Why Dukes Fall In Love?
A Dukes Behaving Badly Novel
About WHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE?
In Megan Frampton’s captivating new Dukes Behaving Badly novel, we learn the answer to the question:
Why do dukes fall in love?
Michael, the Duke of Hadlow, has the liberty of enjoying an indiscretion . . . or several. But when it comes time for him to take a proper bride, he ultimately realizes he wants only one woman: Edwina Cheltam. He’d hired her as his secretary, only to quickly discover she was sensuous and intelligent.
They embark on a passionate affair, and when she breaks it off, he accepts her decision as the logical one . . . but only at first. Then he decides to pursue her.
Michael is brilliant, single-minded, and utterly indifferent to being the talk of the ton. It’s even said his only true friend is his dog. Edwina had begged him to marry someone appropriate–—someone aristocratic . . . someone high-born . . . someone else. But the only thing more persuasive than a duke intent on seduction is one who has fallen irrevocably in love.
Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?
Excerpt from Chapter 1
The Quality Employment Agency, London
“He left you with nothing?”
Edwina glanced to the side of the room, a tactic she knew full well wouldn’t disguise the moisture in her eyes, especially not from Carolyn, her oldest and dearest friend. They’d met when Edwina’s late husband had wanted to find a respectable, but inexpensive, maidservant, and Carolyn’s agency had found the perfect person. And Edwina had finally found a friend she could actually talk to.
The room was as familiar to her as her own lodgings—and definitely more welcoming. A kettle was heating up water on the small stove, the tea things—the chipped blue cup for Carolyn, the cup with the handle that was always too hot for her—waiting until the water boiled.
Cozy, comfortable, and everything else she was not.
“No.” She spoke plainly, unable and unwilling to disguise the truth of it.
Eight years of marriage to one of the most boring men of her acquaintance, and he didn’t even have the decency to leave her financially comfortable when he died.
“I can help you, you know,” Carolyn said in a soft voice. She got up as the kettle began to whistle and started preparing the tea.
Edwina’s throat tightened. “I won’t take your money.” Fine words for a pauper—they both knew that if the choice came between accepting charity and letting her daughter starve, Edwina would take the money. Gertrude sat on the floor, playing with her dolls. Was she already getting thinner? Edwina’s heart hurt at the thought, and she had to bite the inside of her cheek not to start fretting aloud. That would do nothing but worry her daughter, who wasn’t old enough to understand.
Edwina wasn’t entirely certain she was old enough to understand, either.
“I wasn’t offering to give you any money,” Carolyn replied in a dry tone of voice, glancing over her shoulder as she spoke.
Edwina’s gaze met Carolyn’s.
“Well, what then?” she asked in an unsteady voice.
“Employment,” Carolyn replied, returning to her task.
“Employment?” Edwina echoed, an uneasy feeling settling somewhere in her gut. The gut that was remarkably close to her stomach, which hadn’t eaten today, and had only had some porridge and some hard cheese yesterday.
So the uneasy feeling would have to ease.
“You do know I run an employment agency.” Carolyn gestured to the room they sat in. “Since you have used my services.”
“Yes, back when I could afford them,” Edwina replied in a tone that was both wry and pained.
She took a deep breath, and looked around her. It was undeniably pleasant, if modest. The cozy, comfortable room of the Quality Employment Agency, filled with books, papers, mismatched chairs, and an enormous battered desk, where Carolyn normally sat, welcomed her, made her feel safe in a way her new lodgings did not.
“Yes, but—” and then Edwina felt both foolish and snobby, since the answer was obvious, and yet had not occurred to her because of who she was. Who she had been.
“But what?” Carolyn picked up the teacups, wincing as she felt the heat from the offending handle. She brought them over to where Edwina was seated, placing them on the desk and sitting back down in her usual spot. “You need a job, Edwina. No matter who you are. Even ladies—especially ladies, judging from my experience—need to have enough money to eat and to live. Even if their husbands were so disappointing as to leave them bereft of anything but their good name.”
“And even that was sullied, thanks to George’s entrusting of the accounts to his brother as soon as it seemed the businesses were getting profitable, and worthy of notice,” Edwina remarked in a bitter tone. She kept her tone low, so her daughter couldn’t hear. “I told him I could handle them, that I had gotten them to the state they were in, not to mention I told him how untrustworthy his brother was—and yet he said he’d never ‘let a female deal with important things,’ ” she said in an imitation of her late husband.
“More fool he,” Carolyn remarked. “If he had allowed you to continue to oversee the finances you wouldn’t be in this situation now, would you?”
It was a well-worn discussion, but one that still made Edwina angry. George had been so blind to her attributes he hadn’t seen she was skilled at maths, far better than anyone in his own family, especially his debt-beleaguered younger brother. He had been fine when she oversaw the accounts when they weren’t important—but ironically, as soon as her skill had yielded results, he took them away from her and handed them to a man. Simply because he was a man, and his brother, and not a woman, and his wife.
And now she and little Gertrude were being made to suffer for it. George’s brother hadn’t done more than shrug when Edwina had told him how George had left her. He already had a wife, he said, and he couldn’t afford to take her in, although he had offered a place to his niece.
But Edwina couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from her daughter; she was the only thing keeping Edwina from stepping in front of an oxcart one day. That she and Gertrude might starve to death was not something she wanted to contemplate—what reasonable person would?—even though she had to.
Which brought her back to why she was currently sitting with her closest friend in said closest friend’s employment agency, realizing that perhaps she had to consider employment herself.
“What can I do?” she said at last, hating how pathetic and needy she sounded. Better pathetic and needy than dead, a voice said inside her head.
Carolyn chuckled, taking a sip of her tea. “What can’t you do? You can balance accounts, drive hard bargains with tradesmen, oversee skittish maids, sort out the temperamental discord among upper-class servants, and keep an older husband relatively comfortable in illness. Not to mention you are extremely well-read—there are benefits to having a neglectful husband—and your parents ensured you had all the education you’d need to be an adept wife, whether you married a politician, a solicitor, or even a lord.”
“Or a businessman with lofty pretensions,” Edwina added. “They thought they had taken care of me. I wish they were still here.” She shook her head. “I do not wish to be married again, if that is the employment you are suggesting.” Once was enough, and she would have said never would have been enough if it weren’t for Gertrude. And it is not as though she had any other family to resort to; her parents had both been only children, and she had no relatives that she knew of.
“I am not in a husband acquisition business, Edwina,” Carolyn replied in a mocking tone. “If I were, don’t you think I could afford a better office?”
They both glanced around at the tidy but shabby room. “Excellent point,” Edwina replied with a grin, picking up the cup with the still-hot handle and taking a welcome sip of tea. “So what do you have in mind?”
Teatime and Books Review
This is absolutely one of the most witty and sensual romantic tales of the year! A definite high 5 stars for Megan Frampton’s Why Dukes Fall In Love?! From the first page I could not put this book down, it is so addicting!
We first meet Edwina Cheltam at her friend Caroline’s employment agency. Edwina is recently widowed and her husband let her penniless and she’s been struggling ever since to make ends meet. Her friend finds her employment as a secretary to Lord Michael, the Duke of Hadlow. He is expecting, yet another inexperienced and unintelligent man when to his surprise he’s met with a beautiful and very intelligent woman. He not only takes Edwina under his employ, he also welcomes her little six-year-old daughter into his home as well. He shocks himself for his brash decisions, it is entirely not like him! It isn’t long before Edwina and her little girl charm the likes out of this arrogant and absolutely gorgeous duke.
Michael has always prided himself on his composure and absolute control over every situation that life has handed him. He’s also kept himself away from marriage for his thirty-four years of life and plans to keep it that way. That is until Edwina comes into his life and quite literally knocks him off his arrogant aristocratic feet. Will Michael give in to his growing love for this common yet beautiful and witty woman and her little girl? Or will he end up alone for the rest of his days?
This is my first book of Megan Frampton’s and I must admit, I’m an absolute diehard fan now! I can’t wait to read more from this very talented and creative author. This story is just filled with imagination and wit, and oh so steamy! I highly recommend this book!
**Thank You Avon Books (A HarperCollins Imprint) for giving me a copy of this book for an honest review**
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, New York, with her husband and son. You can visit her website at www.meganframpton.com. She tweets as @meganf, and is at facebook.com/meganframptonbooks.
Q & A With Megan Frampton:
1. Tell us about yourself.
I live in Brooklyn, NY, with my husband and 17 year-old son. I never tan, I love to dance, and I have close to twenty maxi dresses.
2. What three things about you might surprise your readers?
I secretly prefer 2005's Pride and Prejudice to the iconic 1995 one (because Matthew MacFadyen, yo).
I do my best writing when I enter what I call "the fugue state," where I barely know what I'm typing.
I actually think in circularities like so many of my heroines.
3. Is there a genre(s) that you think “I might like to write one of those.”?
All of them? Actually, I don't know that I'd be any good at contemporary, but I love all romance genres.
4. Tell us about WHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE?
It's the story of an extremely intelligent duke matching wits with his extremely intelligent female secretary.
5. Where did the idea for the storyline come from?
I wanted to write about a widow, since I've done so many virginal heroines. I thought about the freedom a widow would have, and what it would be like for a poor widow out on her own with a child to support. And then I thought about a duke who would give my heroine a chance at survival without having to sell herself.
6. What do you think readers will like/love about Michael and Edwina?
Their respective keen intelligence, and how she doesn't let him get away with any s**t.
7. What was your favorite scene from the book?
The one at the railroad exhibit, where Michael and Gertrude, Edwina's six year-old daughter, share a geeking out moment over train engines.
8. Who are some of your book boyfriends? What draws you to them?
SO MANY! I love dominant, ruthless heroes such as Moning's Barrons, Balogh's Wulfric, and KJ Charles's Mason. I also love damaged heroes, men who know they are vulnerable and work desperately to hide that--until the heroine unpeels the layers of pain.
9. If you had to pick a favorite cocktail of choice, what would it be? (It can be non-alcoholic too)
A Negroni, heavy on the Campari.
10. What’s next for you?
A new series! Loosely (very loosely) based on Pride and Prejudice and with a nearsighted heroine and a very tall hero.
Where to buy WHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE?
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/why-do-dukes-fall-in-love-megan-frampton/1123598115;jsessionid=28048A99EBB5215A4F8ADA3B4E4CF896.prodny_store02-atgap05?ean=9780062412836&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7229674_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLCM000023