THE LODESTONE by Charlene Keel


Publisher’s Blurb:

Innocent Cleome Parker is unprepared for Drake Stoneham, an arrogant gambler who wins her grandfather’s tavern in a card game. Her mother is an invalid, and Cleome must keep a roof over her head, at any cost. As the illegitimate offspring of a madwoman, Cleome has always been an outcast but  she convinces Drake to hire her as innkeeper, and drawn irresistibly to him,  she fights the desire that threatens to consume them both. Their daring adventures take them  across 1830s England, plunge them into political intrigue in Italy, and inflame the passion between them, drawing them together again and again as copper to a magnet, as a musket ball to a lodestone.


Historical Romance

Victorian Era

Heat Level 1

3 Star Rating


The Lodestone is a unique story about a young girl named Cleome and an older man named Drake Stoneham. Drake is a self-made man who has made his fortune by gambling and risky investments. He’s a rake of the tallest order. He’s immediately attracted to Cleome, and she is vastly attracted to him.

As the story progresses, Cleome’s grandfather loses his inn, the Eagle’s nest, in a game of cribbage to Drake. This just gives Cleome more burdens, since she has to care for her mentally unbalanced mother, who has pined for her lost love, Cleome’s entire life.

As the story unfolds, Cleome and Drake fight the overwhelming attraction, each feeling that it could not go anywhere. Drake, because he isn’t interested in a permanent relationship, and Cleome, because she knows as an illegitimate bastard, she’ll never be able to marry and is unwilling to accept any other type of arrangement.

Through the help of a friend, Cleome finds out that she is heir to an enormous fortune and her life changes dramatically. She leaves the inn and travels to London to take over the properties and businesses she has inherited. Through the sponsorship of Lord and Lady Easton, she enters the ton, going to parties, soirees, plays and the opera.

Since Drake is also in London, getting ready to open Stoneham House, they continue to see each other. Cleome decides, while she knows she’ll never marry, she can take a lover and chooses Drake. What she doesn’t know is that Drake is keeping a secret that involves her and her mother. On the night she decides to give herself to Drake, she finds out his secret, crushing her.

The rest of the story involves Cleome overcoming her resentment at Drake for keeping his secret from her, and Drake trying to get her to acknowledge her feelings for him.

While there were many entertaining points to this story, the author uses a vast number of characters to spin her tale, giving many of them points of view. At times, it would pull me out of the story. However, the plot kept me interested and overall, I enjoyed the book. I liked both characters and many of the secondary characters, added to the unique storyline.

**At time of review, this title is available in digital format for only $2.99 **


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