on November 10th 2015
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In this Dukes Behaving Badly holiday novella, a young lady entertains a sudden proposal of marriage—to a man she’s only just met...
What does a lady do when a man she’s never seen before offers his hand in marriage? Lady Sophronia Bettesford doesn’t scream and run away. Instead, she accepts the shocking proposition. After all, what’s her other choice? To live with her cousin, caring for six children and a barnyard full of chickens?
James Archer has roamed the world, determined never to settle down. He’s faced danger and disaster…he fears nothing and no one—except his mother and her matchmaking ways. So when ordered to attend a Christmastime house party filled with holiday cheer and simpering young misses, he produces—a fiancée!
Sophronia and James vow to pretend to be in love for one month. But when they promise to give each other a Christmas kiss, it becomes clear that this pact made out of necessity might just be turning into love.
¬¬Reviewed by Evelyn¬¬
Anyone who has ever played the party game “Dictionary” will enjoy NO GROOM AT THE INN, a Christmas novella by Megan Frampton. Not only do house party guests play it in the book, but the author plays it throughout the book with the reader. It’s a clever way to tie different elements of the book together and to get the readers involved!
This delightful tale, part of the Dukes Behaving Badly series, James Archer was born under a wandering star. His mother would like nothing more than for James to settle down with a wife and kids, but that doesn’t interest James at all. On his way home for the Christmas Holidays, as James was trying to think of a way to appease his Mother, he saw a nice looking young woman who appeared to be traveling alone. On a wild whim, he approached the young woman and asked her to marry him.
A wedding proposal was the last thing that Lady Sophronia Bettesford was expecting at that moment. After the death of her parents, she found herself left destitute. She was on her way to take care of her cousin’s six children on a chicken ranch when James side-tracked her with his offer. As she got more details, however, she learned that he really wasn’t proposing to her. He was actually just looking for someone to pose as his fiancée during the holidays to keep his mother happy and the single ladies away. She figured that James’ offer was better than her cousin’s, so she agreed providing he would pay her expenses and provide her with a cottage to live in when the charade was over.
James and Sophronia are instantly attracted to each other, but neither will admit it since they had entered into a business arrangement. Can either be persuaded to change their mind?
For a short, Christmas novella, this one is a lot of fun. The characters are likeable and the plot plausible, and it gave me a couple of new party games to introduce to my own family over the holidays. My only complaint? The story wasn’t long enough! This could have easily been a full length book with more complex characters and a deeper plot.
This a quick, enjoyable Christmas read for anyone who enjoys historical romance.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.