May 6, 2011

A Dead Man's Debt by Grace Elliot

A Dead Man's Debt is an exciting historical romance set in Regency London, England.

Lord Ranulf Charing is a womanizer and a rogue who is always at odds with his mother, Lady Sophia Cadnum.  He strives for her love and her acknowledgment, however Lady Cadnum feels indifference to her eldest son, while doting on her younger son, Edmund.

After Ranulf's brother is killed in a duel, striving to keep the worst of the details from his mother, he works to keep the machinations of his brothers sorrid past and the blackmail that ensues from touching upon the lives of those he loves most.

Celeste Armitage refuses to marry for duty and retires to Lady Sophia's house to live as her companion.  Little does she realize that love is just around the corner.  Fighting her own feelings towards this man she does not trust, the two are wrapped into web of lies and deceit left behind from Ranulf's brothers gambling past.  Together they must surmount all odds if they are to ever be joined as one.  Betrayal and deceit await them at every turn and only true love can win.

Lady Ursula Black is the antagonist and Ranulf's nemesis, who works to drive a wedge between the two new lovers.  Her lies and hidden agenda keep the reader guessing and is a perfect addition to the story.

I  liked this book, I am not a huge romance enthusiast but this book was very easy to read, the characters had a lot of depth and believability and the flow of the story with its twists and turns are sure to keep you wanting to read more.  I do love historical period pieces and it was the sole reason I was attracted to reading this book, and I wasn't disappointed.  The love story works for the characters from their very first interaction to the wrap up in the end and I was reminded how true love sometimes does occur and it was refreshing to read it here in A Dead Man's Debt.

I didn't like the back story very much, I found gambling for the picture, the catalyst to the story,  to be kind of dull, and kept thinking that maybe the author could have spent a bit more time coming up with a better plot.  As well, I kept wondering how such a thing could even be gambled when he wasn't the owner.  Maybe I missed something but I just had problems with Edmund's part in the story.  However, for a debut author Grace Elliot writes with intelligence and clarity and I cannot wait to read what she has in store for her heroes and heroines next!

SYNOPSIS:
A Dead Man's Debt - a story of blackmail, duty and an unexpected love.

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....

**  Disclosure:  I did not accept any compensation from the publishers other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!!  **

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