Coming to London has given Precious Jewell a taste of freedom, and she will do anything, bear anything, to keep it. Defying her master is at the top of her mind, and she won’t let his unnerving charm sway her. Yet, will her restored courage lead her to forsake a debt owed to the grave and a child who is as dear to her as her own flesh?
Gareth Conroy, the third Baron Welling, can neither abandon his upcoming duty to lead the fledgling colony of Port Elizabeth, South Africa nor find the strength to be a good father to his heir. Every look at the boy reminds him of the loss of his wife. Guilt over her death plagues his sleep, particularly when he returns to London. Perhaps the spirit and fine eyes of her lady’s maid, Precious Jewell, might offer the beleaguered baron a new reason to dream.
The Bargain is a serialized story or soap opera told in episodes. Each episode averages from three to eight chapters, about 15,000 to 30,000 words. Each episode resolves one issue. Emotional cliffhangers may be offered, but the plot, the action of the episode, will be complete in resolving the main issue.
My promise to you is that the action will be compelling, and I will tell you in the forward the length of the episode. This episode, Episode I, is four chapters long, 15,000 words. Enjoy these Regency Tales set in South Africa.--VR
The Bargain is the first Port Elizabeth Regency Tale. Episode 1: A Bargain to Be Free
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About the Author
Even as she pursued engineering degrees, Vanessa Riley's love of 19th century history yielded a hunger to take as many Western Civilization credits as possible (two classes shy of a minor). Vanessa adores Regency times with its conflicts between Church and State, the clash of the classes, and the sweeping romances. Her mission is to have the world fall in love with powerful Regency heroes and heroines who battle for peace with a flintlock and a prayer. Vanessa writes from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey or Cinnamon Spice.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Well written, good characters, intriguing regency story Look forward to next nook episode
I'm a big fan of books that are in series, however this is the first time that I've read one that has serialized parts to it. The Bargain, Part 1 is the beginning of the tale that revolves around the slave Precious Jewell. The story starts out in Regency England and in future installments will progress to Port Elizabeth. You get thrown into the story right away and it takes you for a ride starting from page one. Precious experiences the loss of her mistress(with whom she's close to)during childbirth and it seems that her life is about to change. "Precious Jewell is a free woman. No more my slave. She will care for my son, Jonas." It is from that decree, which Precious has waited her whole life to hear, that sets the tone for the rest of the story. Precious makes a promise to look after Jonas, but soon finds out that freedom is not that easy to obtain. She is a cynical character. One who has been through so much suffering and disappointment. Trust is not something she gives away easily. Her inner monologues are true to her character. "She knew what orders were. They were ingrained in her brain, and the consequences of disobedience had cut scars on her back." It's when she confronts Baron Welling, that he puts any plans that she might of had to a halt. After all, she's been waiting two years for him to grant her freedom. Two years of taking care of his son, who now thinks Precious is his mother. "Once a woman marries, all her money, possessions, even her rights become her husband's." Precious is of course, considered a possession. The Baron is a haunted man, haunted my his wife. Depressed and desolate, constant reminders are ever present. He even finds similarities between his wife's eyes and that of Precious. "How could he let Jewell go and take the last traces of Eliza, too?" (There is a link there and I look forward to reading future installments to see what it means. Although, I might have an idea...). However, it is his compassion and duty to his son and wife's memory that makes him strike up a bargain with Precious. He will be leaving for South Africa to mend relations with the slaves and decides that he doesn't want to leave his son behind. The Baron realizes the closeness between his son and Precious. It convinces him that there could be an alternative to granting her freedom. A 5 year bargain is struck that forces Precious to become an indentured servant. However, she has plans too and will wait until the right time to execute them. My thoughts: This was really well written. Even though we were just introduced to the characters, they were still interesting. I liked the fact that this Regency was different than those I've read before. The protagonist being a slave was new to me and I find that it was a refreshing change. The only aspect I didn't like was that the POV changed suddenly. It kind of threw me off guard at times. Overall, I'm invested in this series and intrigued as to where Precious will end up, and how she will grow as a character. NOTE: This is a serial, which means that there is a cliffhanger. Conflicts from Part 1 are resolved, but the story is not over yet.
The Bargain Episode I had an interesting story. I like the plot and the characters. Precious Jewell was the lady's maid of the third Baron Welling's wife. When she was freed by her mistress so that she would take care of her son, she could not refused. How could she deny her dying wish? But after two years, a shocking truth that changed her freedom and a certain handsome baron made sure of that. The Third Baron Welling was still in regret of what was happening to his wife two years ago. Now, he needed Jewell more than ever to take care of his heir. So he made a difficult offer that she couldn't refuse. I really love the setting and the era. The rebellion that she put to her master was understandable. I can't wait for the next episode.