Title: Dukes Behaving Badly #1.5: When Good Earls Go Bad
Author: Megan Frampton
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From: Edelweiss
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours
Megan Frampton’s Dukes Behaving Badly series is back, though this time it’s an earl who’s meeting his match in this delightfully fun and sexy novella!
What’s a lovely young woman doing asleep in his bed? Matthew, Earl of Selkirk, is shocked to discover it’s his new housekeeper! She’s a far cry from the gray-haired woman he expected. Matthew is no fan of surprises, and Annabelle Tyne is pure temptation. Perhaps he shouldn’t have had her hired sight unseen.
Annabelle, co-owner of the Quality Employment Agency, is no housekeeper, but she wasn’t about to lose a potential client simply because there was no one to fit the bill. Imagine her shock when the Earl arrives at his London townhome and she’s awoken in the night by the most attractive man she’s ever seen.
Matthew is a man who lives life by the rules, but sometimes rules are made to be broken…and being bad can be very, very good.
Other books in this series
Uh, are historical romances supposed to be this hilarious? This isn't the first historical comedy romance I've read, and I'm not even sure this was meant to be a comedy, but it was. Did I laugh? Like a rabid monkey, I did!
The internal dialogue for both Annabelle and Matthew is, honestly, what had me in stitches. They were constant reminders of that saying, "I didn't say it but you know I was thinking it!" that made them more approachable and transparent. Add Annabelle's tenancy to talk without pausing and Matthew's initial staunchness and this was a story that was easy to smile at, get lost, and really enjoy.
The true heart of the story wasn't the rules Matthew lived by or Annabelle's past or their attraction, though all of those things did play a part in their coming together. It was happiness. Annabelle said it best:
"I learned a long time ago that what it is right for me is not right for others. I do so hope that happiness is right for you, my lord." (Kindle, Loc 559 of 2163)Matthew's rules were excellent but they offered no chance at being truly happy and content. He was a man accustomed to seeing to the needs of others before his own. Some men might have found happiness in that but there was a restlessness in Matthew that was almost obvious from the start. It was like he knew something was missing but couldn't exactly pinpoint what it was or figure out how to ignore it or fill it. Meeting Annabelle might have a been a stroke of luck yet it was the turning point in his life he didn't know he needed.
Annabelle wasn't hesitant to list her faults as a housekeeper or as a woman, but she also wasn't reluctant to laugh at herself if need be. Her ability to see situations clearly and not as a dewy-eyed miss made her that much more appealing to me, and who she was was a nice change of scenery as well. Like so many heroines I've encountered, I wanted her to be strong, to have a little bit of a rough past, to stand strong despite it. And you know what? She didn't disappoint.
Matthew and Annabelle's happy ending was right. She discovered in him a man who saw and appreciated her enthusiasm for life in general. He didn't try to change her or repress her. He let her be her. Matthew found a woman who grounded him in a way rules never could. She laughed with and at him, was sincere in talking with him, did her damnedest to make him smile, and put him first. That right there... That is amazing.
Fun, fast, flirty, and all around entertaining, Ms. Frampton did a wonderful job with this story. No one's dying or hiding from catastrophe or struggling to make ends meet. Aside from the rules, this is a love story about two souls needing that one special thing to make them whole and finding it in the most unlikeliest of places: each other.
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.