All of London knows the Duke of Rutherford has position and wealth. They also whisper that he’s dissolute, devilish, and determinedly unwed. So why, everyone is asking, has he hired a governess?
When Miss Lily Russell crosses the threshold of the Duke of Rutherford’s stylish townhouse, she knows she has come face to face with sensual danger. For this is no doting papa. Rather, his behavior is scandalous, and his reputation rightly earned. And his pursuit of her is nearly irresistible—but resist she must for the sake of her pupil.
As for the duke himself, it was bad enough when his unknown child landed on his doorstep. Now Lily, with her unassuming beauty, has aroused his most wicked fantasies—and, shockingly, his desire to change his wanton ways. He’s determined to become worthy of her, and so he asks for her help in correcting his behavior.
But Lily has a secret, one that, if it becomes known, could change everything . . .
Time and Setting: London, 1840
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Claudia
Marcus, the new Duke of Rutherford is wealthy, handsome, unwed – and possessed of a scandalous reputation. Suddenly, a small girl appears on his doorstep and he decides to do what is right and correct his behavior. So he hires a governess.
Lily Russell and her two friends are working hard to make their employment agency successful. So when she receives the inquiry for a governess, she knows they need to do their best – and she takes the position herself. What she does not expect is the attraction that sparks between her and her employer – something she resist, for the sake of her pupil and because of secrets in her past which could destroy everything.
I liked the premise of the book. Despite his upbringing as a gentleman, Marcus is totally unprepared for taking on the duties of a duke and for the responsibility of being a father. This is nicely mirrored by Lily, who has no idea how to be a governess.
There is a lot of humor in the situation of both characters trying to be something they are not, but there is also a lot of honesty and will to do what is right. Nevertheless I had major problems at the beginning with the way they are written; Marcus and Lily sound more like teenagers to me and their behaviour is juvenile – even childish sometimes.
The natural chemistry between them is obvious but at the outset, I could not decide where it came from. Both are gorgeous, but that’s not enough. Yet once their feelings towards each other started to grow, their romance was beautifully developed. Both know what they feel for each other and how they behave towards one another is improper and both try very hard to deny their attraction, but in the end, they cannot fight it. Marcus is concerned that Lily is influenced by his title, but his insecurities won me over by the middle of the book, when he finally asks Lily to tell him that she’s interested in him and wants his kisses. Before that, I found him rather like an adolescent pretending to be an adult, but this was a real turning point, for both him and for me in terms of my enjoyment of the book.
The secondary cast is something to look forward to and I hope to see Lily’s friends in the next book as well as Marcus “new best friend”, who is a very decent friend and a character about whom I would like to read more.
One of the things the book does well is to bring home the point that it was very difficult to raise illegitimate children within society and without their being hurt by the way people perceive them. The way Marcus and Lily try to bring Rose into society was beautifully done.
All in all, The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior is a good read, despite the fact that I struggled with the first half. After that, it turns into a love story which is, at times, a real tearjerker. As this is the first book in a new series, I plan to read the next installment, which will hopefully be without the weaknesses but will retain all the humor and romance this book provides.
Megan is giving away a $25 gift card to the e-book retailer of choice to one winner, drawn from all the entries throughout the tour – which you can follow HERE.
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, NY, with her husband and son.