A Dead Man’s Debt is historical romance at its best. With this novel, you will find a poignant story about an untrusting woman, a notorious rake and the love that brings them both to their knees. This is a novel that should not be missed!
Poor Miss Celeste Armitage. After refusing the advances of a suitor who utterly disgusts her, she is sent away by her family to Hazeldene House to remain the companion of Lady Sophia Cadnum. Celeste is content as long as it means she will never marry. She has no desire to attach herself to any man and become his property. She dreams of a life spent traveling the world, seeing great art and freedom that would be denied her in any marriage. Celeste’s determination remains true until she meets Lady Candum’s son Lord Ranulf Charing.
Ranulf is known across London as a scandalous seducer of women. None had ever tempted him to anything more than a night of passion. That was true until he met Miss Armitage. Her brutal honesty and forwardness is an addictive serum Ranulf cannot escape from. After some time in Celeste’s company and a few stolen kisses, he realizes his attraction is more than mere lust. She is his equal, his better half and a life without her as his wife is a life with nothing but grief and despair.
Unfortunately, there are obstacles in their path to happiness. Ranulf must convince Celeste that he is a man worth trusting…a man she would forever be glad to marry since she is so set against matrimony. Also, there is the woman from Ranulf’s past, one who is obsessed with him and will do anything to have him.
Here is the simple truth about A Dead Man’s Debt: It is wonderful! This novel presents a thoroughly enjoyable story with all the right elements. You have a forward-thinking, intelligent heroine who is ultimately sensible about all the decisions in her life. Celeste is level-headed, ultimately speaks her mind and is anything but fragile. While Ranulf is a lost soul who lived his life in his brother’s shadow, even after his brother passed away. Still, as an artist, he sees the world in a different and beautiful way. He is compassionate and gentle, yet a skeptic when it comes to love and romance. He is an interesting contradiction and reading about his transformation after meeting Celeste is what makes him the irresistible hero.
Any novel that includes two characters perfectly matched for each other is a delightful read, but the novel also includes a evil villain that will make your skin crawl. This enemy is truly rotten to the core and you will cringe in despair for the hero and heroine, but appreciate the drama it adds to the story. It tests the bonds and strength of this developing love while making the romance more heart wrenching and fragile should this foe win.
Ultimately, the characters are delightful. You will not find two individuals who are more honest and truthful with one another. They both share a love of art, which brings them close together and exposes their feelings to one another. It is a refreshing change of pace from some historical romances where the silence of romantic feelings is upheld until the end. A Dead Man’s Debt is also passionate. It is not blatantly sexy but a wonderful buildup of passion and sexual tension that true romance fans will love. Their attraction is about speaking volumes with a heated glance, or a simple brush of the hand. It is earth shattering, undeniable and will steal your breath away.
Ms Elliot is a wonderful talent, indeed. Not only is her debut story well written, but she magically weaves a creative and intelligent story that will entertain you from the first page until the last. She is a skilled storyteller that fills her novels with page-turning drama and breathtaking sensuality. Grace Elliot is an author to remember where you will anticipate any and all future novels.
If you have any appreciation for historical romance, you will not only enjoy this novel immensely, but will want to make a space for it on your keeper shelf! A Dead Man’s Debt will charm you, surprise you, entertain you…and by the end, will warm your heart with the overall beauty of this story.