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In Debt to the Earl If you wish I can take you out of all this In his uest for revenge against a disreputable card sharp James Earl of Cambourne discovers the man's innocent daughter While her surroundings are impoverished her dignity and refinement are unmistakable and James faces an unsettling uestion—what will be her fate if he brings her father to justice Although yearning for love and comfort Lucy resists the earl's surprising offer of protection That is until a price is made on her virginity and James is the only man who can save her A very satisfying Regency with many of the elements one seeks in these stories Visits to Vauxhall a society prizing manners over morality Captain Sharps and gambling dens and women who have to make tough life choices in a world dominated by men Elizabeth Rolls is writing the kind of Regency romance we don't see often enough these days Really a good romance Loved the H and the h She was strong and so was he The story was your typical Lord falling in love with a lower class woman but this was so much really Fitch her young friend was one of my favorite characters and I loved every scene he was in The scene at the end with Lord Cambourn and him in the stable was precious I loved it The whole story felt like a Pretty Woman scenario except Lucy the h was a virgin There are evil villains galore and a lot of angst in places but you always knew even when he didn't that he loved her The ending evoked a nice 'sigh' from me and I haven't done that in a while Loved this book 35 StarsElizabeth Rolls is an author whose books I’ve enjoyed in the past and In Debt to the Earl was no exception although there were some aspects of it that didn’t uite work for me The story is engaging and well told although the characterisation is a little weak; and while the author certainly addresses some interesting themes – the gap between rich and poor and womens’ lack of agency – they are somewhat glossed over and left me feeling a little unsatisfied by the endWhen his young cousin is badly beaten up on the streets James Remington Earl of Cambourne determines to find the man responsible and bring him to justice His cousin owed a gambling debt to a Captain Hensleigh but James discovers that Hensleigh had sold his cousin’s notes of hand to a crime lord named Kilby who arranged the beating when payment was not forthcomingThe earl begins by going to the seedy gambling den where Hensleigh is to be found and wins a large sum of money off him at cards After accepting Hensleigh’s vowels James tracks the man to his cheap dingy lodgings where he is surprised to encounter a rather lovely young woman he at first assumes to be Hensleigh’s mistress He is shocked to discover that she is in fact Hensleigh’s daughter and even so when he realises that the “captain” has abandoned the girl to such poverty and sualorAt first James sees Lucy simply as a means to an end believing that if he hangs around for long enough Hensleigh will return and he – James – will be able to use him to get to Kilby who he has discovered not only ordered the attack on his cousin but who also caused the death of another young man in similar circumstances But Lucy’s speech and manners clearly indicate that she was not born to such hardship and he finds himself increasingly curious and drawn to her Horrified at her having so little he insists on paying her rent and buying food and coal but his well intentioned actions only make things difficult for Lucy when her landlady assumes she’s entertaining this handsome young gentleman on her back Lucy is initially suspicious of Cambourne’s motives in continuing to visit her She’s proud and doesn’t want his charity but she also can’t deny the strong pull of attraction she feels towards him at the same time as she admits that a man of his station is well beyond her reach James is eually smitten and wanting to give her a better life decides to offer her carte blanche Yet he doesn’t want her agreeing to become his mistress because she feels indebted to him and sets about courting her properly He wants her to want him as much as he desires her so when he makes his proposition he makes it very clear that his offer is independent of his dealings with her father and that Lucy has a choice But secure in his far comfortable life James fails to see that in spite of his scruples Lucy has no choice at all She can become his mistress and live in comfort and safety or she can starve and probably end up walking the streets This aspect of the story is perhaps a little uncomfortable but I suspect it’s intended to be; James genuinely does want Lucy to come to him because she wants to but doesn’t give any real consideration to what her life will be if she agrees The author’s depictions of the poverty endured by so many are well written and really bring home to the reader the dreadful conditions in which so many people lived at this time Lucy and James are likeable characters – in spite of James’ wrong headedness – and Lucy’s struggle to decide between temporary luxury in the arms of the man she loves and a blackened reputation or remaining true to the values with which she has been brought up feels uite realisticIn Debt to the Earl is not my favourite book by Ms Rolls but it’s a uick and entertaining read featuring a strong storyline and a sweetly sensual central romance This review originally appeared at Romantic Historical Reviews Originally posted HEREWhat a terrible cover – what’s with that manI don’t understand the average Goodreads reviewer I nearly didn’t read this one because of the not so good reviews I should know by now that is an indication of a good book for meOh I enjoyed this one – enough to order myself a paper copy before I even finished my review copy Sure there’s an element of fairy tale and fantasy to the happy ending but at the same time I just really loved the storyI enjoy a book in this genre that can take you out of the ballroom for a while and place you in the common areas of society And I loved that even though our hero wanted our heroine as a mistress there was relationship development in this book than in most in historical romanceSome of my favourite books all books not just romances are set in the working class areas of London And as someone who actually used to live on Fleet Street this book had an extra element of interest for meSure the chances of anyone from that area as it was back then no matter their well bred background ending up with an earl are pretty much non existent However I think the author did a fantastic job of illustrating the social divides and the snobbery a potential mistress would face Too few authors stress the divisions in society and the sexual double standards between men and women of the timeI also really enjoyed the secondary characters – pretty much all of them Nobody seemed too much of a stereotype and so while sometimes I just find them a distraction in this book I really wanted to know what was going on with themI forgot that the book was set in 1802 before the Regency and when I got to the end I thought the epilogue had gone back in time Not that it matters either way but I guess that’s the mindset of historical romance readersI could pick at the story here and there find some faults but I choose not to do that when I find a book I want to reread so I won’tThis is my first by this author but I will be on the lookout for the next in the series Review copy provided by NetGalley

  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • In Debt to the Earl
  • Elizabeth Rolls
  • English
  • 01 May 2015
  • 9780373298648

About the Author: Elizabeth Rolls

We live in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia in a beautiful lush valley full of apple pear and cherry orchards We moved here a couple of years back escaping from the city and it’s just gorgeous The property is small only five acres but we have room for two small noisy boys three dogs two cats and several woolly things masuerading a environmentally friendly lawnmowers Before that we


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