Book Review: Lady Be Bad (Duke's Daughters #1) by Megan Frampton
|Rating: 4 Stars|
Summary: Once upon a time, a duke had five daughters who never made a stir. They practiced their French, their pianoforte, and their dancing…until one ran off with the dancing instructor, and the rest were left to face the scandal.
Lady Eleanor, the Duke of Marymount’s eldest daughter, knows the burden is hers: she must marry well to restore the family name. So a loveless match is made and her fate is set. But then Eleanor meets her intended’s rakish younger brother. With his tawny hair, green eyes, and scandalous behavior, Lord Alexander Raybourn makes her want to be very bad indeed.
With his very honorable sibling too busy saving the world to woo Eleanor, Alexander is tasked with finding out her likes and dislikes for his elder brother. But the more time he spends with the secretly naughty Eleanor, helping her tick off all the things on her good list for being bad, the more he knows what they want, and need, is each other.
Review: I liked Eleanor's character a lot, especially how she thought of blurry half-seen Alex as a tree. Some of her inner musings made me crack up laughing. I also love how she and Alex both grow and balance each other out from two extremes. She goes from someone who not only doesn't speak her mind but is so penned in by expectations of propriety that she doesn't even allow herself to think and feel fully. On the other hand Alex goes from someone known for his "blunt speaking" and learns to curb his tongue in deference to the feelings and reputations of others. I love that they both feel worthless and help each other find value in themselves, not just because someone else values them but for the people they truly are.
The gambling den scene seems awkward and irrelevant, like it was just stuck in there for filler. About three quarters into the book Alex thinks something like he loves the chaise-lounge red if her face now when he used to hate it. I didn't feel a hatred of her blushes was ever expressed in their early interactions, so that really stuck out as strange to me. Besides, why should such an easy going fellow HATE a lady's blushes, be they ever so red and though he thinks her ever so dim-witted? And, um, why did they all need to meet to strategize a plan of attack when it was decided that Alex would talk to his father and Eleanor would speak with her parents? How does speaking about their wishes to their parents help avoid a scandal for calling off the engagement? Another weird superfluous scene.
I adored this book. Megan Frampton's characters are realistically flawed, lovable, and charming, and her writing is wonderfully witty. However I have to knock off a star for the repeated awkward scenes inserted as seemingly superfluous filler, making an otherwise streamlined storyline jerk off course briefly at repeated intervals.