Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review, Guest Post and Giveaway : My Fair Duchess by Megan Frampton



An unexpected duchess proves that behaving 
badly isn't exclusive to the Dukedom.


MY FAIR DUCHESS
Dukes Behaving Badly #5
Megan Frampton
Releasing Feb 28, 2017
Avon Books


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.


REVIEW

Such a unique book in the HR genre! I loved how the author's writing and the story is different from the usual ones!

Genevieve has inherited a duchy, and she has no idea on what to do to fit in with the society, especially due to the fact that she was raised in an estate, isolated from society and having the servants as her only comfort.
She's smart and clever, but doesn't know what to do to transform into a perfect duchess.It's not like there is a guidebook on it!
So she calls on her godmother for help, who sends in her steward- Archibald, the third son of a viscount and a war hero.
Archie didn't expect that Genevieve would be intelligent and beautiful and neither of them are prepared for the attraction that they feel towards each other!

 I loved how their relationship developed slowly over time and it was so beautiful to see them fall in love.In the beginning when they first meet they're quite annoyed with each other, but then it turns into friendship and mutual respect.Genevieve was strong,intelligent and independent.
I loved the twist with the gender reversal. Usually in HR books, the females don't have the upper hand!The moment when she propositioned Archie was priceless!

I also loved the fact that the characters were willing to own up to their mistakes and tried to rectify them.They went a little back and forth with their decisions, but still there wasn't much angst or any reason for it, which I was thankful for!Unnecessary conflict just for the sake of it spoils the story.
If you love the HR genre but want something different to read, I urge you to give this one a try since there's no way you could not love it!

EXCERPT

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.

GUEST POST

Thanks for having me here today!

I love reading and writing historical romance. One of the things I love most about it are its constraints (not those kind, get your mind out of the gutter!). I love seeing how historical romance authors address the frequent power imbalance between the hero and heroine, and I love how that imbalance has to be addressed in some way in order for there to be a believable HEA.

In my books, for example, the heroine is usually the one who initiates the first kiss. It wasn’t something I was conscious of when I started writing, but I was conscious that most of my heroes were aristocrats, and many of my heroines were of a lower class. It felt important that the heroine be the one in power, sexually at least, and that she go for what she wanted (especially if what she wanted was the hero).

My Fair Duchess has a power imbalance, but not as dramatic a one as the usual titled dude/lower-class lady romance novels. My heroine is a female duke, and is therefore (on paper, at least) one of the most powerful people in the country. But she’s also completely clueless about how to go about being a duke, and so the hero—a member of the aristocracy in his own right—is brought in to help.

Hijinks ensue.

But she is still the first one to initiate the kissing, and I think that’s sexier than having the hero go for it first. I like reading and writing women with sexual power, and I really like writing it within the historical constraints of traditional gender roles.

Plus I love the clothing in historical romance novels, but that’s another topic.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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, New York, with her husband and son. You can visit her on her website@meganf, and at Facebook.

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