Are marriage of convenience stories your cup of tea? If so, you will love No Groom at the Inn, a novel by Megan Frampton that she calls number 2.5 in her Dukes Behaving Badly series. Actually, the title is inaccurate. There is a groom at the inn; he just doesn’t know it yet.
Poor Lady Sophronia has been left penniless by her father. He was so busy collecting expensive books and playing erudite word games that he forgot to set money aside for her future. Now she’s on her way to become an unpaid children and chicken keeper for a distant cousin.
Enter James Archer. He needs a fiancée and quick to get his mother and a housepartyful of hopeful misses off his back.
Charmingly, Frampton starts each chapter off with obscure words and their made up and real definitions that underscore what is happening in the plot.
As the holiday season unfolds, so too does the love between this twosome. The plot is short and as sweet as c cup of hot chocolate. Perfect holiday fare.
Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three (3) Print copies of THE DUKE’S GUIDE TO CORRECT BEHAVIOR)
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“Excuse me, miss,” a gentleman said in her ear. She jumped, so lost in her own foolish (fowlish?) thoughts that she hadn’t even noticed him approaching her.
She turned and looked at him, blinking at his splendor. He was tall, taller than her, even, which was a rarity among gentlemen. He was handsome in a dashing rosy-visioned way that made her question just what her imagination was thinking if it had never inserted him—or someone who looked like him–into her dreams.
He had unruly dark brown hair, longer than most gentlemen wore. The ends curled up as though even his hair was irrepressible. His eyes were blue, and even in the dark gloom, she could see they practically twinkled.
As though he and she shared a secret, a lovely, wonderful, delightful secret.
Never mind that all those words were very similar to one another. Her word-specific father would reprimand her—if that gentle soul could reprimand someone, that is—if he heard how cavalierly she was tossing out adjectives that all meant nearly the same thing.
But he wasn’t here, was he, which was why she was here, and now she was about to find out why this other he was here.
Far too many pronouns. Her attention returned to the tall, charming stranger.
Who was talking to her. Waiting for her response, actually, since she had spent a minute or so contemplating his general magnificence. And words, and her father, and whatever other non-chickened thoughts had blessedly crossed her mind.
“Can I help you, sir?” Sophronia asked. He was probably lost on his way to the Handsome Hotel where they only allowed Exceedingly Handsome guests.
That he might think she’d know where the Handsome Hotel was gave her pause. Because she was not handsome, not at all.
But what he said was next was even more unexpected than being asked to provide directions to some establishment where one’s appearance was the only requirement for entry.
“Would you marry me?” he said in a normal tone of voice as though he hadn’t just upended Sophronia’s entire world.
Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.