This historical romance is unconventionally fun and clever. I enjoyed the heroine being hired for a secretarial role long before such things were acceptable; I respected her character’s steadfastness in putting her daughter’s well-being first and her ability to remain calm in the face of a very formidable, grouchy duke. I liked Edwina and Michael’s chemistry, dialogue and spark. Those two were highly engaging characters.
Gertrude, Edwina’s daughter, is a hot ticket. She is adorable and I had no trouble believing in her ability to wrap all the servants as well as the hero around her little pinky. I thought that the natural relationship between her and the duke’s dog, Chester, was a cute touch. Canines and children never put on airs – they are as real as it gets.
I thought it rather clever of the author to start each chapter with a response to the title’s question, “Why do dukes fall in love?” Some of them made me laugh out loud.
The romance that grows between Michael and Edwina was quite well done. I was fascinated in watching Michael actually learn about human interaction by observing Edwina scold, teach or advise her daughter. I also felt sad for the hero because it meant that no one took the time to teach him when he was a young child himself. Did he ever have a childhood? After a while, I got the impression that Edwina and Gertrude were the best things to ever happen to the hero – he is getting a second chance at discovering the many joys of life. Eventually, Michael finds happiness from doing the smallest, nonsensical things and in return is gifted with laughter, smiles and totally illogical love. It was beautiful.
Most of the unconventional aspects of the novel stem from the hero himself. He is emotionally stunted but didn’t have a clue that he was. His personal journey was the strongest plotline in the book. Edwina had her share but the hero is the one who had to change the most. The whole process was captivating to watch.
The hero and heroine do indeed succumb to the passion that was brewing for most of the story and those scenes were well written and romantic.
Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? was a joy to read. Ms. Frampton has penned a story with heart, a wonderful romance and is told with a delightful storytelling voice. Historical romance readers are in for a treat.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.