Review: Put Up Your Dukes by Megan Frampton

23314826Frampton’s second Dukes Behaving Badly romance is pure delight… Historical romance fans will relish this realistic and emotionally charged story.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Heartwarming and delightful, Frampton’s latest Dukes Behaving Badly is a perfect example of her strong storytelling skills… The pitch-perfect dialogue and pacing enhance readers’ enjoyment.” — RT Book Reviews

He was once happily bedding and boxing, but in the newest Duke‘s Behaving Badly novel, Nicholas Smithfield has inherited a title and a bride . . .

To keep his estate afloat, the new Duke of Gage must honor an agreement to marry Lady Isabella Sawford. Stunningly beautiful, utterly tempting, she’s also a bag of wedding night nerves, so Nicholas decides to wait to do his duty—even if it means heading to the boxing saloon every day to punch away his frustration.

 Groomed her whole life to become the perfect duchess, Isabella longs for independence, a dream that is gone forever. As her husband, Nicholas can do whatever he likes—but, to Isabella’s surprise, the notorious rake instead begins a gentle seduction that is melting every inch of her reserve, night by night . . .

 To his utter shock, Nicholas discovers that no previous exploits were half as pleasurable as wooing his own wife. But has the realm’s most disreputable duke found the one woman who can bring him to his knees— and leave him there?

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I do not read a lot of historical romance like Put Up Your Duke.  It is fun, however, to get outside my usual genre for the opportunity to participate in a blog tour organized by Harper Collins and Avon Romance.  I enjoy reading new (to me) authors and any story taking place during the time of lords and ladies is going to keep my attention.

The plot was entertaining to me: turns out the (original) Duke of Gage did not have a legitimate claim to the title.  The “correct” heir is Nicolas, and immediately we learn that he is not ready for the responsibility that is now his.  Prior to losing everything, the (original) Duke of Gage was supposed to marry sweet and innocent Isabella.  The new duke, notorious for his romantic conquests, is forced to marry her instead – adding to the responsibilities he did not anticipate in his lifetime.

This all happens early on in the book, and the bulk of the story is about the newlyweds getting to know each other as people – even though they are man and wife.  She does not understand why he spends his time boxing, and he does not understand why she cannot speak her mind.  They quickly bond over daily excepts from a romance serial; Nicolas reads the installment to Isabella each night early in their marriage.

Nicolas must manage his title, and with the help of his brother, he is able to settle into the business side of his new station.  Isabella, trained from youth to be perfect at all times, but learn to be authentic with Nicolas.  Trouble is, she does not know who she is or what she wants without her mother’s strict instruction.

 I really enjoyed the dialogue and pace of the book.  The secondary characters were also entertaining, and while there was not a great deal of conflict or drama in the story, it was an enjoyable page turner.  I like the author’s writing style very much; the descriptive settings and well executed narrative make me want to read more of her titles.

author

Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son.

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