A London ballroom
Too many people, too much noise
Lasham took too big a swallow of his wine, knowing his headache would only be exacerbated by the alcohol, but unwilling to forgo the possibility that perhaps, for just a few minutes, his perception would be muffled, blurred a little around the edges.
So that he wouldn’t be in a state of constant keen awareness that he was the Duke of Lasham, that he was likely the most important person wherever he happened to be—according to everyone but him—and that he was under almost continuous surveillance.
The ballroom was filled with the best people of Society, all of whom seemed to be far more at ease than he had ever been. Could ever be, in fact. He stood to the side of the dance floor, the whirling fabric of the ladies’ gowns like a child’s top.
Not that he’d been allowed anything as playful or fun as a top when he was growing up. But he could identify the toy, at least.
“Enjoying yourself, Your Grace?” His hostess, along with two of her daughters, had crept up along his blind side, making him start and slosh his wine onto his gloved hand. Occurrences like this weren’t the worst part of having lost an eye—that obviously would be the fact that he only had one eye left—but it was definitely annoying.
“Yes,” he said, bowing in their general direction, “thank you, I am.”
The three ladies gawked at him as though waiting for him to continue to speak, to display more of his wondrous dukeliness for their delight. As though he were more of an object than a person.
But he couldn’t just perform on command, and his hand was damp, and now he would have to go air out his glove before bestowing another dance on some lady he would be obliged to dance with, being the duke, and all. Because if his glove was damp, it might be perceived as, God forbid, sweaty, and sweaty-handed dukes might mean that the duke had gotten said sweat because he was enthralled with the person with whom he was dancing, which would lead to expectations, which would lead to expect a question, and Lasham knew he did not want to ever have to ask that question of anybody.
It was bad enough being the object of scrutiny when he was out in public. At home, at least, he was by himself, blissfully so, and taking a duchess would require that he be at home by himself with somebody else, and that somebody would doubtless have ducal expectations of him as well.
“Excuse me,” he said to the silent, gawking ladies. He sketched a quick bow and strode off, trying to look as though he had a destination rather than merely wishing to depart.
Don’t want to read the whole review? Click to jump to the Skinny Review.
One-Eyed Dukes are Wild by Megan Frampton is the third book in her Dukes Behaving Badly series. This is also the third book that I read from Miss Frampton and I am liking it so far. This book, however, was a close DNF for me and it actually took me a while to finish it (like 30 minutes ago!).
Why was this almost a DNF?!
- This book had a really slow start. And if I probably wasn’t joining a book tour, I would have put it down (so glad I did not put it down). The story picks up about 30-40% in, so soldier on and don’t give up!
- Lasham. The Duke. He is NOT a pirate! In fact, he is a beta hero and I usually feel meh about beta heroes. This one, though, improves upon further reading.
- The Duke does not have a tortured past! I do wish he did. But he was a tad bit boring for my taste.
- His best friend, James – stole the show. I mean, I want to know more about HIM than the duke. And that does not bode well for our hero, the duke.
The saving grace.
- Fear not! The story does get better further in because of Lady Margaret! The scandalous lady is actually the one subtly flirting with the DUKE! I thought that was refreshing and very cute.
- Margaret stole the show. I mean, the whole book! She was the perfect heroine, even if she sounded more modern than your usual historical romance heroine.
- I loved how Lady Margaret slowly helped the Duke go out of his shell and redeem himself as a hero in my eyes.
Definitely, check this book out if you love strong heroines.
images linked to the review