Challenge to Honor
In New Orleans of 1840, dueling was the honorable way to redress an affront. When Rio de Silva, a legendary maitre d’armes, insults a lady, hoping to goad her fiancé, Rio’s longtime enemy, into a challenge, it is her brother who responds. The lady in question, Celina Vallier, visits Rio in secret to plead with him for her brother’s life. However, once a challenge is extended and accepted, it cannot be ignored. Rio’s reputation and livelihood depend on it. He sees an opportunity to destroy his enemy by despoiling his fiancée. The bargain he puts to Celina is her virtue for her brother’s life. Celina accepts because it will have two benefits. Her brother’s life will be spared, and the loss of her innocence will cause her detested fiancé to back out of the betrothal. Neither Rio nor Celina have any idea that this bargain will change both their lives forever. Challenge to Honor is a romantic suspense novel that keeps the pages turning. Blake’s descriptions of New Orleans in 1840 puts you right in the time and place. Her characters are well-developed and intriguing.