Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? - Megan Frampton

In Megan Frampton’s captivating new Dukes Behaving Badly novel, we learn the answer to the question:

Why do dukes fall in love?

Michael, the Duke of Hadlow, has the liberty of enjoying an indiscretion . . . or several. But when it comes time for him to take a proper bride, he ultimately realizes he wants only one woman: Edwina Cheltam. He’d hired her as his secretary, only to quickly discover she was sensuous and intelligent.

They embark on a passionate affair, and when she breaks it off, he accepts her decision as the logical one . . . but only at first. Then he decides to pursue her.

Michael is brilliant, single-minded, and utterly indifferent to being the talk of the ton. It’s even said his only true friend is his dog. Edwina had begged him to marry someone appropriate–—someone aristocratic . . . someone high-born . . . someone else. But the only thing more persuasive than a duke intent on seduction is one who has fallen irrevocably in love.

Michael is highly intelligent. More so than the rest of the elite of London. To the point he only associates with them when need be to get a bill passed.  He needs a secretary that can keep up and not ruin everything.  Edwina was treated as an ornament for her deceased husband to take out and show off.  Left with nothing after building his business herself because he left everything to his brother she decides to seek employment.  
From the moment Michael and Edwina meet in her interview their connection is off the charts.  Michael though abrupt and rude at times has a soft spot for Edwina and her daughter that would make any girl swoon.  I love how Edwina opens Michael's world and to potentially help him see the world in a different light.  If you enjoy a well paced regency romance that could give a lady the vapors, I recommend Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?.

It’s hard out here for a pimp duke.

Writing duke heroes over the course of four books, as I have in the Dukes Behaving Badly series, is hard. Not because the heroes aren’t all distinctive in their own way; they are, from Matthew’s confused bemusement about inheriting the title, to Nicholas’s arrogance he should always get his own way, to Lash’s refusal to step across any line, to Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?’s hero Michael, perhaps the most dukely of all my dukes.

It’s hard writing dukes because dukes are like CEOs. It’d be like constantly writing billionaires who remain in charge and in command over companies that support thousands of people. That takes a certain amount of sameness if you are always writing such a powerful person. In my duke view, there’s no possibility of a duke dashing off to become a spy; a duke has too many responsibilities to be that feckless. Dukes are second only to the royal family, only dukes, unlike princes, aren’t waiting around for someone to die so they can assume full command of their position. Dukes are at the pinnacle of their own possibility, and with that possibility comes an enormous amount of responsibility.

At one point during Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?, the heroine Edwina is pondering the vast mystery that is Michael, the ducal hero.

She didn’t think many men would have all that power and still be committed to doing something more with it. Most would be content to settle, to do what they had to, or what they thought they had to, but nothing more.

But not him. It was as though there was a force inside him, propelling him forward, into action beyond what most men would do.

What I like about Michael is that he understands what a duke should do, and he knows he is smart enough to do more than that. He feels compelled to do more because he thinks it is a waste of humanity to just be and accept the position that was given to him.

I always want my dukes to bring more than just their utter dukeliness to the table, and I love writing such powerful and ultimately responsible heroes.

Something I have talked about before is that I can not (as in CAN NOT) write a book without knowing precisely whom the hero looks like. Not just that; the person I have in mind has to be a) relatively in his prime and b) tall and c) is usually an actor, although I have made an exception for British supermodel David Gandy (because duh).

I use the image in my head as an anchor to figure out what the hero might do or say at any given time. I don’t print pictures out or create a Pinterest board or any of that actual visual stuff; as long as I have the guy in my head, I’m good.

Generally, what ends up happening is that the actor’s personality seeps out through my hero as well (or maybe a role the actor played that I particularly enjoyed). So, for example, the hero of Put Up Your Duke was modeled after Game of Thrones’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, so a bit of Jaime got included, particularly the effortless charm and incredible good looks.

Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?’s hero was someone I like, but I sometimes feel uncomfortable liking. That’s because some of the roles he’s played—and played well—have been despicable, and also because in real life he seems as though he is not the nicest person in the world.

This hero is modeled after German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender, and in particular I kept his portrayal of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre in mind while I wrote. I know some people find Mr. Rochester—and likely Fassbender as well—overbearing, autocratic, and sometimes sneering, and that attitude was definitely part of my hero Michael (yeah, I named the hero Michael. I have no imagination when it comes to names). I took that attitude and wrote Michael as though he were on the spectrum, keenly intelligent, but not very tolerant of social niceties.

Fassbender’s presence—that commanding stalk of a walk (which sounds funny when you say it aloud—maybe don’t try that), his low, rumbling voice, the way he stares so intently at the person he’s talking to. All of that went into my writing of Michael, and made him come alive in my head, and hopefully on the page.
I am sometimes reluctant to share the image of the hero in my head, since readers will bring their own vision of the hero, and I wouldn’t want to tamper with that (the author can only impose so much of her viewpoint on the book—after it’s been printed, it’s up to readers to figure out what they think about it, and who they see when they read). But it is such a crucial part of my process I think it can be fun to know, too.

Do you see people when you read? 

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, New York, with her husband and son.

You can visit her website at She tweets as @meganf, and is at

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