PUT UP YOUR DUKE (Dukes Behaving Badly #2) by Megan Frampton-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 30, 2015
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?
REVIEW: PUT UP YOUR DUKE is the third installment (there is a Valentine’s novella) in Megan Frampton’s adult Dukes Behaving Badly historical romance series. This is the new Duke of Gage-Nicholas Smithfield- and Lady Isabella Sawford’s storyline. PUT UP YOUR DUKE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.
Told from dual third person perspectives, the storyline follows Nicholas Smithfield as he is named the new Duke of Gage when research discovered the previous heir to be descended from illegitimate stock. Along with his new title, Nicholas also learned that he was to wed the Lady Isabella Sawford in accordance with a debt owed by his newfound estate. What ensues is a building romance between the local rake, and a woman groomed, by a manipulative mother and controlling father, for a life of pomp and ceremony. Isabella was a puppet to her parent’s future plans.
The relationship between our couple is very slow to build once Nicholas discovers his new bride is chaste and pure. Her lack of experience finds Isabella a lonely bride when her husband spends most of his time at the local boxing arena, or with his brother Griff, who has been named secretary to the new Duke of Gage. While Nicholas tries to keep his distance, Isabella becomes more angry and forlorn believing she is not worthy of Nicholas’s love. The $ex scenes are limited with a little bit of ‘fooling around’ before Nicholas and Isabella consummate their marriage.
We are introduced to Isabella’s younger sister Margaret whose own life has been less than glorious as their parents have focused all of their energy on preparing Isabella as a future wife. But Margaret is no ‘stick in the mud’ and she has a few secrets of her own. Nicholas’s brother Griff is a learned scholar who aids our hero in his new role as the Duke of Gage. I am hoping Griff’s story is next and Margaret would be the perfect foil for the inexperienced younger Smithfield.
Throughout the storyline each chapter is introduced using an excerpt from the ‘unedited version of A Lady of Mystery’s serial’ that parallels some of the events in Nicholas and Isabella’s relationship. A similar line of storytelling between Nicholas and Isabella is a running theme throughout their story, one that is meant to ease the anxiety between Nicholas and his virgin bride.
PUT UP YOUR DUKE is a sweet story of romance with very little conflict or angst. There was the potential for rivalry and contention when the previous Duke threatened retaliation for the loss of his title, but for all intents and purposes, the struggle went in another direction and lost some of the momentum it was trying to build. A good portion of the storyline found the reader inside the heads of our leading couple whose inner dialogues reflected on the past, the present and the future, along with the ‘what ifs’ and ‘whys’ of their current predicament.
1. The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior
2. When Good Earl’s Go Bad
3. Put Up Your Duke
Copy supplied by the publisher through Edelweiss.
Reviewed by Sandy
Megan Frampton’s love affair with books began when her gormless parents (not an ounce of gorm between them. And let’s not even mention feck) moved her to a remote town in New Hampshire where there was only one television station.
And then the TV broke.
She devoured every book of fiction in her well-read parents’ library, finding special joy in Barbara Cartland (she was young, remember), Georgette Heyer, C.S. Lewis, Anya Seton and the fairy tales collected and translated by Andrew Lang.
Megan majored in English literature at Barnard College with a double minor in political science and religion. She worked in the music industry for 15 years, editing and writing music reviews for a music industry trade magazine. Eventually, she became the Editor-in-Chief and went on to develop music industry conference programs.
Megan married one of her former interns and lives in Brooklyn, NY, with him and her son. Now that she stays at home, Megan has returned to reading and writing the fiction that was her first love. She is a member and President of the Beau Monde (2004-2005), the Regency chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and a member of the NYC chapter of the RWA as well.