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A Debt Paid in Marriage (Business of Marriage #1)
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A Debt Paid in Marriage

(Business of Marriage #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  29 reviews
"What am I to him? A contract? A convenient solution?"

Laura Townsend's plan to reclaim her family's merchandise backfires when she creeps into moneylender Philip Rathbone's house and threatens him with a pistol, only to find him reclining naked in his bath!

The last thing she expects is to see this guarded widower on her doorstep a couple of days later armed with a very s
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 17th 2015 by Harlequin Books (first published February 10th 2015)
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  149 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've given this a B at AAR, so that's 4 stars.

It’s quite refreshing to find a story set in this period in which the protagonists are ordinary working people. In A Debt Paid in Marriage, Laura Townsend and her mother are left to the care of her uncle following the death of Laura’s father, who was a prosperous draper. Unfortunately, Robert Townsend very quickly gambles away the family business and reduces them all to penury.

In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to salvage something, Laura sneaks in
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
I enjoyed this first book in Georgie Lee’s “Business of Marriage” series. It features a marriage of convenience but refreshingly both the hero and heroine are ordinary working people – not a title in sight.

Following the death of her father, Laura Townsend and her mother find themselves in the care of her Uncle Robert who has inherited her father’s flourishing draper business. However, he has borrowed money from moneylender Philip Rathbone to pay off his large gambling debts, using the business’s
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Marriage of convenience regency times story with no dukes, earls, viscounts or even minor gentry in sight. What a refreshing concept! The start was intriguing to say the least: the heroine brandishes a pistol in front of the hero who reclines naked in bath. The hero, a widower Philip Rathbone, belongs to both feared and despised profession of moneylenders. He loans his clients money, indicates collateral and seizes the collateral when the unfortunate client can't pay the loan back. The professio ...more
A very good story. It was terrific to read a Regency story without the usual lords and ladies. In this case we have Laura Townsend, whose unscrupulous uncle has lost the family business to a local moneylender. Desperate, Laura sneaks into Philip's home, hoping to force him to return the store merchandise so she can restore the business. However, it doesn't quite work out that way.

Philip is relaxing in the bath when Laura appears before him, pistol in hand. He's amazingly unfazed, rising naked fr
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-loetud
Minu arvamuse leiab blogist

A historical romance without a single titled character. This alone makes it worth a look. A moneylender does make an unusual hero.
Nicole Laverdure
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was looking for a sweet and romantic love story and found A Debt paid in Marriage, written by Georgie Lee. What a beautiful story! This author is very descriptive, so I found it refreshing to follow Philip and Laura's journey. London 1817, Laura Townsend has lost everything, because of her uncle gambling debts. She concocts the plan to invade Philip Rathbone's house, but soon finds him naked in his bath. Philip is a moneylender and businessman, but also a perfect gentleman! In need of a wife, ...more
I'm being mean with this rating. Objectively this is probably a four star book, but, for me, it just didn't hit the spot. Especially odd because, usually, I bloody love a marriage of convenience yarn. Perfectly well written, nicely drawn characters, believable conflict, not too stuffed with plot but it just felt flat. The romance wasn't strong enough. The h/h didn't have the requisite chemistry, it was like siblings falling in love (but somewhat less creepy than that idea). It also begins in an ...more
Was refreshing to read a regency with no aristocrats. No earls in the mix here, just honest hard-working folk. Well mostly honest, some are lying to themselves. (view spoiler)
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story. Plot and characters were fab. I think this may be my first Georgie Lee novel, but will read more of hers.
Maggie Boyd
Ah, the troppiness of it all! Laura Townsend, in her role as feisty heroine, confronts Phillip Rathbone by pointing a pistol at him and insisting that he return the inventory to her draper shop that he claimed was collateral for a loan. Dripping wet and naked, he stalks across the room, unfazed by the gun she is pointing at him and shows her the contract signed by her (evil) uncle. Turns out her saintly but misguided deceased father had trusted the uncle with his business and taken no steps to p ...more
Linda Walters
The idea of the two totally different main characters was something that first caught my attention. It's a story subject that I don't remember running across before. A money lender and a merchant's daughter was something a bit different.

The book started out strong and then just kind of leveled off. I really wanted to like it more but after a while it just seemed to slow down too much for my taste. Oh, the main characters were strong, as was the emotions. Laura and her mother were doing everythi
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A decent enough plot with a likeable hero and heroine. It contained the wicked, evil villain to provide plenty of conflict. The story kept me interested until the last two chapters, which I think dragged out a little. I thought there were a couple of inaccuracies. Mrs Hammond’s husband took the kings shilling at a time when soldiers were discharged en-masse from the army and the author mentions impressment, which I believed ceased shortly before 1817 when the story is set. Unfortunately this is ...more
I loved the fact that it was a marriage of convenience set among ordinary working people, rather than among the greater nobility, but as other reviewers have mentioned, the romance didn't feel very strong. All in all I had the feeling that I was reading a sophomore effort by an author who may very well grow into one of my favorites - all the materials are there but they don't quite come together to make magic for me as a reader yet.
Sabrina (Soter) Sally
"Gli passò le mani calde, confortanti e tenere ai lati del viso. La fiducia che riponeva in lui era più potente dei propri dubbi, lo sfiorare del suo tocco più forte di qualsiasi sforzo avesse mai fatto per mantenere intatto il tumulo di pietre che gli comprimeva il cuore. Come acqua, lei era filtrata nelle fenditure, penetrandolo fino a che le rocce non avevano iniziato a crollare e la luce a scacciare l’oscurità. «Ti amo, Philip, e so anche tu ami me.» «Sì.» Lui aprì gli occhi e la prese per l ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Loved reading about this couple and start of a series. Looking forward to justin and janes separate books
Luz Trevino
It was a good story. I just wished it had less inner dialogue. It was a nice change reading about the working class instead about the ton.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well when the meeting is with him in his bath and her with a gun things are going to be explosive.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Laura’s father died, she and her mother fell under the care of Laura’s uncle, who took a loan from the moneylender Philip Rathbone to pay off his gambling debts, but he used their family business to get the loan. When Laura’s uncle couldn’t pay back the loan, Philip had to seize the goods leaving Laura and her mother in bad situation. Laura didn’t see another option than to go Philip’s home and threat him with a gun to make him take her business deal, but to her misfortune Philip refuses. W ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Witty and charming.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Heroine kept questioning whether she should marry the wealthy moneylender who was kind and compassionate to her and her mother. This went on for pretty much the first half of the book. She was living in a rat infested hovel. Her mother was ill and could barely get out of bed. They were both starving. And oh yeah her uncle was brokering a deal to sell her to the local brothel. Frankly I had a hard time understanding her dilemma. I would have kissed the hero's feet and worked my way up from there. ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Satisfying. There's good emotion and strong leads here, but the visuals (I kept realizing I didn't know what anyone or place really looked like), and development of secondary characters was thin. The story moved along well, and though the villain and plot points were "obvious" [sounds like a dirty word of complaint, isn't meant to be] but hit the right beats, and the emotional points after the external conflict got resolved offered a nice twist on getting to the HEA.

3+ stars.

Pleasant read. I'd d
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well, it wasn't horrible. Maybe because I have been reading traditional 350 pg. historical romance books for the last 20 yrs., that these thin Harlequin books leave me feeling like so much more could have been done with the storyline, characters could have been developed out more, etc. That being said, I normally judge a book on how well I like the main characters... The heroine in this story started off as a temper-tantrum unappreciative brat, so I didn't care for her at all :(
Usagi Tsukino
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, m-f, favorites
3,5 stars.

EDIT: 06-09-2015
I have also read the Italian edition, the rating is the same but there's something bothering me a bit... the italian cover. It's really awful. He's supposed to be naked (and in the cover he is not), and she's blonde in the book but in the cover she's a brunette and she doesn't have a gun in her hands =__= and plus she looks like one arm is missing (lol). Like, wtf?!
Aside from that, everything else is okay, even the translation.
A great, character driven story about a grieving widow marrying for to find a mother for his infant son, and a woman marrying to find an escape from poverty. I enjoyed watching them deal with their past wounds as they learned to deal as man and wife and become partners and companions to each other.
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, the characters were not titled and were normal class citizens trying to make their way in their world. They had ups and downs, I wish the story was longer and the villain was better developed. But this was a wonderful read and I would definitely read again!
Ren Thompson
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars actually
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some Mills & Boon novels can be immensely fun, but this one really dragged towards the end. Still, it is what it is, and made for a silly piece of fun on a delayed train journey home.
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2015
Christine Tamaska
rated it really liked it
May 30, 2015
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 19, 2015 03:10PM  
  • Unlacing Lady Thea
  • The Runaway Countess
  • Haunted by the Earl's Touch
  • Secrets of a Gentleman Escort (Rakes Who Make Husbands Jealous #1)
  • Unmasking the Duke's Mistress (Gentlemen of Disrepute #1)
  • An Escapade and An Engagement
  • Lady Folbroke's Delicious Deception (Ladies in Disgrace, #1)
  • The Dissolute Duke (Wellinghams, #4)
  • The Blacksmith's Wife (The Danby Brothers, #1)
  • Strangers at the Altar
  • In Bed with the Viking Warrior (Viking Warriors #3)
  • Running Wolf
  • Unveiling Lady Clare (Knights of Champagne #2)
  • Bought for Revenge
  • The Highland Laird's Bride (Lovers and Legends, #3)
  • Salvation in the Sheriff's Kiss (Salvation Falls, #2)
A lifelong history buff, award winning author Georgie Lee hasn’t given up hope that she will one day inherit a title and a manor house. Until then, she fulfills her dreams of lords, ladies and a season in London through her stories. When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit to learn more about ...more

Other books in the series

Business of Marriage (4 books)
  • A Too Convenient Marriage (Business of Marriage #2)
  • Miss Marianne's Disgrace (Business of Marriage, #3)
  • The Secret Marriage Pact (Business of Marriage, #4)