Hazards of Dukes #5
by Megan Frampton
ebook, 384 pages
Expected publication: June 28th 2022
by Avon Books
If you love the sparkle of Tessa Dare and the wit of Sarah MacLean, then you won’t want to miss this newest historical romance by Megan Frampton, who returns with a delicious story about a will in dispute, a four-week bargain, and a pretend engagement with romantic consequences.
It only takes one moment to cause a scandal…and four weeks to live it down!
Week one: Lovely, lively Octavia Holton arrives in the village, determined to claim her inheritance–the home she grew up in with her late father. Surely he meant for his daughter to have the property, and owning it means she could fix it up, sell it, and use the money to pay off her debts. But when she arrives, she discovers the house is also claimed–by one Gabriel Fallon.
Week two: Gabriel claims his father won the property in a bet, but he can’t bring himself to toss Octavia out on her very delightful derriére, so he makes her a four-week bargain: Together they’ll pretend to be engaged, all the while seeking out any will, letter, or document that proves who gets the ownership.
Weeks three and four: But that means togetherness…a lot of togetherness, and long days–and evenings–in each other’s company. The pair seems destined to “duke it out,” staking their claims…but it’s all too soon that they realize their rivalry might lead to something much more intimate. And suddenly four weeks seems like a long time. And yet not enough.
I’ve read all the other books in this series, so was happy to see Octavia’s story as the latest installment. She’s Ivy’s sister from book one and has taken over the gaming den her older sister started in London. Both girls were forced to start over on their own after their father wagered Ivy in a gambling bet. Octavia has taken over more of the responsibility now that her sister is married, and she’s showed up to their childhood home in hopes to find something of worth to pay of their creditors. She fully expects to take over the home now that her father is dead, but there’s someone there…in the pond. Such a fun start to the book and a memorable introduction to Gabriel. The two strike up a deal which turns into a fake engagement, rather ironic, since they could have indeed been married had Octavia’s sister lost her bet many years ago.
Gabriel is a kindhearted scholar who will do just about anything for anyone. Octavia a headstrong, impulsive and sometimes selfish woman who has moments of personal growth. Overall, they felt a bit mismatched in commitment and the sacrifices they are willing to make along the way. Gabriel’s actions also do not match his character, he comes across as two completely different people at times during their physical relationship. I was more endeared to him than to Octavia, who I liked in the previous books of the series. It was so fun to see Sebastian make a re-appearance in this, book 5. Perfect dialogue between him and Gabriel. I do wish we could see more of how things go between the two main characters after the end and epilogue since they have just barely expressed their mutual feelings to one another. Such a good series, read them all! Thanks to Avon Books and Netgalley for the advanced reading copy for review. All opinions are my own.