Why do dukes fall in love?
Michael, the Duke of Hadlow, has the liberty of enjoying an indiscretion . . . or several. But when it comes time for him to take a proper bride, he ultimately realizes he wants only one woman: Edwina Cheltam. He’d hired her as his secretary, only to quickly discover she was sensuous and intelligent.
They embark on a passionate affair, and when she breaks it off, he accepts her decision as the logical one . . . but only at first. Then he decides to pursue her.
Michael is brilliant, single-minded, and utterly indifferent to being the talk of the ton. It’s even said his only true friend is his dog. Edwina had begged him to marry someone appropriate–—someone aristocratic . . . someone high-born . . . someone else. But the only thing more persuasive than a duke intent on seduction is one who has fallen irrevocably in love.
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Edwina Cheltam, now a widow, has to find some means of supporting herself and her young daughter, Gertrude. Her deceased husband did not make provision for her, and, in fact, turned her successful management of their property over to his incompetent brother. Her brother-in-law reluctantly agrees to provide a home for Gertrude, but doesn’t offer any help to Edwina. Since Edwina will not be parted from her daughter, this is not an acceptable solution, and she knows that she must seek employment.
Michael, the Duke of Hadlow, has interviewed one incompetent candidate after another for the position of his secretary. When his butler announces there is one more candidate, a female, Michael is willing to interview and hire her if she is competent. Edwina knows that the chance of being hired as the Duke’s secretary is pretty slim, but she impresses him with her intelligence and composure. To her surprise, he does offer her the position, but stipulates that she has to live-in due to the demands of the job. A crestfallen Edwina has to decline because she won’t live apart from her daughter. When she tells Michael her circumstances, he unexpectedly offers to allow Gertrude to live there as well.
I really like Edwina. She’s in a desperate situation, yet, she sticks to her conviction that she won’t be parted from her daughter. While her convenient marriage lacked fulfillment and passion, and has left her somewhat disenchanted with the whole institution, she still has the self confidence to stand toe to toe with the Duke. Her intelligence and genuine interest in his business dealings impresses Michael, and soon she becomes invaluable to him. Michael noted her beauty right from the start, and while he desired her, he had no desire to jeopardize their satisfactory working relationship.
Michael is somewhat odd, and it is his character that makes this novel so wonderful and special. There is only one person in life that Michael loved – his older brother, who died when Michael was only four. Since then, he has determined not to love. He has no friends, he’s miserable in society, he’s well aware of his own stature, and he’s not afraid to flaunt his dukeliness to get what he wants. He’s also very intelligent and very determined to keep his dukedom successful. Despite all his best intentions, his desire for Edwina is flaring, and they eventually begin a passionate affair. (Thank you, Megan Frampton, for addressing birth control.)
As you can guess, Edwina begins to fall in love. And Michael begins to become self reflective and confused. Watching this distant, self contained duke evolve into just a man in love who wants no other woman is pure joy. Megan Frampton has outdone herself with her brilliant characterizations and this entertaining, touching, sexy, and very romantic story. I adore every aspect of WHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE, and I’m happy to give it my highest recommendation.