NEVER A BRIDE by Megan Frampton

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Duke’s Daughters, Book 4

From the publisher:

The next thrilling installment in Megan Frampton’s scintillating A Duke’s Daughters series.

She’s a deliciously scandalous woman who is no man’s bride…

He’s a black sheep, forced to return home.

Together, they enter a make-believe betrothal that shocks London society…

After twelve years in Her Majesty’s Navy, Griffith Davies must leave his sea-going life of outrageous freedom behind, forced to rejoin London society as the heir to the Duke of Northam. But though he is now shackled to the land, he has no desire to wed some innocently dull young thing.  Who best to shield him from the matchmakers than a woman as notorious as he?

Lady Della Howlett’s reputation was tattered years ago, so entering into a false engagement with Griffith is hardly going to make matters worse. What’s one more shock to the ton to set their tongues wagging? And this pact certainly has its pleasures; the passion Griffith commands in her goes well beyond their agreement. Could her feelings might be more honorable than she’d first imagined?

Soon, Griffith and Della are arousing more than scandal, they’re courting heartbreak.  And more than their reputations could still be at risk.

I was really enjoying the latest trope of having 21st century characters inhabiting the 18th century. By that I mean strong, independent women with careers and men who appreciate them. But this time really felt like it was beyond the scope of suspending disbelief. I’ve read books two and three of this series and enjoyed them, but this one was definitely my least favorite.

Lady Della’s story was a familiar one. As a young girl, she is talked into running away with a young man her family is sure to disapprove of, and, as it turns out, with very good reason. What does she see in him? Well, he listens to her when no one else does. When she finds herself pregnant, she leaves him, somehow figuring she will manage on her own in Regency England. She ends up living with another young mother from the Caribbean, whose husband is missing. Together they take in all kinds of strays, from young girls to kittens to furniture.

Griffith is a man who loves his job as captain of a ship in her majesty’s navy. What was interesting (and completely unrealistic) is that both of these characters, Griffith and Della, are fierce defenders of the poor, the homeless, the low born. They truly are a match made in heaven, especially sexually. Della is a dominant, and Griffith loves how she orders him about and takes the lead in everything. When he tries to, he is punished.

This was just too much for me. I finished it as it was a very quick read, but I didn’t love it and I’m very sorry to say, cannot really recommend it.

8/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

NEVER A BRIDE by Megan Frampton. Avon (April 30, 2019).  ISBN 978-0062867407. 368p.



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