A DEAD MAN’S DEBT
After publically humiliating a suitor, Miss Celeste Armitage is sent from the Ton in disgrace and resolves never to marry. But when she finds a sketch book of nude studies and discovers the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing, she finds herself dangerously attracted to exactly the sort of rogue she is sworn to avoid.
Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a facade and he is being blackmailed over his late brother’s debts. But just as the darkly restless Ranulf unexpectedly learns to love, the vengeful fury of his nemesis unleashed.
In order to protect Celeste, Lord Ranulf faces a stark choice between duty and true love…
However Ranulf has underestimated Miss Armitage’s stubborn resolve to clear his name, and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….
HISTORY, ROMANCE AND…CATS! Grace Elliot leads something of a double life. As a vet by day, she is obsessed by all things feline; by night she is the best selling author of historical fiction.
She is an avid reader and turned to writing as a way to de-stress from an emotionally demanding job.
She firmly believes that smart people read romance – as an antidote to the modern world!
Grace only discovered the wonders of social history many years after leaving education and, after working her way through the Tudors and medieval history, finally decided that her passion lay firmly with the Georgian and Regency periods.
Her inspiration to delve into the world of the historical fiction novel came initially from Margaret George, who encouraged her pick up and read her first social history book and Stephanie Laurens , who showed Grace that to fully escape to her new-found world she needed to write about it, which she has, most successfully.
“A story of blackmail, duty and an unexpected love.”
This book threw out pretty much all of my preconceptions about historical romantic fiction. The plot, whilst predictable in it’s final outcome, had a substance and depth to it which surprised and pleased me.
We have a heroine who isn’t the usual simpering, fragile woman, but has a mind and opinion of her own, which she isn’t frightened to expound. She is determined not to marry purely to further the family connections and fill it’s coffers, nor simply because she does not want to be ‘left on the shelf’. Celeste wants a taste of freedom and independence, to travel and increase her appreciation of her beloved art. She is seeking a husband who will respect both her and her ambitions, whilst acknowledging and embracing her individuality and intelligence as an equal, but she is quite content to remain single, if that’s what it takes. However, when she finally opens her heart, she does so with an astuteness which is completely without precedence in many young women of the time. When that something which she so covets is threatened, she is determined to fight for it, no matter what the consequences…
We have a hero who is trying his hardest not to get caught in the trap that his position, as eldest son and heir dictates, whilst at the same time still maintaining and receiving respect from his parents, although he is also desperately trying to earn the love which he perceives they, in particular his mother, deny him. Is reconciliation possible? Ranulph hopes that the double life he is forced to lead, will not jeopardize that position, but he is also unable to give up his secret dreams and ambitions, even when the very reputation of the family is at stake and danger threatens as he attempts to thwart his adversaries.
Thrown into the mix is a blackmailing scoundrel of the worst kind, who, with their accomplice, is determined to destroy the Charing family name and bring them to their knees, to further their own ambitions and plans. This blackmailer is an evil, determined character, who will use the most devious methods of deception, to win the day, but when all else fails, violence is just a breath away.
Duty, emotional struggle and turmoil, vie with two people’s growing love for each other. Two people who think the same way, like the same things and whose heart warming, evolving love story is held in check, by the author, to perfection. A creative, page-turning drama, a poignant story, characters totally engrossing in their complexity, with the distinctive essence of each easily discernible, sensual and evocative writing, from a great new author.
As this was an author invitation to read and review, a copy of A Dead Man’s Debt, was sent to me free of charge by its author, Grace Elliot.
This in no way influenced any comments I may have expressed about the book, in any blog article I have posted. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.
I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.