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The Rake's Bargain

THE STAGE IS SET. Deborah O’Hara loves leading her troupe of actors. But when she becomes entangled in a web of secrets spun by the rakishly handsome Dami... read more

ISBN: 9781472044365
Published: November 2014


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Deborah O’Hara loves leading her troupe of actors. But when she becomes entangled in a web of secrets spun by the rakishly handsome Damian Beaumaris, Duke of Cirencester, she is forced to play the hardest role of her life. That of the stunning but disloyal Paulette, the Duke’s widowed sister-in-law.

To regain the honour of his family Beau needs Deb’s help. But, despite his intention to let nothing distract him from his plan, he doesn’t bargain on the forbidden sparks that fly with his beautiful leading lady…

Actors and secrets.....

Rating By Julia,30/11/2014

This is one of those stories that keep you wanting to just spend the whole day reading it. It was certainly hard to put down. The characters are very strongly written but also have a vulnerability to their natures. We start with following the antics of Miss Deborah O’Hara. A woman with a soft heart but has a colder reserved side to her, thanks to her past. She is an actress but also the head of her Lambeth Players thanks to her step-father. He and her mother have now passed on so it is up to her to look after the actors/actresses in her care. They do a favour for a very ill man by reading Shakespeare to him but in this era they are not allowed to perform on a Sunday which they did not because they accepted no payment for the private reading. However the local magistrate does not see it that way and is vocal about fining or jailing the players. The twist in the tale is that Deborah is niece to the man who is the magistrate. She knows a little about him and sets out to get a secret or two to use against him to drop their case. What she uncovers is more than she bargained for. Hugh Palfreyman is not a very nice person. Turning out his sister when she knew she would not be on the earth for much longer when she had tried to make piece with him. Deborah was with her mother and knew what he was like. Deborah did not feel remorse for what she had to do. She stole proof of one of Hugh Palfreyman’s vices and it allow her to get in writing a promise to take no further action against the Lambeth Players. Whilst waiting for Deborah, two men from the players take a captive thinking it is Palfreyman. It is actually a man who needed to speak to Palfreyman. Thinking he is a friend they hold him captive over night. Beau short for Mr Beaumaris has secrets of his own. Seen as arrogant and so much more, Deborah is taken with the mystery man. She leaves her two friends in charge of Damian who escapes them. Damian collects Deborah and goes to London. Deborah is to pretend to be her cousin, Paulette. Trouble arises whilst they are in London. All works out fine in the end but the ending was very quick and short. I would have liked to have seen a wedding at the end but other than that it was a good ending. I hope the author writes Laura’s story too.

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