A Wicked Bargain for the Duke by Megan Frampton
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: Hazards of Dukes, #3
Release Date: April 27, 2021
Thaddeus Dutton, the new Duke of Hasford takes his responsibilities seriously, so after inheriting a dukedom he never expected (or wanted), he gives 100% into being the best duke he can be and decides that he must marry and father an heir as soon as possible. He makes a list of attributes his future duchess must possess and finds the perfect bride at the first event he attends – the Earl of Scudamore’s eldest daughter, Lady Jane Capel.
When it becomes clear to Lady Lavinia Capel that the duke has set his sites on Jane, she knows she will have to convince the duke to look elsewhere for a wife. Jane is madly in love with their neighbor and is too timid to rebuff the duke’s attentions, that combined with their mother’s determination to wed Jane to the duke, will see her unhappily married unless Lavinia intervenes. But when her attempt to get the duke alone to set him straight goes horribly wrong, Lavinia finds herself engaged to the duke – much to the dismay of everyone involved!
Determined to make the best of things, Thaddeus forms a plan and proposes a bargain – they will stay together long enough to have an heir, and then they will live separate lives. Furthermore, he thinks they should not get too involved in each other’s lives and limit their interaction to the bedroom – for the purpose of procreation and definitely not let their emotions become engaged. Lavinia had no desire to marry, she writes novels and had planned to live an independent life, but there is no way she can get out of the marriage without destroying Jane’s chances for happiness, so she agrees to Thaddeus’ terms. She forms her own plan, keeps her writing secret since Thaddeus didn’t seem to approve, and tries to keep herself from falling for her husband. But you know what they say – the best-laid plans…
I was a little wary about requesting this title after reading the previous book in the series and being very disappointed, but thankfully this book was everything I could have hoped for and more – much more! It is clear to the reader that Thaddeus and Lavinia are perfect for each other from the start and their interactions are fun, sexy and a delight to read. The book is filled with witty banter, steamyish love scenes, wonderful characters, laugh-out-loud moments, secrets, a bit of angst, a little miscommunication, and an absolutely wonderful ending! I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend the title – it is the third book in the series, but it can definitely be read and enjoyed as a standalone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. *