Author: Megan Frampton
Genre: Historical Romance
My Copy: ARC via NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Lady Charlotte Jepstow certainly knows how to make an impression—a terrible one. Each one of her ball gowns is more ostentatiously ugly than the one before. Even she has been forced to wonder: Is she unmarried because of her abysmal wardrobe, or does she wear clashing clothing because she doesn’t want to be pursued in the first place? But when Charlotte meets Lord David Marchston, suddenly a little courtship doesn’t sound so bad after all.
David will be the first to admit he’s made some mistakes. But when he gets yanked from his post by his superiors, he is ordered to do the unthinkable to win back his position: woo his commander’s niece. If David wants his life back, he must use his skills as a negotiator to persuade society that Charlotte is a woman worth pursuing, despite her rather unusual “flair” for color. But David does such a terrific job that he develops an unexpected problem, one that violates both his rakish mentality and his marching orders: He’s starting to fall in love.
My hands have been itching to pick up a Megan Frampton book since I first saw the cover for Hero of My Heart. When the opportunity came to participate in the blog tour for What Not To Bare, I couldn’t pass up the chance.
Lady Charlotte Jepstow likes color and more importantly to dress as if she’s had an accident with a painter’s palette. Despite being an heiress she has yet to capture anyone’s interest and reluctantly enters her third season. Her mother is desperate to see her wed and goes as far as to arrange a marriage with a widower who needs a mother for his children. What her mother didn’t anticipate was the arrival of Lord David Marchston. The moment David enters the ballroom, she’s happy to introduce her daughter to him. David is enchanted with the woman he believes to be Charlotte until he’s corrected. He dismisses Charlotte from his mind until he receives direct orders from Lord Bradford to court Charlotte. David reluctantly begins to court her and he’s surprised at how much he likes her. Everything is going according to plan, but Charlotte has a secret! She’s been enlisted to write a fashion advice column while her friend is away. David and Charlotte are keeping secrets, but what does the future hold for Mr. Gorgeous and The Abomination?
I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed this! I usually tread carefully with new authors especially those who write historical romance because it can either be hit or miss. I find most new authors don’t properly research the era they are writing and most plots are too modern. While the language in What Not To Bare sounds a bit too modern, it is nevertheless a solid read. Frampton combines sections of Charlotte’s advice before chapters so pay attention to those since they provide a bit of insight to upcoming chapters. It is well written and overall a fun read. You’ll find yourself laughing over Charlotte’s observations and snarky thoughts.
As for characterization, we have good character development. I adored Charlotte and I want to be her friend! While she’s aware of what people call her, she doesn’t back down. There are a few times when she concedes and dresses the way society expects her to, but she’s the first to admit she feels like a fraud. Charlotte really did the steal show. David was a bit flat and he really does shine when he’s with Charlotte. I did like him especially when he realizes Charlotte is beautiful despite the way she dresses. We have a small cast of secondary characters including Charlotte’s best friend Emma, who stays primarily in the shadows since she leaves London to help her sister. Charlotte befriends Anne, who very much surprised me! I really liked the friendship they developed and for a moment I was worried for Charlotte, but Anne really came through and was a good friend.
What I really liked about What Not To Bare is the open lines of communication between Charlotte and David. Frampton could have easily relied on the same old clichés using lack of communication and misunderstandings for the conflict. I kept thinking about David’s orders and how he couldn’t wait to go back to India and then I’d think about Charlotte’s reaction when the truth finally came out. I’m glad I didn’t have to read about Charlotte’s heartbreak and instead we had two characters who are front and open with each other. If I can take a moment to mention the reason David is back in London. He had an affair with Lady Radnor, a married woman, and there was a huge scandal in India about it. He’s sent back to let the gossip die down and he realizes he made a mistake. I won’t go into details regarding the merry widow and if she makes a scene, but all I will say is, I liked the way Frampton handled the situation. Overall, I’m a bit disappointed that a few characters did not play a larger role, but in hindsight, this story is about David and Charlotte and both of them becoming comfortable with their given nicknames in society and with themselves.
Megan Frampton’s What Not To Bare is delightful! If you’re a fan of historical romance, you’ll want to add this to your reading list.
(click on the banner for the full tour scheduled organized by Tasty Book Tours)
Megan Frampton majored in English literature at Barnard College, with a double minor in political science and religion. She worked in the music industry for fifteen years, editing and writing music reviews for a music-industry trade magazine and eventually becoming the editor in chief. Frampton married one of her former interns and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with him and her son. When she isn’t writing, she serves as the community manager for the romance novel website Heroes and Heartbreakers.
Megan is hosting a tour wide giveaway! One lucky person will win a $10.00 eGiftcard to book retailer of choice and two will win a LOVESWEPT Hunk Mug.
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