Christmas Awards 2011

Thursday 4 September 2008

A Dangerous Charade

Published By ROBERT HALE London.
ISBN 978-0-7090-8465-5.

This Regency Romance is set in Bath, the main character is Miss Alison Fox, who has a dark secret. She is companion to Lady Edith, Aunt to The Earl of Marchford, Alison’s sworn enemy.
Alison, to help a dear friend out of some desperate trouble, takes a false name and uses her very great skill as a card player to win money for her childhood friend Beth. Beth’s husband has stolen money to pay a dept, but the loss of the money had been discovered and he must pay it back or go to prison. Beth was desperate and begged for Alison’s help.

Unfortunately winning the money put Alison in a great deal trouble, with The Earl of Marchford’s family and he has made it known that he would punish the perpetrator, when he eventually found her.

Alison told Lady Edith of her deception and tells her the whole story. Lady Edith has deemed it was not Alison’s fault and feels that Alison should go to Marchford and tell him the real truth, but she is too afraid to face him, knowing that he has been told a very different story, which he believes, so why should he believe her, a perfect stranger?

One day Marchford arrives at his Aunts house in Bath announcing that he has come on a visit merely to spend time with his beloved Aunt. Alison is terrified and longs to run away but cannot let Lady Edith down as she has become very attached to her employer.

Unbeknown to Lady Edith, Marchford has been sent to Bath by his sister on a very different mission. His sister believes Alison Fox to be ingratiating herself into Lady Edith life, so that she will be left a large inheritance from her employer.

At first Alison is terrified that Marchford will unmask her but surprisingly they become attracted to each other. Marchford cannot trust Alison but begins to truly admire her, she is gentle, kind and efficient and his Aunt is very fond of her.

There are many incidents in this engrossing story which try both Alison’s and Marchford's tempers. Can anything possibly develop between them, will he find out it was Alison who won the money from his sister-in-law so causing so much havoc in his family, will he believe the stories spread by his sister-in-law no matter what Alison might tell him?

This is quite an involved story well told and a pleasure to read. I award this book 5 Red Roses. AS

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