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My Fair Duchess: Dukes Behaving Badly #5 by Megan Frampton

My Fair Duchess: Dukes Behaving Badly #5 by Megan Frampton

Returning to the Dukes Behaving Badly series from Megan Frampton, the fifth title is on the blog today with a feel of Pygmalion in this historic romance. Please read on for my review, check out the tour stops to see what others thought, read the excerpt and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win one of Three (3) Print copies of WHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE: Dukes Behaving Badly #4 (US Only). But fist 

My Fair Duchess

Flipping convention on its ear, Megan Frampton gives us a woman that inherits a ducal title, a woman who is wholly unprepared for dealing with the social aspects of the title. Genevieve is very clever, in fact, she’s more than perfectly well-equipped to handle the business side of things, it is just the social end that she is completely (blissfully) unprepared for. See, it’s never really your title that gets you through the tonne, and Genevieve has a solid one, but the navigation of the pitfalls in society and the gatherings…. And the fact that a titled female, without the protection of a husband or being a widow –and things get interesting. Fortunately for Genevieve, she has her Aunt Sophia to rely on.

Knowing her niece’s predicament, her aunt is more than willing to provide help, in the form of her steward, Archibald Salisbury, third son of a Viscount, most recently out of the army, and well-versed in both how not to run a large estate (from the poor examples of his family) and the social pitfalls and expectations. He’s horrified at the prospect of “building a proper Duchess”, but being bidden by Sophia to make this work, he is off to work with and for the new Duchess.

The interplay between these two is clever: class differences, plain spoken Genevieve against the rather cultured Archie, and the undeniable attraction between the two makes for a fun read. There is a bit of repetition that bandies about the class differences, and while it does serve to reinforce what was important to the aristocracy at the time, the moments often served to separate the two, despite their obvious attraction. She is determined to make people recognize her as a Duchess, and not with whispers and denigration: he’s determined to complete the task assigned to him, and go back to his quiet and fulfilling life as a steward.

Fun and light, even with the many changes both experience through the story, Genevieve’s growth and quick wit impress Archie, her willingness to speak plainly to his desires, and her refusal to take the easy route to acceptance strike at his heart, and make the story come alive. A wonderful series of twists, turns and a few shocking moments keep readers engaged and enjoying this story, a wonderful installment in the series.

My Fair Duchess: Dukes Behaving Badly #5 by Megan Frampton

Title: My Fair Duchess
Author: Megan Frampton
Series: Dukes Behaving Badly #5
Also in this series: The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior, When Good Earls Go Bad: A Victorian Valentine’s Day Novella, Put Up Your Duke, No Groom at the Inn, One-Eyed Dukes are Wild
Genre: British, Historical Romance, Victorian
Published by: Avon
ISBN: 0062412809
Published on: 28 February 2017
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

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About the Book:

In Megan Frampton's most recent installment of The Dukes Behaving Badly series, an unexpected duchess proves that behaving badly isn't exclusive to the Dukedom.

The unexpected duchess

Archibald Salisbury, son of a viscount, war hero, and proficient in the proper ways of aristocratic society, has received orders for his most challenging mission: Genevieve, Duchess of Blakesley. How she inherited a duchy isn’t his problem. Turning her into a perfect duchess is. But how can he keep his mind on business when her beauty entices him toward pleasure?

It was impossible, unprecedented…and undeniably true. Genevieve is now a “duke”, or, rather, a duchess. So what is she to do when the ton eyes her every move, hoping she’ll make a mistake? Genevieve knows she has brains and has sometimes been told she has beauty, but, out of her depth, she calls on an expert. And what an expert, with shoulders broad enough to lean on, and a wit that matches her own. Archie is supposed to teach her to be a lady and run her estate, but what she really wants to do is unladylike—run into his arms.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

 

1845, Lady Sophia’s Drawing Room

 

“There’s only one solution,” Lady Sophia said, passing the letter to Archie as he felt his stomach drop. And his carefully ordered life teeter on the verge of change. “You’ll have to go to London to sort my goddaughter out.” She embellished her point by squeezing her tiny dog Truffles, who emitted a squeak and glared at Archie. As if it was his fault.

He resisted the urge to crumple the paper in his hand. “But the festival is in a few weeks,” Archie said, hearing the desperate tone in his voice. He did not want to ever return to London. That was the purpose of taking a position out here in the country after leaving the Queen’s Own Hussars a year prior. His family was there, and his father, at least, had made it clear he never wanted to see him again. What’s more, he did not want to assist a helpless aristocrat in some sort of desperate attempt to bring order to their lives. Even though that was what he was doing in Lady Sophia’s employ. But working for her had come to have its own kind of satisfactory order, one he did not want to disrupt.

“There is work to be done,” Archie continued, hoping to appeal to his employer’s sensible side.

Although in the course of working for her he had come to realize his employer didn’t really have a sensible side, so what was he hoping to accomplish?

“Didn’t you tell me Mr. McCready could do everything you could?” Lady Sophia asked. “You pointed out that if you were to get ill, or busy with other matters, your assistant steward could handle things just as well as you.”

That was when I was trying to get one of my men work, Archie thought in frustration. To help him get back on his feet after the rigors of war. And Bob had proven himself to be a remarkably able assistant, allowing Archie to dive into Lady Sophia’s woefully neglected accounts and see into her investments, neither of which she paid any attention to.

Lady Sophia placed Truffles on the rug before lifting her head to look at Archie. Who knew, in that moment, that he was doomed. Doomed to return to London to help out a likely far-too- indulged female in the very difficult position of being a powerful and wealthy aristocrat.

Perhaps it would have been easier to just get shot on the battlefield. It certainly would have been quicker.

“It’s settled.” She punctuated her words with a nod of her head, sending a few gray curls flying in the air. “You will go see to the new duchess and take care of her as ably as you do me. Mr. Mc-Cready will assist me while you are away.”

Archie looked at the letter again. “This duchess is your relative?” he asked. That would explain the new duchess’s equally silly mode of communication. An “unexpected duchess,” indeed. What kind of idiot wouldn’t have foreseen this circumstance? And done something to prepare for it?

“She calls me aunt, but she is not my actual niece, you understand,” Lady Sophia explained. “She is my goddaughter; her mother married the duke, the duchess’s father. It is quite unusual for a woman to inherit the duchy.”

“Quite,” Archie echoed.

“But it happened, somehow, and since I don’t know anything about being a duchess . . .” Because I do? Archie wondered. But there wasn’t anybody else. She wouldn’t have asked Lady Sophia, of all people, unless there was nobody else.

Or if she was as flighty and confident as her faux-aunt. A scenario that seemed more and more likely.

“The only thing Mr. McCready can’t do is attract as much feminine interest as you do, Mr. Salisbury.” She sat back up and regarded him. “Which might make him more productive,” she added. She leaned over to offer Truffles the end of her biscuit.

Archie opened his mouth to object, but closed it when he realized she was right. He wasn’t vain, but he did recognize that ladies tended to find his appearance attractive. Lady Sophia received many more visitors, she’d told him in an irritated tone, now that he’d been hired.

Bob, damn his eyes, smirked knowingly every time Archie was summoned to Lady Sophia’s drawing room to answer yet another question about estate management posed by a lady who’d likely never had such a question in her life.

Archie responded by making Bob personally in charge of the fertilizer. It didn’t stop Bob’s smirking, but it did make Archie feel better.

“And you will return in a month’s time so you can be here for the festival.”

“Sooner if I can, my lady.” If this duchess needed more time than a month, there would be no hope for her anyway. Country life suited him; he liked its quiet and regularity. It was a vast change from life in battle, or even being just on duty, but it was far more interesting than being the third son from a viscount’s family. A viscount who disowned his third boy when said boy was determined to join the army.

Meanwhile, however, he had to pack to head off to a new kind of battle—that of preparing a completely unprepared woman, likely a woman as flighty and often confused as Lady Sophia, to hold a position that she was entirely unsuited for.

Very much like working with raw recruits, in fact.

 

 

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About Megan Frampton

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.

 

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