Dear Ms Allan,
You manage to pack a great deal into your Regency novella, Fateful Deception. I’m grateful that the heroine, Lucinda Handscombe, is neither a silly twit nor a too modern young woman. You have her act as a reader might expect a sheltered young woman of the period to respond. The hero, Captain Robert Monceaux, is a gentleman and behaves as such. There is no “one night of love” for the heroine to remember in her spinsterhood and when she turns down Robert’s initial proposal, it’s not just because he doesn’t love her but for practical reasons which would have been of far greater importance in that time.
The villain was a rather stock character but his motivation was believable and far less grating than these “foaming at the mouth” types. But after all the trouble you take to set the atmosphere and get lots of things right, you throw in an enormous clunker of a historical mistake.
I do like the main characters you’ve invented and your plotting so I will be looking for other books of yours but this one gets a C+