by Megan Frampton
Series: Dukes Behaving Badly #1
Pub. Date: Nov. 25, 2014
All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?
When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.
As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior.
But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything . . .
This was a good read for when you want something quick, historical, and slightly silly. (Not silly in a bad way; it was a cute lighthearted read.)
Our hero in this story is Marcus, Duke of Rutherford, an irresponsible man who has unexpectedly inherited the title. Just as unexpectedly, he is confronted with his illegitimate daughter and realizes he needs to make some changes in his life. This is how we meet our heroine, Lily Russell, who presents herself as a governess for the Duke's daughter. There is somewhat of an instant attraction between Lily and Marcus, which creates a problem because of the differences in their class (this novel takes place during the Victorian era).
I loved Marcus and his willingness to do the right thing and take in his daughter when other members of the ton would have sent her away. His interaction with Lily and determination to show her that someone cared about her was very sweet and endearing. It was obvious he had a very strong attraction to Lily, but he got on my nerves for a bit when he was determined to find a "proper" wife, which seemed to discount Lily's feelings as a person. But, of course, he redeems himself in a very big way by the end so all is forgiven.
Lily's character really makes you think what it would have been like if you would have lived during the Victorian era (or other historical times). Lily is considered a fallen woman because her father lost all her money and she was forced to work. My goodness, it makes you think what kind of position I would have had in society back then. I definitely would have been considered a bluestocking spinster (and maybe even an old maid) given my status as an single, educated 35 y/o woman who likes to read! But Lily faces the facts andstarts an employment agency with her friends to help other fallen women, which is very respectable. I would have liked to see a little more detail about the women they were helping, but we just have to use our imagination there. Lily also got along great with Rose, the Duke's daughter, who was a very precocious 4 year old.
This was my first governess story, so I wasn't sure how I would like it. But the family dynamics and transcendence of class lines worked well (and made me glad we don't have to deal w/ these issues to such an extent today). There was also enough lighthearted humor to make me smile on several occasions and keep the story going along at a nice pace.
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Dukes Behaving Badly Series
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