Monday, October 14, 2013

Blog Tour: What Not to Bare by Megan Frampton (Review + Giveaway)

I'm very pleased to welcome Megan Frampton to Love Saves the World. Megan is currently on tour for her new book, What Not to Bare, which is releasing today! October 14! Yay!

Happy release day, Megan!

Megan's publisher, Loveswept is hosting a tour-wide Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for a $10.00 Ebook Retailer Gift Card and Two Loveswept HUNK Mugs.

To visit Megan's other stops, click here.

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About the book:

What Not to Bare by Megan Frampton: A Loveswept Historical Romance
On sale October 14, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-345-54173-4
Published by Loveswept


In Megan Frampton’s witty historical romance, a woman is judged by her gown, and a man by his reputation -- until both are shed in one sexy moment of seduction.

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.

Buy Links:

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My Review:

Lady Charlotte Jepstow dresses not to impress but to stupefy: mixing colors and patterns and embellishments with such exuberance that leaves her mother moaning, her lady's maid lamenting her professional reputation -- and leaving Lord David Marchston (newly-arrived from India) speechless: a rare feat considering he is a diplomat.

Lord David Marchston had been asked to return to England to escape the scandal of his indiscretion there. It grates at David to be in England, where he isn't "Lord David the diplomat" but "Lord David, the incredibly handsome younger brother to a marquess". He longs to return to India where he is useful, where he is more than just his pretty face. But, first, he must fulfill a mission: court Lady Charlotte. What he initially viewed as a chore becomes a pleasure as he gets to know the most charming, most interesting, most unusual woman he has ever met in his life.

In fiction, authors strive to create characters that have depth and dimension: round characters as opposed to flat characters but, in Megan Frampton's What Not to Bear, she begins her story by introducing us to deliberately flat characters: Mr. Gorgeous and the Abomination.

Charlotte and David are identified by one defining aspect: their appearance. Charlotte is always outrageously dressed and David is so very, very handsome. (I wonder if Megan Frampton had a visual peg for this character. I am very, very curious. ^_^)

I loved Charlotte but I worried about her self-deprecating sense of humor and knew she was a girl with deep-rooted insecurities about herself. She knows she isn't a great beauty like her friend Emma and sought to augment her plainness with her clothes (also she enjoys her mother's reaction to her clothes). Then Emma leaves her fashion column for Charlotte to write, which would strike some as a bit contrary and ironic but I viewed it as the perfect job: it isn't that Charlotte has zero fashion sense because she knows what is fashionable and owns actually owns some fashionable (read: conventional) outfits. Charlotte just chooses not be conventional. It is Charlotte's own form of rebellion -- she reminds me of another outrageously-dressed heroine: Jane Fairfield from Courtney Milan's The Heiress Effect.

Although if she had a sister, probably the sister would be the Pretty One in the family, and Charloote would be the Eternal Burden, and the Pretty One would not take it well when the most attractive man ever paid her sister such attention. Or worse, he would pay the Pretty One such attentions, and Charlotte would be eaten up with jealousy.
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Frampton's uses the clothes as part of the plot device that moves the story forward and actually removes the clothes with such deliberate slowness and teasing. I was holding my breath when David was unbuttoning Charlotte's ... gloves. The sexual tension was so palpable!!! (*Fans self*) But, more than that, it ran parallel to the development of our hero and heroine's love story: as more and more clothes are removed, David and Charlotte get deeper and deeper into their relationship and into discovering themselves. Typically, fictional armor and layers are removed to reveal characters to others but, in What Not to Bare, the revelation is for the characters themselves.

Throughout the story, we see them break out of the molds that society has cast them in. From flattened characters, we discover their depth and dimension and we see (and Charlotte sees) that there is more to her than her plainness and her outfits: she has an amazing sense of humor and a frankness that is disarming. Even David, who judged her first by her clothes slowly started seeing beyond them and knowing a Charlotte so lovable, so irresistible that makes him, for the first time in his life, consider staying in London just to be with her.

David found himself chuckling. A rarity -- he was usually so good at hiding all his emotions, except when necessary for the task at hand. She made him laugh in spite of himself.
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This novel really challenges perceptions: one is that we assume this would be a story of opposites attract: the plain Jane and the Prince Charming but, in reality, David and Charlotte are more similar than readers might think.

"Have you ever considered that having great looks is as much of a burden as being mocked for fashion?"
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This was an incredibly charming and engaging story. Megan Frampton is a new-to-me writer and I'm so, so happy to have discovered her very captivating, very witty voice.

A final word: I loved, loved, loved The Fashionable Foible sections of the story. There was actually a tug-of-war going on because I really wanted to savor and linger at each chapter but I also wanted to get to the chapter's end so I could read the column, which were incredible insightful.

Disclosure: I received this book from the tour organizer as part of the book tour. Thank you to Tasty Book Tours, Loveswept and to Megan Frampton for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

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About the author:

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.

Connect with Megan: Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Megan's publisher, Loveswept is hosting a tour-wide Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for a $10.00 Ebook Retailer Gift Card and Two Loveswept HUNK Mugs. To visit Megan's other stops, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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