Ransome's Honor~Truly amazing book!
This book review is for the novel "Ransome's Honor" by Kaye Dacus. It is the first book in the Ransome Trilogy. The other two books that follow are Ransome's Crossing and Ransome's Quest. I will be also be reviewing both of those in the coming weeks.
I fell in absolute love with this book! If it hadn't been after 2 am one night when I finished it I would have immediately started the second to find out what happens to Charlotte Ransome, whom the second book focuses on. This is going on my must read list and will remain on my shelf for re-reads.
Our main lady is Julia Witherington and she is the daughter of a prominent Admiral in the Royal Navy.
When she was seventeen she was fully expecting a proposal from William Ransome, who sailed under her fathers command in the Navy. Hours before they were all scheduled to attend a ball he had been locked in the study with her father for over an hour. They were both very much in love with each other so she knew exactly what was coming when he asked her to take a turn around the garden that night at the ball...or so she thought.
What came was not the proposal she had so eagerly anticipated, but rather a poorly done let-down as William did not feel worthy of her and her wealthy family.
For when Julia weds, her husband will get thirty thousand pounds as her dowry.
As they say pride goeth before a fall and Williams downfall is having to live his life without Julia in it.
When a proposal is not offered, Julia assumes that William has led her on and toyed with her affections only to get closer to her father, who sees him as a son. Julia's twin brother was lost at sea and she feels he has replaced him with William. And she is convinced more and more as time passes that he used her affections in hope of gaining promotions through his closeness with her and her family.
After the night that shattered her heart into jagged pieces, Julia returns back to run the beloved coffee plantation in Jamaica along with her mother. Her father is never around as he is always at sea and taking care of the King's business.
What follows next is twelve years of no contact between Julia and William. Even after William has made his fortune and advanced in ranks to Captain of his own ship, he still does not renew his addresses to Julia, which further cements her poor opinion of him. She is more than convinced that he only flirted with her to get to her father and spends twelve years believing this to be true.
After her mother succumbs and passes away, Julia returns to Portsmouth England from Jamaica to visit her father. While there Julia's father asks her aunt, Lady Pembroke, from her mother's side, to come and be her companion and introduce her to proper society in England. The Ransome's are a very prominent family since her father is wealthy and quite high up in the Royal Navy.
Unbeknownst to both Julia and her father her Aunt and her cousin are flat broke and are in deep debt to debt collectors. Her cousin has a horrible gambling problem and has deeply mortgaged the ancestral home where Julia's mother grew up.
Her Aunt Augusta has come up with the scheme to have her son, Drake, wed to Julia for her thirty thousand pound dowery, not to mention the large inheritance she will acquire upon her fathers death. She only has six weeks to set her plan in action as Julia will turn thirty and her dowry and inheritance will be all hers to control whether she is wed or not.
When the Admiral is forced to leave town on royal business and Julia has refused Drake's advances her Aunt plots to force her into marrying Drake by announcing the wedding bans in church. She knows if she does this, Julia and her father will not back out of the marriage because of the humiliation it would bring to their family.
Someone that knows Julia overhears their audacious plan and warns her of what is coming. This puts her in the position of having to find another fiance before they can announce this horrible thing. And it just so happens that William is back in town staying with her best friend, Susan and her husband. He is the only one who comes to her mind that can rescue her from this awfulnessand who her father would approve of. Her father loves him like a son and she once loved him with all her heart, until he broke it. With her father gone, William is the only one she knows to reach out to.
She asks him to do this for her and he gallantly steps up and saves her with a betrothal of their own doing rather than her Aunt's nasty plot.
What follows this event is mystery, further plotting by evil relatives and edge of your seat excitement.
Cannot recommend this book enough..I love it! About to start the second volume with much excitement.
Have a great weekend!
*Note* I received this book for free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for posting a review about it. I am not required to post a positive review. Any opinions expressed are my own and they are sincere.