Review of "Never Kiss a Duke" (Hazards of Dukes #1) by Megan Frampton

Frampton, Megan. Never Kiss a Duke. New York: Avon Books, 2020.

eBook | $5.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062867438 | 384 pages | Regency Romance

5 stars

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Never Kiss a Duke may just be my favorite Megan Frampton yet, because of the way it subtly shakes up the historical romance formula. Amid the many books of privileged and rakish dukes, some of which Frampton has written, I love the concept of a disinherited duke having to learn how to be a regular person.

Sebastian is a great character, and his growing awareness of the privilege he had is well-written. While he does still have some stumbling moments, it is part of his character development, and I ultimately found his journey believable, with the payoff feeling rewarding given I did understand the tough choices he had to make.

Ivy is a great counterpart for him, and one of the things I immediately liked about their dynamic is that they were more or less equals, even if she was his employer, putting a twist on the often problematic boss/employee romance. I also like that she offered a counterpoint to his story, where while he did consider going back to his old life in some capacity at one point, she also used to be from an aristocratic family (although lower ranking), but doesn’t desire that life again. It provided a compelling conflict for them to work through, especially since there were sparks between them already.

The supporting cast is charming as well, although I’m a little disappointed that Typical Duke Nash is the hero of the next book, not that there’s anything wrong with him…he is a good friend to Sebastian, and they do have some great moments here. But any opportunity to see more of these characters is great, from the reluctant new duke Thad, to Sebastian’s charming sister, Ana Maria, and his poetically (literally!) named dogs.

This is a fun historical romance that has great twists to the typical tropes, and has likable characters with a great relationship that I rooted for in spite of the obstacles and their seemingly (at surface level) differing dreams. I recommend this to all historical lovers.

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