To keep his estate afloat, the new Duke of Gage must honor an agreement to marry Lady Isabella Sawford. Stunningly beautiful, utterly tempting, she’s also a bag of wedding night nerves, so Nicholas decides to wait to do his duty—even if it means heading to the boxing saloon every day to punch away his frustration.
Groomed her whole life to become the perfect duchess, Isabella longs for independence, a dream that is gone forever. As her husband, Nicholas can do whatever he likes—but, to Isabella’s surprise, the notorious rake instead begins a gentle seduction that is melting every inch of her reserve, night by night . . .
To his utter shock, Nicholas discovers that no previous exploits were half as pleasurable as wooing his own wife. But has the realm’s most disreputable duke found the one woman who can bring him to his knees— and leave him there?
Although this is part of Ms Frampton’s current Dukes Behaving Badly series, Put Up Your Duke doesn’t seem to involve characters from previous books and can easily be read as a standalone. I was between books when the offer of a review copy reached me, and as I’m pretty much unable to resist any story in which the protagonists are forced into a marriage of convenience, it solved the problem of my temporary booklessness and did it in a most enjoyable manner.
Nicholas Smithfield knows he’s damn good at two things – pugilism and sex. As the book opens we meet him during an evening spent at a favourite house of ill repute in company with three delectable ladies, but before he can get very far his younger brother, Griff, interrupts him with some amazing news. Due to a series of completely unexpected and freakish circumstances, it turns out that Nicholas is, in fact, the rightful holder of the title and estates of the Duke of Gage. Even the pleasures to be found in the arms of three lusty ladies can’t quite top that, and Nicholas – very regretfully – departs with his brother in order to find out exactly what is going on and if he really has just become a duke.
Nicholas discovers there’s no question about it – he is the lawful duke even if the previous incumbent, usually referred to as “the duke that was” is not at all happy about being suddenly deprived of his position and threatens to make trouble. He aiso discovers that he has not only inherited a dukedom, but he has inherited a fiancée as well, Lady Isabella Sawford, the daughter of the Earl of Grosston.
Even less prepared for matrimony than “dukehood”, Nicholas is at first determined to see if he can break the betrothal – after all, the young lady was betrothed to a man, not a title. But meeting with her father, it quickly becomes apparent that the betrothal is so watertight that to break it would almost certainly ruin Nicholas – and by extention, the dukedom – financially, and he has no alternative but to honour the agreement. Upon meeting the beautiful Isabella, Nicholas decides that being married to her might not be such a bad thing after all.
You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance.