Blog Tour Review of NO GROOM AT THE INN (Dukes Behaving Badly 2.5) by Megan Frampton

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 each promise to give each other a Christmas kiss it becomes clear that this pact made out of necessity might just be turning into love.


Just when Sophronia resigns herself to a fate of living with her cousin and caring for his dozens of chickens and half-dozen children, James Archer strolls into her life with a proposition that promises to give her the cottage in the countryside she's always wanted (sans poultry). The catch? She must pretend to be his adoring fiancée for a few weeks at a holiday house party packed with eligible young ladies vying for his attention. James has never wanted to marry, feeling suffocated by the mere idea of settling down in one place, but as these two grow closer and closer the lines between feigned and real love begin to dissolve. 

There are few tropes I love more than fake fiancés, so this novella had me hooked from the get-go. Throw into the mix a wallflower wordsmith of a heroine and a charming, playful hero with a wonderful sense of humor and you have the makings of the perfect holiday romance. I adored the author's use of vocabulary in expressing how much Sophronia loves unusual words and how her quirky mind works. There was something so fun about the inclusion of uncommon words and possible definitions at the beginning of each chapter. I'm not ashamed to say I was stumped more than once but I had a blast trying to figure out how the word would factor into the following chapter. 

I think the story was perfectly paced, and despite it being just a novella, I think all of the facets of the romance were wonderfully developed. I hate feeling like a romance is rushed to fit the constraints of less pages but Megan Frampton did a superb job of building that affection and heat that resulted in such a satisfying story. Because the author laid that foundation of friendship with sweet, teasing moments between the couple she was able to really pack on the heat in those sexy moments, making the romance so well-rounded. Whether or not you've read any of the other books in the series, NO GROOM AT THE INN is a fun, quirky, sexy historical you need to pick up this holiday season.

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

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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.

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