The Duke’s Guide To Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton

Posted November 14, 2014 by Meoskop in Book Reviews, Historical, Romance / 0 Comments

A white couple embrace on a sofa, he shirtless, she in historical dressI’ve been trying to steer clear of Avon lately, but The Duke’s Guide To Correct Behavior slipped past my defenses. With a vague memory of reading Megan Frampton’s Signet Regency, I was hoping for a traditional historical romance. It was and it wasn’t. There’s a duke, of course, and he’s a reluctant duke. Romance no longer has the new duke jumping happily into his stacks of wealth and piles of power, instead they moan like spoilt children. “Mommy, I wanted the blue castle with the moat, not the grey castle with the ocean. Everything is ruined. I hate you.” There’s a mysterious child, which requires a beautiful governess with an even more mysterious past. What happens when a Hermetically Sealed Heroine meets a Minute Man?  We’re going to use Spoiler tags to tell you because TDGTCB has a street date of 11/25/14.

Stop Reading Here To Avoid All Spoilers.

OMG you guys. I wanted this book to be so good and it was so not awesome and now I am sad. (Quick, someone give me stacks of wealth and piles of power so I may resume frolicking.) The Duke is the lost little boy type with nary a whiff of the ladies man about him. He never expected to inherit and feels inadequate to it all, which is fitting because he never does a bit of work. Seriously, the guy spends most of his time sitting alone and staring at walls, one presumes, since he’s never consulting with anyone about running his estates. He’s understaffed at the main house. When he ends up inheriting a ward he hires the first governess he interviews from the first agency he contacts. Fast forward to the modern day and this guy would be hiring babysitters in the liquor store check out lane. (Wait, I want to read that book.)

Lily is the governess so hired. She’s got a super mysterious past that would mean everyone’s ruin if anyone realized who she was. Which makes absolutely no sense at all because she works for an agency that places people with super mysterious pasts in respectable positions. (Just go with it). She meets the ward, Rose.  Young Rose experiences about five seconds of grief for the only world she’s ever known before taking to the duke’s life like ducks and water. Lily rushes in and out of the duke’s life, transforming it into a place of beauty and wonder where he saw only idle loneliness and despair, etc. (You know how that bit goes. The interesting part is the middle.) Unfortunately, there’s no middle to TDGTCB. It’s got a great premise and a weak close with only the fluffiest of filling holding the two together. If it weren’t for the promise of sexual dysfunction I would have DNF’d it and moved on about a third of the way in. Lily is a disaster as a governess. She doesn’t understand the job parameters, confusing her position with that of mother and equal and woman of the house. It’s ok, the duke doesn’t know what he’s doing either.

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There was a book here, but it wasn’t the book I wanted it to be. Readers currently swooning over Eloisa James and Sophie Barnes will be very happy with Megan Frampton’s The Duke’s Guide To Correct Behavior but I was looking for something a little more Judith Ivory.

*This post originally appeared at Love In The Margins.