Rothwood’s granddaughters have arrived in London. Fearing the man who’s been like a grandfather to him is being taken advantage of, he rushes to Rothwood’s side to find three beauties under his roof and their father’s questionable scribbles missing. Given Leo’s expertise in pirate artefacts, the duke requests his assistance to find the stolen journal. Leo reluctantly agrees.
The start of a new series & I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters both main & secondary are well portrayed & have depth. I really liked both Leo & Ella & enjoyed their slow burn romance even though I didn't truly understand the conflict keeping them apart. There was a lovely mix of romance & mystery. There’s still the mystery surrounding Ella's fathers search for Captain Kidd’s treasure so I look forward to the rest of the series. A well written interesting read
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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With no where else to go, Ella Wright and her two sisters leave Nova Scotia and sail to London to live with their grandfather. After the scandal of their mother leaving her groom at the altar, running off and marrying their father and sailing to Nova Scotia, for years their grandfather has answered no correspondence.
Ella can only hope he will not turn them away. But her father's journal with his notes of his digging for treasure on Oak Island is stolen as they land in London. Their grandfather, the Duke of Rothwood, asks Leo Stanton, Earl of Marbury, for his help in finding the journal. He has mixed feelings about helping, his father was the groom left at the altar and never gave his mother his love. What a dilemma when Leo falls in love with Ella. Theft, murder and an attempt to kidnap Ella, Leo cannot deny she is his heart. A search in Victorian London looking for a journal with the possibility of treasure and a stubborn Duke who learns wishes can come true. 
Heat level 2 
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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With nowhere else to go after her father dies, Ella and her sisters travel to a grandfather they have never met. Their mother had been estranged due to marrying their father and not the man chosen for her.

Leo is very close to their grandfather, and worries that Ella is will just take advantage of him. After all it was his father that was suppose to marry her mother, and he had never gotten over her loss.  

When he finds them already there and looking for a lost treasure map of their father's that had disappeared, he only agrees to help, but is determined not to give in to his attraction.

But sometimes, it may just be meant to be! Mystery, adventure, and wonderful characters will take you on a wonderful reading journey!
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A sweet and charming tale of a family’s healing. Though the past is filled with heartbreak, 2 people come together in love to repair the hurt of their parents. I really enjoyed this story. It has the perfect mix of sweet young love and the rush of a mystery to solve. 3 brave girls set out on  journey from Nova Scotia to London. Leaving behind everything they’ve known, the life of a treasure hunters daughters, and to find the only family they have left, a grandfather who has never acknowledged them. The pain of losing his daughter left the Duke reluctant to open his heart. Leo had always been a grandson in his heart, so it was almost inevitable that he would fall for the Dukes granddaughter. I loved that despite the pain, each of the injured parties were able to overcome it to welcome these girls into their lives and hearts. Lady Havenby was a pleasant surprise, I wasn’t sure what to expect with her but was glad she was written as a true friend of their mothers in the end, and not a Lady of the Ton hiding falsehoods. Lana Williams writes a truly pleasing story and perfectly captures the sweetness of unexpected love and all of it’s  reluctance.
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This was sweet!!! I didn't love it and felt disconnected from it at times, but overall it was fun and Ella and Leo had their moments

I honestly found myself more invested in the side characters, I wish Ella and Leo had been fleshed out more (for instance, we kept being told Ella's father had recently died but there was no mourning him, nor do we know much about him as a father, outside his treasure hunting). And EVERYONE NEEDED TO GET OVER LADY BETHANY OH MY GOODNESS. The conflict that created was understandable, but also not fleshed out enough to really seem compelling enough

Also, I called who the villain was the moment they were introduced and was honestly surprised more of the book wasn't spent pursuing them

All in all though it was a fun read, I enjoyed it. Would recommend to anyone looking for a little more plot and a little less romance in their historical romance :3

Thanks for NetGalley and the publisher for a free e-copy. All thoughts are my own
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This is a lovely story and I gobbled it up in one sitting and didn’t want it to finish. Would have liked more interaction with the Duke once he decided to accept his granddaughters into his life and more conversations with/about the dowager countess, perhaps in the epilogue but these are minor points. Overall I loved it.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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