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?
Frampton's second Dukes Behaving Badly romance (after The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior) is pure delight. In 1842 London, Nicholas Smithfield, a rakish young buck, is more than a bit chagrined to discover he's become the Duke of Gage and completely flummoxed to find that with his new title comes engagement to the icily proper Lady Isabella Sawford. Isabella's no more pleased than her intended; she chafes against the socially advantageous match her self-serving parents have forced her to accept, the latest in a lifelong series of edicts that have squelched her true spirit. Yet she and Nicholas can't deny the increasing excitement they feel in each other's presence. Will that be enough for them to embrace their union? Frampton pays equal service to character development and sensual tension the latter both steamy and sweet and sprinkles moments of humor throughout, including a delightful subplot about a pseudonymous novel writer. Historical romance fans will relish this realistic and emotionally charged story.
Charming, engaging and utterly sweet, this was a great installment.
I’ve read both of the earlier titles in this series, and enjoyed them: Megan Frampton has a way of playing with the social conventions of the time while still giving readers a feel of the time, that creates an engaging and entertaining read. In Put Up Your Duke, we have a nice twist on the marriage of convenience trope.
Nicholas has blithely run back and forth between bedroom and boxing ring until an unexpected inheritance hands him a title and obligations. Now the newly titled Duke of Gage must fulfill an agreement to wed, and the woman is chosen. Lady Isabella Sawford.
To Nicholas’ dismay, his new bride is chaste and pure, and appears to be both afraid of him and the marriage bed. While she dreamed of independence and making her own choices, as a bride to the Duke, she knows those days are long gone.
Told in alternating points of view, Isabella’s concerns over Nicholas’ efforts to give her ‘space’ is often misinterpreted as being unworthy of his love. She needn’t have worried: his constant attentiveness when they were together, the games of twenty-questions and his efforts to woo her only highlight his growing affections and honorable intentions. They are made for one another, well-matched despite the slowly developing connection. I think that, for me, the frequent lapses into interior monologue slowed the development of the connection, there was chemistry, it was just full of stop and go moments.
Introduction of other characters added a few twists, including some answers and information about the mystery surrounding the former Duke of Gage, Isabella’s sister Margaret has plenty to share and we get to meet the younger brother of the Duke, Grif. Charming, engaging and utterly sweet, this was a great installment.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.