Title: The Moonstone Conspiracy
Author: Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Publisher: Etopia Press
Copyright: July, 2015
Format: Ebook, 336 Pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Price: $5.99[Kindle], $5.99 [Google Play], $5.99 [Barnes & Noble Nook]
Revolution in France, rebels in England, and one woman caught in the crossfire…
For her unwitting participation in a plot to embezzle the Exchequer, Lady Abigail Houghall has spent the last two years exiled to the city of Bath. A card sharp, sometime mistress, and target of scandalous gossip by the London Beau Monde, Lady Abigail plots to escape her gilded cage as well as the prudish society that condemns her. But the times are not easy. France is in chaos. The king has been executed, and whispers of a similar revolution are stirring in England. And because of her participation in the robbery plot, the Spymaster of England is blackmailing her into passing him information about the members of London’s upper crust.
When the dashing English spy Daniel Ridgeway takes a seat at her card table and threatens to expose her for cheating, she has no choice but to do as he demands: seduce the leader of the revolutionaries and learn what she can about their plot. As she’s drawn deeper into Daniel’s dangerous world, from the seedy backstreets of London to the claustrophobic catacombs of a war-torn Paris, she realizes an even more dangerous fact. She’s falling in love with her seductive partner. And the stakes of this game might just be too high, even for her.
It is the 1790’s and Abigail Houghall is a lady of high status within society. After being jilted at the altar by a broken engagement (which she had brought upon herself), she realizes that her reputation within society has been tarnished. Fast forward a few years, Abigail, despite being of good breeding and high birth, finds herself lacking in the money she desperately needs. She lives with a miserable old goat of a woman, Aunt Philomena, who is determined to make her life a living hell. By wearing sensible and rather dull fabrics, Philomena seeks to make Abigail atone for her sinful ways. Due to the fact that she is in a nearly impecunious state, she takes to wooing older married men who will give her the time of day. These men happen to favor her with attention and shower her with lavish gifts, but it is not long before Abigail catches the eye of a handsome stranger.
A dark-haired, bright-eyed ruggedly handsome man by the name of Daniel Ridgeway introduces himself to her one night. At first blush, Abigail finds Daniel to be rather bothersome and she is not entirely pleased that she is being blackmailed into helping him. When Abigail agrees to aid Daniel, little does she realize that she will become embroiled in a dangerous world that few in the polite society of England have any idea about.
From start to finish, “The Moonstone Conspiracy” read at a brisk and interesting pace. At first I found the protagonist, Abigail Houghall to be rather obnoxious and I found it immensely difficult to relate to her. However, as the book continued on, I confess that she grew on me. What I liked best about her is that she is an imperfect, flawed woman who moved past failings from years before to become something far better. Daniel Ridgeway also was a fascinating character who I found mesmerizing and it as pretty interesting to peer into his mind. There were instances where the details got in the way and the story seemed a little flat but it wasn’t too distracting. The plot of the story and the characters really were the saving grace. I do not wish to give away too much but, if you enjoy the French Revolution, this is a book you just might enjoy.