This fantasy with its medieval feel to it, Grace Under Contract is an interesting romance full of intrigue and suspense.
Grace’s father, after pulling some shenanigans that put his family in a bad situation, moves his five daughters in the hovel of a home with their grandmother. Instead of working the farm to provide for his family and pay the taxes on the grandmother’s property, he spends most of his income at the local pub. He befriends and becomes beholden to Sir Webb who is after one of the daughters named Beauty. She is beautiful, but not overly intelligent. To cover the tax shortfall, Grace convinces Duke Silas’s steward to agree to a contract of indenture for both her and Beauty—her to cover the debt; Beauty to keep her out of the clutches of Sir Webb.
I enjoyed the growing relationship between Grace and Silas with his scars and disability. Never a dull moment with the vindictive housekeeper, the neighboring duke with political ambitions who wishes to cement a treaty with Silas through marriage with one of his daughters, and the spy who somehow breeches the castle’s defenses to steal food and weaken the duchy from within.
The tension was high, the action was engaging, the romance was sweet, and there were some surprises at the end that made this a must-read story.