Guest review by Joanna aka RegencyRomantic
Published in 1941, Faro’s Daughter was written during a trying time in Georgette Heyer’s life when she was at odds with her agents and publishers, and war was wreaking havoc on the publishing industry. She was forced to put this work aside in favor of another, but reading the seamless story now belies all that turmoil. This is a rollicking romp of a romance story that features one of Heyer’s most endearing couple truly well matched in wit, wiles, and words.
‘I may be one of faro’s daughters, but I’ll not entrap any unfortunate young man into marrying me, even if my refusal means a debtors’ prison!’ (Chapter 4)
That is the pickle that Deborah Grantham finds herself in. Orphaned 10 years prior, Deborah and her younger brother Kit were raised by their kind-hearted, but addle-brained aunt, Lady Bellingham, who was in turn left badly dipped by her husband. To make ends meet, Lady Bellingham decided to parlay her knack for hosting famous card parties into running a ‘proper’ gambling house in the respectable area of St. James’s Square and Deborah has been presiding over her gaming tables ever since leaving the schoolroom. Her refreshing beauty, quick wit, and charming ways are an instant hit with the ‘ton’ customers, but her reputation has been continually called into question by working in such a place. To make matters worse, Lady Bellingham has absolutely no head for business and soon sinks them into debt. Thus, the clever Deborah is forced to balance the advances of two patrons of consequence to keep themselves afloat. On one hand is the odious and maquillaged Lord Ormskirk: a widower twice over who’s twice Deborah’s age, he has acquired the debts and mortgage of Lady Bellingham and only has dishonorable designs of making Miss Grantham his mistress. On the other hand is the handsome and impetuous Lord Adrian Mablethorpe: an heir to a great fortune and title who’s five years Deborah’s junior, he vows to save Miss Grantham from her wretched situation and only has the honorable intention of making her his wife… that is, when he comes of age in two months. Giving in to Ormskirk is unpalatable while robbing the cradle with Adrian is unconscionable, so what is a girl to do? Continue reading