Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: Put Up Your Duke by Megan Frampton

Put Up Your Duke 
by Megan Frampton
Series:  Dukes Behaving Badly #2
Pub. Date:  June 30, 2015
Publisher:  Avon
Pages:  384
Format:  eARC
Source:  Edelweiss

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

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?

All the books in this series by Megan Frampton have been such lighthearted fun reads. The only word I can think of to describe this latest installment is "cute" from beginning to end.

It is possible to read this book as a standalone as we don't have any characters reappearing from the earlier books (other than one brief mention). We have moved away from the fallen women of the Quality Employment Agency, and our heroine here is Lady Isabella Sawford, daughter of an earl, who has been taught to be perfect. A perfectly composed ice queen. But while Isabel is perfect on the outside, her imperfections are just bursting at the seams to be let out. She desperately wants to be a "real" person, but she doesn't know who she is or how to do that. Luckily, fate smiles on her, and a perfectly imperfect duke is trapped into marrying her. I enjoyed following Isabella's journey from a dishwaster miss to stating what she wants and when she wants it.

Nicholas Smithfield inherits the title of duke very unexpectedly. At the time he inherits, he is best known around the ton for his ability to love the ladies. He also considers himself a pugilist and can be found trading punches almost daily. So he was not prepared for his new obligations, particularly when discovering one of those obligations was a betrothal tied to the title. Nicholas was charming and funny, and it was entertaining to watch this ladies man get flustered around his virginal wife.

Even though the couple here is thrown together in marriage very early on, we don't have an instalove situation. The romance unfolds sweetly and builds throughout the entirety of the story. If you like a happy, so-sweet-your-teeth-ache love story, then you will enjoy this book.

I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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Author Info

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, NY, with her husband and son.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Isabella felt herself shaking—in joy, or shock, she wasn’t sure. The possibility of freedom, of not having to marry the duke, dangled before her like a beautiful jewel she just had to reach out and take. And her freedom was more precious than anything, since it was so rare, rarer than the rarest diamond. She’d never even had it, not for a moment of her life, whereas diamonds, for a lady in her position, were relatively easy to see, if not own.

Her mother glared at her, as though it were her fault the duke was no longer the duke. Isabella wished she could tell her mother that if she had the kind of power to unduke someone, she would have used that power to entirely extricate herself from any kind of marital agreement. Or maybe make herself look less beautiful so people would stop bothering her.

“Stop dawdling, Isabella. You can see yourself out, Maria?” It was not a question, but at least her mother gave her aunt the courtesy of pretending it was.

“Of course.” Maria patted Isabella’s hand. “I am certain you will be fine, Isabella. You will marry well, no matter who you marry.”

Isabella merely nodded, even though she wished she could tell her aunt, tell somebody, how she felt about marrying well. About how marrying well meant a very different thing to her than it did to her family.

If she didn’t have to marry the duke after all she could find someone, perhaps, who would care for her. That would be a good marriage, not one where her husband’s title was more important than if he was a pleasant man. She didn’t require love, but she wanted companionship, and friendliness, and perhaps a measure of fondness.

The duke—at least, the only Duke of Gage she currently knew—had never shown her any of those things, or any possibility of them, instead treating her as her mother did, as someone to be corrected and scolded into perfection.

Perfection Isabella had achieved, even though she wasn’t proud of it. She had been molded into the perfect duchess, only now—only now it seemed as though there was no duke to fulfill her training. The thought made her want to laugh, if only because it so thoroughly ruined her mother’s plans.

Freedom. Isabella had only occasionally allowed herself to think of what might be possible if her future weren’t already determined; now that it was here, that it might well be her future, she was terrified.

What would she be if she wasn’t the Duchess of Gage?

Dukes Behaving Badly Series

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