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Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Dead Man’s Debt by Grace Elliot

Title: A Dead Man's Debt
Author: Grace Eliot
Sub-Genre(s): Historical, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: July 25, 2011
ISBN #: 1463742134
Format: eBook from Author
Reviewer: Toni
Rating: 5 Cups

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....

A Dead Man’s Debt is a lovely story with amusing characters and an entertaining plot.

Lord Ranulf Charing is man who is in a position he dreads. He has no desire to wed or to carry on the family name. Though born the first son, he had planned to allow his brother Edmund the honor of producing an heir. Those plans were crushed when his brother passed away several months ago. While he detests his position in his family he is extremely loyal to them. He takes it upon himself to protect his mother from the misfortunate deeds of his deceased brother. Calling upon a special acquaintance to help him settle his brother’s debts, he is unfortunately thrust into a life altering scheme. That is the least of his concerns though. After meeting his mother’s companion, he is now drawn to her in a way that is even more dangerous to him.

Celeste Armitage is a woman born well before her time. She is sent to the country to become Lady Sophia Candum’s companion after she publically humiliates a suitor, making her even more determined to never marry. She has a deep passion to see the world and being tied down to marriage is the last thing she desires. A lover of art, she is intrigued when she discovers a sketchbook and is even more surprised by the owner of the book.

I absolutely adored Ranulf and Celeste’s story. Their interaction was smartly written and extremely enjoyable. Ranulf has a wicked sense of humor and I loved the dialogue between the two main characters. Celeste is a wonderfully smart woman and she holds a sense of self worth that is unheard of during the era the story is written. She is resourceful and very practical. It was a joy to watch the growth of their affection, with all the inner turmoil and the circumstances of how they came to be together.

The secondary characters were just as pleasurable. Ranulf’s valet Smethwick was a smart-witted stitch. His mother, Lady Candum, stole most scenes she was in and in the end was so well written I would love to be able to call her a friend. Last but not least, the villain of the story was deliciously wicked and while the outcome of their demise was not fitting the crime, it still put a smile on my face.

A Dead Man’s Debt was pure pleasure and sinfully decadent. The storyline was very well paced and didn’t get boring. Ms. Elliot kept me involved and on pins and needles the whole journey. The sexual tension was steamy and not overly done. The sex scenes were hot, but not erotic. This is a wonderfully written novel all around. I was captivated from the first page and it didn’t let go. I enjoyed the story immensely and highly recommend it.

Available at:
Amazon (Kindle Edition)
Barnes & Noble (Nook book)


*Blurb Courtesy of Amazon

**Disclaimer: This book has been provided to Coffee Beans & Love Scenes Reviews free of charge by the author. No money has been exchanged for the review of this eBook. This review reflects the opinion of the individual reviewer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the other C&R reviewers or this blog’s administrator/editor.

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