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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Hiding from the horrors of her past, Miss Martha Haskett is content living her days serving as a lady's maid to her friend Eliza, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. But then her father, the new Earl of Waterford, shows up, with the shocking news that she is now a titled lady. Further turning her life upside down, he proposes a bargain. She will have a single Season in London, and if she does not marry by the end of the Season, she will be gifted with her dowry and a small estate. Despite her mistrust of her father, Martha accepts his offer, but can't seem to let go of the anger that has been festering inside of her, or her discomfort with a position in Society where she feels she does not belong.…

A Deceptive Bargain

by Laura Beers

Overall Book Review:

A Deceptive Bargain is author Laura Beers’ finest book yet! This Regency Spy Romance is a continuation of the Shadow series. Beers has done extensive research to convey 1814 England and readers will find themselves carried away to the time period. Besides being an entertaining story rife with danger and mystery, this is a powerful and emotional tale. Several chapters in A Deceptive Bargain are told from the point-of-view of a nineteenth century sexual abuse survivor. Martha is strong, brave, and caring, and her character development in the novel is breathtaking. As in all Shadow books, characters from the series make appearances and continue their stories. A love triangle between the Martha, Emmett and new character Simeon will keep readers guessing and wry bits of humor help lighten the mood. Beers’ book is one with substance, an action-packed romance told with empathy and heart. A must-read!

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Phase Publishing LLC

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 1 derogatory name.

Violence/Gore:  Several implied incidents of violence including physical scars and verbal threats; frequent secondhand reports of violence including murder, robbery, kidnapping, beatings, warfare, torture; frequent brief incidents of violence including fistfights, shootings, a character slaps her father, pistol-whippings, stabbings; a brief non-detailed scene of violent death when dead bodies are displayed as a warning; a few brief scenes of blood and gore including gunshot injuries and a character’s vivid recollection of a murder; a brief scene of intense violence involving a character being shot.

Sex/Nudity:  Frequent incidents of kissing; several sexual references, including “scantily clad” women and men trying to force “their intentions” on women; several implied or reported incidents of sexual activity including newlyweds, a character recalling past sexual abuse and years living at a brothel, a character calling herself a “ruined woman”; a mature discussion regarding a character’s past sexual abuse. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Sexual trafficking of women, including mentions of slave auctions and brothels; smuggling rings; mention of abusive childhood; murder; death of family members; gambling, poverty; miscarriage; mention of houses of “ill-dispute”; debt and workhouses; mention of war; robbery and kidnapping.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A few scenes take place in a bar and/or inn where alcohol is served; characters drink in a few brief scenes. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.