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In Debt to the Earl 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 Harleuin Historical is not my genre of choice Has not been in many years The reason I stopped reading this particularly series is that there was no growth or interest for me After reading In Debt to the Earl by Elizabeth Rolls I just might take another look James has an agenda To make his enemy pay by any means necessary Lucy has a goal to survive the life she was born into with her head held high and her heart intact despite her father's abuse Lucy sold this story for me Her ordeal broke my heart but it also was wonderful to see a woman become stronger in mind body and spirit That is the type of heroine that is motivating to anyone that is facing adversity I received an ARC of In Debt to the Earl in exchange for an honest review The redemption and healing they needed was where they least expected to find it 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 Based upon revenge In Debt to the Earl by Elizabeth Rolls begins with a Captain Hensleigh losing an insane amount of money in a card game to James Remington the Earl of Cambourne When James attempts to collect on Hensleigh's debt he is met with a willful young lady who he assumes is Hensleigh's mistress When the earl discovers that the young lady is in fact Hensleigh's daughter Lucy he is angered to find the young woman abandoned by her father and left with little to surviveJames cannot abide with the situation Lucy is left with but he also cannot abide by the inevitable fact that Lucy's father was involved with James' cousin being beaten after a losing card game and he will get to the bottom of that crime and do whatever needs to be done to the culprits who dare to hurt his blood Meanwhile he is so taken with Lucy's predicament that he decides to take care of her by paying her back rents and making sure she is fed and clothed Unfortunately this kind of care leaves the wrong impression with those surrounding Lucy thinking that she is now James' kept woman James needs to make this right Lucy is an honorable woman in a bad circumstance and James' emotions begin to flare not only in protective mode but with need Knowing that the only correct thing to do is court the young woman James makes Lucy distrust the reasons why he wants to take care of her She has already been betrayed by her own father and another betrayal would just break her Now indebted to James Lucy struggles with her own feelings for the earl and for those of her situation and James struggles to come to terms with dealing with Lucy and those who have done his family wrong In Debt to The Earl by Elizabeth Rolls is a well written read that left me wanting I didn't really feel for either James or Lucy deeply I would have liked to get to know them better This is the first book by Elizabeth Rolls that I have read and I am most definitely going to read from her as I do feel that this book had promise and I truly want to give Ms Rolls another goKIMBERLY I read the second book in the series first and really liked it However I was a little disappointed in this story Though well written I didn’t like the hero's character much I thought Lucy and Fitch were much honourable than all the lords and villains around them It did depict the attitude of society towards women and the poor really well I didn’t find it romantic that the hero was always trying to take advantage of the poor girls helplessness in the guise of being kind to her Even though he knew he was doing wrong he continued Roll on Xmas Day settled in after a snack of leftovers and under the Air Conditioner on a 40C day to read the first book in this series the 'Lords at the Altar'I so enjoy Elizabeth's stories as she has a talent of humour children and animals that build up her and at to each book James was approached by his nephew after the nephew had been nearly beaten to death by debt collectors Investigating he uncovers a crime ring that dupe young gentlemen and then attack them to push the issue and they had actually killed the brother of one of James's friends Hunter some time ago and Hunter's story is No 2 in this series So the friends work together to follow the trail James finds the daughter of the gambler who fleeced nephew Lucy in the seedy rookery and he sets out to find her father who has run away knowing he is wanted Lucy is left to pick up the pieces and james finds himself enmeshed in her troubles too Great story told with Elizabeth Rolls' style and attention to detail 2 books in one day and a terrific time for me with no cooking and the kids all away at the in laws Now for book 3 ??? I was a bit suicked by the starting premise of Lucy falling in love with this man she was so deeply indebted to but then I was very pleased by how thoroughly the book engages with those uestions of dubious consent I love that Fitch and Lucy are called brother and sister multiple times through the book because they really did become siblings through their shared experience and loyalty to each other The end was very nice Rescuing the maiden Her father is a disreputable card sharp James Earl of Cambourne is hunting him  When he finds Lucy he can't help himself from wanting to rescue her  This complicates both of their lives Eventually her father's cronies lead her into danger It's interesting and exciting and I enjoyed the read 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 man?I 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