An Enticing Debt to Pay
By Lois M.
Feb 1, 2014 - 8:00:00 AM

Jonas Deveson has been running the family company for a while now. There was a time when Jonas did all the work, while his father and his extravagant taste reaped the rewards.  Now that his father has died, Jonas runs the company his way and employs the best.  So when there is a discrepancy in an account, his people are surprised, but he knows exactly where to go for answers - it was an account that his father had, along with his mistress, the former housekeeper.

Jonas hated that woman, blaming her for the ultimate breakup and death of his mother.  She is a scheming witch that bewitched his father all those years ago.  And having the nerve to access the account, before and after he died - of course it meant she was only interested in the money.

Of course, he is very wrong - Jonas's father and his mistress fell in love and were still very much so when he died.  And she did take the money - only it wasn't to keep herself in the lifestyle she was accustomed to, but to help her daughter who was very sick.  Ravenna figures this out when Jonas shows up at the home that his father and her mother shared, where Ravenna was taking an inventory of the items to sell.  Her mother was in debt,  very grief-stricken and away in another country with friends while Ravenna took care of her affairs.  But as Ravenna stood in the room while Jonas threw out vile insults and his accusations, Ravenna realized that something made sense.  She was undergoing cancer treatments, and took her mother's word that the money came from Jonas's father.  Ravenna should have realized that was wrong.  She never wanted anything from him, and when Jonas's father gave her the amounts initially, she swore she would pay every cent back.  But that last, massive amount of money, paying for her rehab, no, that couldn't have been from his father.  So Ravenna did the only thing she could do - tell Jonas she was the one who stole the money.

When he first saw Ravenna, he saw a striking beauty, one that he immediately felt an attraction for.  But he didn't immediately realize it was the geeky girl he met those years ago, the girl that felt just as out of place as he did.  He was older than her, but was still kind to the girl.  The fact that her housekeeper mother turned into his father's mistress wasn't her fault.

But things were different now.  He saw her as a clone of the original, another gold-digger trying to make an easy path in the world.  Well then, so be it - she will pay off the debt by becoming the housekeeper to his childhood home. That would be her job.

It all made sense to him and she will do it to repay everything that her mother took - but Jonas very soon realizes that it is a huge mistake.  The job Ravenna does is fine - but the attraction between them, already huge when they meet only grows as they spend time together.  Jonas does not want to turn into his father, but he discovers he just might be like him after all, and he might not have a total problem with that in the end.

However, Jonas absolutely does not believe in love.  He did not see it or experience it in his childhood, nor did he believe it happened with his father and Ravenna's mother - and there is no way it's going to happen between him and her now.  Definitely not.

This is another home run from Annie West. I just loved watching Jonas's world turn totally on its head from being so certain about everything, to one where he discovers he actually could be wrong about his preconceived notions - about the people around him, but most especially about love.  Also, I loved Ravenna herself, defending her mother, taking the fall for her if she needed to - but also not standing down against Jonas, when she needed more than what he was offering.  She already knew she loved Jonas, but Ravenna needed that from him as well.

AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY is definitely another winner from Annie!

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