Duke's Daughters is such an entertaining series, I
couldn't wait to crack open NEVER A BRIDE! Megan Frampton
dazzled me from page one with her intriguing characters and
some fun twists to the fake engagement trope. If Griffith's
physical presence easily intimidates people, Della's inner
strength could topple giants. Griffith and Della despise the
aristocracy for the same reasons, and both defied their
parents. Getting pregnant out of wedlock got Della ruined,
bringing shame and scandal unto her family, and her parents
never forgave her. While Griffith mostly ignored his
relatives, Della's attitude has been more along the lines of
"to hell with what Society thinks."
I loved Griffith; he is conceited but his heart is in the
right place, and he was just plain fun. Della is extremely
bossy, controlling, sometimes reckless, stubborn and, to be
honest, not all that lovable. Still, I feel that Della and
Griffith are a very well-suited match. Della is obviously a
very passionate woman, but it bothered me that she seemed
more concerned about having sex with Griffith than taking
care of her daughter, Nora. The child, who is conspicuously
absent from most of the story, save a few very brief cameo
appearances; I never felt that Della really loved Nora, in
spite of being told she did. I appreciated that Sarah,
Della's friend, and housemate, is a woman of color. The
affection between the women was evident, although sometimes
I felt that Della treated her a bit more like the help than
a friend. But then again, Della treated most people like
servants. I also wondered where some of the money came from.
Della had enough put away for several ball gowns it seemed,
while they had shabby furniture. I know, I always get caught
up in the little details. Even though they're constantly
thinking of banging each other, I was pleasantly surprised
that it took some time for Griffith and Della to do the
deed, and that they did continue to look for Henry Wattings.
In the latter part of the book, there was a plot twist I
never saw coming. Griffith acted impulsively, but Della
handled it better than I thought. I wonder if Ms. Frampton
has anything in store for at least one secondary character.
In spite of a few little snags, NEVER A BRIDE is like
champagne: light, bubbly, refreshing, intoxicating; one
glass is never enough!
Sheâ€™s a deliciously scandalous woman who is no manâ€™s
Heâ€™s a black sheep, forced to return home.
Together, they enter a make-believe betrothal that
shocks London societyâ€¦
After twelve years in Her Majestyâ€™s Navy, Griffith Davies
must leave his sea-going life of outrageous freedom behind,
forced to rejoin London society as the heir to the Duke of
Northam. But though he is now shackled to the land, he has
no desire to wed some innocently dull young thing. Who best
to shield him from the matchmakers than a woman as notorious
Lady Della Howlettâ€™s reputation was tattered years ago, so
entering into a false engagement with Griffith is hardly
going to make matters worse. Whatâ€™s one more shock to the
ton to set their tongues wagging? And this pact
certainly has its pleasures; the passion Griffith commands
in her goes well beyond their agreement. Could her feelings
might be more honorable than sheâ€™d first imagined?
Soon, Griffith and Della are arousing more than scandal,
theyâ€™re courting heartbreak. And more than their
reputations could still be at risk.