A Question of Honor
By Mary Jo Putney, Author of Once Dishonored
All societies value honor, and although it may be defined in many different ways, the term essentially represents the relationship between an individual and his or her society. A person of honor is held in good standing with an accepted code of conduct.
In the early nineteenth-century Regency period, a man’s promise was his bond. To break his word was to be beneath contempt and to have bad character. A gentleman was honor-bound to pay his gaming debts, even if he never bothered to pay his tailor. Bets between gentlemen were matters of significance, while sending tradesmen into bankruptcy was deemed no great matter.
It was viewed as equally dishonorable for a Regency gentleman to end a betrothal because he was breaking his promise to marry. However, a woman was allowed to sever the engagement because females were considered volatile and subject to changing their minds; she might be considered unsteady but not dishonorable. Ultimately, a lady’s honor was determined by her chastity and fidelity.
My new Regency historical romance, Once Dishonored, explores some of the nuances of honor. As a young Royal Navy officer, Lucas Mandeville was captured and imprisoned by the French—and was so dishonored that he allowed the world and his family to think him dead. His crime? As a prisoner of war, he broke his parole, which had been a promise not to escape in return for the freedom of the town where he was held prisoner.
Lucas’s foster brother persuades him to end his self-exile and return to England, but he feels the weight of social condemnation. Men turn away, Lucas is given the cut direct, and worst of all, he can’t forgive himself for his fall from grace despite the extenuating circumstances.
Who is the ideal mate for Lucas? A woman who is also dishonored, of course! Kendra Douglas was divorced and condemned because of her husband’s false charges. She has lost not only her reputation but also her beloved young son. She needs an ally, and who better than a man who has also suffered condemnation? Together they work to rebuild their reputations and self-respect in a world that too often saw life in harsh and unforgiving terms.
Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than sixty novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the award twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll. In 2013, she was given the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Most of her books have been historical romances, but she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and more. Visit her website at MaryJoPutney.com and at the social platforms below.
About Once Dishonored
Sparks fly in the page-turning new read from mistress of the Regency genre and historical romance legend, Mary Jo Putney. Will a disgraced former soldier and a beautiful brazen woman determined to regain custody of her son from her devious former husband make the perfect match…even as they are shunned by the London ton?
The romantic Rogues Redeemed series features soldiers, spies—and the special redemption only love can bring.
A man who has lost his honor has nothing . . .
London, 1816. As a Royal Navy officer, Lucas Mandeville, Lord Foxton, has fought his share of battles on the high seas, followed by long years of imprisonment. But on this night, he’d rather be on the burning deck of a ship than in a ballroom, where it is just a matter of time before someone challenges him because of what happened on the Continent.
A woman who has lost her reputation is nothing . . .
When dark-haired beauty Kendra Douglas arrives, a whisper of scandal ripples through the ton. The disgraced divorcee’s entrance is an act of daring. Which is exactly why Lucas asks her to dance . . .
A couple who stands together has everything . . .
Unexpectedly, Lucas offers Kendra his aid in finding the evidence to regain her good name—and her beloved young son. Together they investigate the wicked conspiracy that destroyed her life, and in the midst of danger, find a deep love that will redeem them both—if only they can live long enough to build a future together.