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Maria Yrsa Rönneus
Author, Illustrator
Offers of Atonement

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Publish)

Offers of Atonement is the stand-alone 5th in the Regency Tales series. It's a literary and romantic comedy of manners with a gritty twist.

In 1820, Captain Hartcourt has left the army and is making his living by the card tables. He wins Baron Talleyn's ancient country seat fairly, but shortly after, the baron is flound floating in the Thames.

The baron leaves a single child, May, who inherits his title, but who is now in effect homeless. Desperate to salvage her family's estate, she travels to London to propose marriage to the man she believes has cheated her father.

Hartcourt suffers anxiety attacks as a result of his mother's psychological abuse in his childhood, and his mother is now scheming to make him marry a rich heiress. May's arrival is timely and he accepts her proposal to thwart his mother's plans.

Meanwhile, Hartcourt's best friend, Major Hastings, ask him for an unusual favour. The major's brother is the Earl of Fernecombe and gay – at a time when homosexuality is a capital offence, this is a dangerous secret. With the new revolutionary legislation in France, it has been legalised by omission, and the earl wants to stage his own death so that he can start anew in Brittany. Major Hastings asks Hartcourt to procure a stand-in corpse.

Hartcourt doesn't dare to trust May with this information, nor does he believe in love. When May moves into his house, chaos and embroilments ensue as he tries to hide his and Hastings' plans as well as his growing affection for his new wife.



5.0 out of 5 stars By Ellie Lieberman

A great, enjoyable, fascinating, thought-provoking, and exciting read!

I had the honor of being a beta reader/ARC reader for this book!

Offers of Atonement by Maria Yrsa Rönneus is a slow-burn, marriage of convenience, regency romance with enemies to lovers vibes. If you enjoy works by Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, or the Brontë sisters, you'll enjoy this book.

The main characters are well matched, which makes for a very fun dynamic. Each character is complex and three-dimensional and the conflict unfolds very naturally.

The writing is top-notch (the kind where you wind up highlighting or underlining like every other sentence) and fully engages the senses.

And, of course, you can't talk about a Maria Yrsa Rönneus historical fiction without discussing the historical accuracy, from dialogue to facts to details, sometimes even the more uncomfortable realities of the time. It's a book that does not shy away from topics that are, unfortunately, still relevant today, such as sexism, homophobia, and poverty. I love that she includes notes, real historical characters, and sources in the back of her book, as well.

Great writing, enjoyable characters, fascinating history, and thought-provoking conversations all wrapped up in an exciting plot!