by Ann Clement
Pub. Date: Aug. 4, 2015
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
A white marriage is no match for dark desires.
Sir Percival Hanbury is prepared to pay almost any price to regain his family’s ancestral seat. Yet the demand of its current owner, the Earl of Stanville, sets his teeth on edge.
Wycombe Oaks can be his—if he agrees to marry the earl’s disgraced daughter. With memories of his first marriage still tormenting him, Percy never intended to marry again. But if he refuses, the castle will be razed.
Lady Letitia’s beauty and fortune proved no match for scandal, costing her a fiancé and her reputation. The last thing she wants is to instead marry a boorish country squire, but the alternative is even worse.
In spite of himself, Percy finds his resistance melting in the face of Letitia, an accomplished artist who takes deep interest in his family pile. Until all that’s left is sizzling desire. And while the broad-shouldered, handsome baronet far exceeds Letitia’s grim expectations, he’s a harder challenge than his half-ruined castle.
But to trust a woman again, Percy must face dark secrets from the past…and learn to trust himself, as well.
Warning: Contains English country gossip, vengeful plots, a brooding, tormented baronet, and a feisty lady who refuses to let anything break her spirit.
Debt of Honor is a debut novel from Ann Clement, and I would have never known that if I didn't look it up after I finished reading. This story was very well written, engaging and kept me turning the page until 2:30 this morning.
Letitia and Percy were not a love match by any stretch of the imagination. Letitia is the daughter of an earl, somewhat of an heiress, with an extremely egotistic and self-centered father. As was common in the ton, Letitia was the victim of vile gossip which created a scandal and ruined her reputation. I really felt sorry for Lettie - it must have been extremely hard to live during a time period where your life could be ruined by an offhand comment re: your response to anchovies!!! (Yes, really. Read and find out.) She is at the mercy of a cruel father and is pawned off in marriage to a stranger who was interested in the property in her dowry.
Percy had never planned to marry again, and when we learn about his late wife, I totally understand why he felt that way. However he would do anything to get his family's ancestral seat returned to his possession. He is determined to have a "white" marriage - which I learned meant a marriage of convenience that is never consummated. Luckily, the draw between Percy and Lettie is strong and they end up falling in love. Percy was a perfect historical hero. He was handsome, sympathetic and honorable. I adored his character.
Of course the past comes back to haunt the couple in the present, and there are some trials and tribulations for them to get past. The earl is not the only villain in this story, we also have a husband-hungry vindictive female that you know is bad news from the get go. This historical was somewhat typical of the genre, but it was very well written and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.