These Old Shades (Alastair-Audley Tetralogy #1)(Paperback Edition)
Author: Georgette Heyer
Goodreads Rating: 4.08
Under the reign of Louis XV, corruption and intrigue have been allowed to blossom in France, and Lord Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon, known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Society believes the worst of Justin, who is clearly proud of his sobriquet, 'Satanas'. In a dark Parisian back alley, he is accosted by Leon, a young person dressed in ragged boy's clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys Leon, a redheaded urchin with strangely familiar looks, who is in fact Leonie, and she serves him with deep devotion. The Duke suspected the truth about his page--she was really none other than the wicked Comte de Saint Vire's legitimate daughter, deprived of her heritage by the comte's dastardly desire for a male heir.
Among the splendours of Versailles and the dignified mansions of England, Justin begins to unfold his sinister plans, and Leonie shoulds play a fine part in Duke's long-over-due schemes to avenge himslef on the Comte de St Vire. The duke's plan was simple: parade delicately handsome Leonie in front of his enemy and transforming her into the toast of the town, before his innocent ward reclaim her birthright, destroying her true father in the process. But the duke hadn't expected Leonie's breathtaking transformation or the tender emotions she awoke--and he'd already set his dangerous scheme in motion....
While, titian-haired Leonie, ward of the dashing Duke of Avon, has all Paris at her feet. Yet her true origins remained shrouded in mystery. And neither the glittering soirees nor the young aristocrats who so ardently courted her could still the question that plagued her young heart. Just one man held the secret, the one she feared most in the world--the iron-willed Comte de Saint-Vire, deadly enemy of the Duke. He would give her the answer--for a price. But could she betray the man she secretly, helplessly loved? And could this proud young beauty hear to face the truth when it came?