Read The Runaway Debutante by Elizabeth Chater Online

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When her father loses everything in a gambling debt, including her, Matilda can take her role as a passive and dutiful daughter no longer. She finds a strength and willfulness she never recognized before and the courage to leave this intolerable situation. Fleeing the kisses of the fifty-year old Earl of Lark, a man notorious for his womanizing ways, Matilda finds work asWhen her father loses everything in a gambling debt, including her, Matilda can take her role as a passive and dutiful daughter no longer. She finds a strength and willfulness she never recognized before and the courage to leave this intolerable situation. Fleeing the kisses of the fifty-year old Earl of Lark, a man notorious for his womanizing ways, Matilda finds work as a cook in London. Her culinary skills so impress Major Robert Bruce that he hires her as his personal chef. But the earl is still pursing her and Matilda has been trapped in a whirlwind. Her love is beginning to grow for the handsome duke, but does he love enough to give her shelter from the nefarious earl?...

Title : The Runaway Debutante
Author :
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ISBN : 9781585869114
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Runaway Debutante Reviews

  • Tracey
    2018-10-31 19:11

    I blather more on my blog...I received The Runaway Debutante through LibraryThing's Member Giveaways in exchange for a review, thank you; it is part of a re-release of the author's light romances, decades out of print, in digital format. The story is a cute one, and on the whole probably no more improbable than many another; the trick with an unlikely story is all in the pulling off of it. Here, a sheltered, rather plain eighteen-year-old girl runs away from her seriously evil parents to avoid being handed over to a seriously evil old lech in lieu of cash payment of her father's gambling debts. Having spent her youth in the kitchens with her father's French chef, she takes a job in an inn which very fortuitously just happens to need a cook right away and proves herself to be a good one despite her youth and femaleness. She is in fact so good that she is shortly hired away by a soldier who lost an arm but gained a kingdom: he has unexpectedly come into the inheritance of a Scottish castle and lairdship, and needs a staff complete, including a chef. Of course, very soon he - Major Robert Bruce, and oh yes I will come back to that - realizes that she's much too young and fine to be a chef (if you read that with a sarcastic voice in your head, well done), and proposes to her instead. In order to take his new place, Bruce knows he must win over townsfolk who were thoroughly alienated by his predecessor (it is never really said how - examples might be nice. Scots don't drop their loyalties easily), and in the midst of that battle is confronted with a new challenge: a letter from someone else claiming to be the rightful heir. In the course of the fight to retain his new inheritance, there are plans made, and in the course of the fight Matilda seems to take Bruce for an idiot (assuming he'll be taken in by the rival claimants and so on), and he seems to take her for an idiot (not telling her his plans and so on), and in the end they both come off as idiots. It's cute - but rather than playing on the Scottish blood I possess and making me happy with swinging kilts and pseudo-Gaelic, it went a fair distance toward offending said blood. The idea of the Sassenach strolling in and becoming laird is bad enough, but I imagine it isn't impossible. The idea of the Sassenach strolling in, putting on that swinging kilt, dressing his men in same (as if London laddies would stand for that so readily), and openly speaking in what could be interpreted as anything from mocking to just lame (injecting attempts at colloquialisms into his speech) ... this is not the way to win hearts and minds, not in Scotland and not elsewhere. The cute (of course) and coy love scenes between Matilda and Bruce, especially the first one, had me almost wishing for the frank and straightforward raunch of most current romance novels. It erred so far on the side of propriety that insulin was very nearly called for. Use of adjectives bothered me a bit in those scenes and throughout. It's beginning to sound like I'm using a magnifying glass to find nits to pick, but the effusive language did irritate – it was constant and fulsome, and more of the telling rather than showing. Matilda is "the little maid" with "the small face" and, better yet, "this stubborn, high-couraged little battle-maid", in the space of a couple of pages. What bothered me a bit more than the use of adjectives was the sheer irredeemable evil of the parents. I tend to rebel against characters who are too much of one thing or the other - utterly good (like Matilda) or so deep-dyed in villainy there isn't a bright spot about them but the wicked gleam of teeth. It can be done, but it's preferable, for the most part, for there to be some reasonable back story to justify it. Iago, Mordred, Sauron, Scrooge, Macbeth, Lucifer himself - they all had reasons for becoming what they are. Matilda's parents are simply evil - not just neglectful, but actively and demonstrably bad. I kept waiting for some small show of concern that their daughter might be hurt or dead, but there was nothing but concern for their own situation and how her taking off threatened them. While this is useful to the story in a way - you see? They're so terrible she had to leave, and this way she doesn't have to worry about them any more than they do her, and in fact never needs to think about either of them ever again - but it's still pushing credibility. More to their characters might have been helpful: say, because of a difficult birth they were never able to have another child, and perhaps the estate is entailed, or her father was set on having a son and heir, or ... something, anything other than simply "they're evil". The malevolent suitor actually has a motive - he's a lech and needs an heir and no decent girl is going to marry him of her own free will. The parents are just escapees out of a bad fairy tale.What bothered me more than the parents was character name choices. Laying aside the question of whether or not a clan could or would or should ever be formed this way, just the simple, to me, wrongheaded use of names is bordering on the offensive. "Major Robert Bruce" is awful, but might have been carried off. But to offset that by naming another character Wallace is abhorrent - and for that Wallace to be a cowardly little weasel is inexcusable. The Kindle edition I received had some typos, occasional dropped letters: ad for and, so man for so many. Hopefully those can be cleaned up.

  • Vendethiel
    2018-11-07 18:13

    The historical inadequacies of the book were really what kept me from finishing and enjoying it. The characters were ok, but perhaps a little too good or too bad. The heroine never does anything bad or makes any mistakes and, despite the fact that she was raised to be lady and would never have worked in her life, was perfectly able to manage a kitchen in a busy part of lower class London. I like the idea of a woman of the ton being able to do what is necessary and not balking at good, honest work, but this perfect ability to jump in and succeed is just too unbelievable for me.The hero was...strange... One moment the reader was in his mind and the next he was an enigma. One moment he was interested in the heroine and the next he was off doing whatever it was that he did.The plot was a little slow, in fact, so slow that right now I can't really remember the point of it. However, it didn't feel too laborious when reading it. It just felt a little meandering - and some of my favorite books meander...Historical inaccuracies, you ask. First, how is a young woman a titled Lady when it appears her parents are not? (Maybe they were, but I never saw the reference to it.) No gentlewoman would be able to work amongst the lower classes, her speech, manners, clothes, bearing, and behavior would immediately proclaim her position in society. She would not be accepted amongst a class to which she did not belong. An unmarried woman traveling with an unmarried man to his home in Scotland would be scandalous, as would her living under his roof. A gentleman would not converse with a servant the same way he would with a friend. These were all quite jarring to me, however, it was the trip to Gretna Green that made it impossible for me to continue.A couple, located in Scotland, headed to Gretna Green to be married by a blacksmith. To understand my frustration, let me explain. Gretna Green was a town right across the boarder in Scotland. Scotland's marriage laws were far more relaxed than England's, so couples seeking to elope would go to the closest Scottish town (Gretna Green) and would be married irregularly. Irregular marriage, meant the couple was married when they declared their intention in front of 2 witnesses. A blacksmith was handy because he was there, public, and probably would witness for cheap. You didn't have to be married by a blacksmith and you didn't have to be married in Gretna Green, those were just two handy options. Saying that a couple traveled from northern Scotland to Gretna Green to be married by a blacksmith is akin to saying that if you live in Nevada, you have to go to a 24 Hour Chapel in Las Vegas and be married by an Elvis impersonator. It just wasn't the book for me. Too many historical inaccuracies and the characters felt a little too much like parodies for my taste. However, opinions are like noses, so...

  • Tonileg
    2018-10-21 16:24

    Clean historical romance from 1985 where a gentleman's daughter runs away from her father when he sells her by gambling so she hides away in plain sight in London by being a cook to another rich nobleman (with her faithful maid, as a companion, of course!) where she is hired by a rich Major who needs servants for his newly inherited estate in Scotland.Miss Matilda is a well born educated young lady of 18 who has been isolate by her parents by neglect and antipathy, but lucky for her she has a wonderful loving governess Miss Alton. So she runs away to Scotland in the entourage of Major Robert Bruce who is maimed from the previous war and only has one arm, but he is smart, kind and in great shape (I'd guess he is in thirties). So the old diseased Earl of Lark and Matilda's father who owes his whole fortune to him, search out everywhere and eventually find her with Major Bruce. But in the meantime there is a mystery of who is the real heir to the Scottish estate and title with some usurpers arrive and try their nasty and threatening best to grab the money and title away, but they arrive too late because the Major and Matilda have already put down solid roots in the castle and in the society in the area.Clean romance which is well written and sweet.140 pages (short but felt like a complete story of about 200ish pages) and kindle freebie3 stars

  • Griffinyarn
    2018-11-01 23:10

    I enjoyed this sweet, gently amusing story. Yes, it's not realistic, but let's be honest, most Period/Regency romances have been whitewashed into sheer fantasy. They are the modern day equivalent of fairy tales (for adults). And what's wrong with that?(view spoiler)[For the first time, I got to appreciate the awkwardness of a husband having to give the "birds and the bees" talk to his bride.“When a man and woman are married—when they love each other as we do, they wish to share each other in every possible way.”... The major took a deep breath. “One of the things they share is the joy of their bodies. They lie down together and become one.” The man could feel sweat beading his forehead. This was harder than facing the villagers and the pretender combined. This was harder than Waterloo! He took a deep breath and continued, meeting the wide, loving, innocent gaze. “They undress and go to bed together and make love!" So cute! (hide spoiler)]

  • T.
    2018-11-10 21:08

    you know, I bought this as a paperback in 1985. I kept it with me through the many years and many moves. I like the story. Of course, when I was actually a teenager reading this it was completely different then the almost middle aged woman reading it. Sighs. I will warn you, if you do not know anything about Period books and what the Heroes and Heroines have to do and how they are supposed to behave then you will not necessarily like this. I love Regency Romances and have been reading them for years, what offends the 'Modern, Independent, Liberal Modern woman does not always offend the reader of these period stories who loves the history of it all.

  • Lisa C.
    2018-10-20 18:18

    Not sure how to describe the writing style. I think the author was trying to stay true to the time period but there were too many archaic words to try and follow. I skimmed quite a bit just to get to the meat of the story.The story line for the most part was a little different but the plot had some issues. I thoroughly enjoyed the secondary characters of the butler, Polly and the governess. They added a lot to the story. The heroine bounced back and forth between making wise decisions and having air between her ears. I didn't care for the ending as it left too many unanswered questions.

  • Hopefulpuffin
    2018-11-02 23:30

    Eh. More like 2 1/2. It was all a little insta-romance for me. Our h does very little cooking. And what really annoyed me was that the h is 18. At some point, I'm sure I read the H was 29. Then later in the book he's thinking he's old enough to be her father. Rather a precocious 11 year old if that's the case. Don't get me started on the Bruce's and Wallaces. Clean. A few kisses. Everything else implied.

  • PriscillaWaller
    2018-11-11 21:23

    This One Has It AllWonderful hero, stalwart heroine, loyal minions ,despicable villains (two sets of them). I loved it! A perfect getaway for a few hours of fun. I discovered Elizabeth Chater a few years ago and promptly bought her backlist. Somehow, I missed this book until now but I'm glad I did because it was a lovely surprise. I would judge this a YA read and perfect for anyone who loves Georgette Heyers world.

  • Tdraut18
    2018-10-21 22:20

    Not enough character development.

  • Julie Pullman
    2018-10-29 00:08

    Fun escape. Simple.

  • LadyCalico
    2018-10-17 20:15

    Pretty far-fetched at times, but a rather cute and entertaining love-story, with characters that were rather unique for the genre. Short and sweet.

  • Lanelle
    2018-11-04 16:22

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. This is not your usual regency tale. Wonderful.