A Dead Man's Debt
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by Grace Elliot
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: 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....
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing/Solstice Publishing,
eBookwise Release Date: October 2010
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [448 KB]
Reading time: 275-385 min.
- 1780 -
Lady Sophia Cadnum picked at the pearls on a finely embroidered stomacher; a pretty young woman with delicate features, amidst the opulent silks and satins of the drawing room she exuded an air of jaded boredom.
The footman cleared his throat. "Your Ladyship, may I present Lady Georgiana Winthrop."
Forgetting propriety Sophia Cadnum jumped up and, with a yelp of pleasure, ran to embrace her visitor.
"Georgiana, at last! I am nearly mad for the want of company."
"Sophia, darling, Motherhood obviously suits you.... positively radiant," Georgiana inspected her friend at arm's length and then clicked her tongue, "...in a dull sort of way."
"Dull! You don't know the meaning of the word until you've been confined in the country like ... like a prisoner."
"If it's any comfort, London has been positively dreary without you."
"I'm simply pining for the ton ... my spirit is quite broken," she whined.
"Now, now dear ... you exaggerate."
"You don't know the half of it. I'm positively starved of gossip. You must tell me everything, I need to know about the season; the fashion, who's cuckolding whom..."
A musical laugh escaped Georgiana's lips. "Might I at least be permitted to sit first?"
Sophia pouted. "Sit, sit if you must. A few more bone weary moments are of little difference to me now."
"My poor dear, has being with child been so very dreary?"
"Worse than awful and I abhor the country, it's so.... uncivilized." She clicked her fingers at the footman. "Tea now, if you please."
As the door closed behind him, Georgiana shot her friend an admiring glance.
"Unless I'm mistaken those are real pearls on your gown. Lord Cadnum is pleased with his heir?"
"Indeed." Lady Sophia picked distractedly at the jeweled stomacher.
"So clever to produce a son at the first attempt. Speaking of which, is Lord Cadnum at home?" Georgiana glanced about nervously as if his Lordship was hidden in the shadows.
"Out visiting tenants."