Alyssa Everett

Books: Romance

Lord of Secrets (2013)

Lord of Secrets (2013)

Set in England in 1820.

I almost quit reading this when I realized that it didn't have a mystery sub-plot. But I was curious enough that I kept reading.

David Linney, Marquess of Deal is haunted by his past. He believes he will never be worthy of love, but when he finds a young maiden seemingly in peril, he offers for her, wanting to protect her.

Rosalie Whitwell has spent years traveling with her father, but when he dies unexpectedly, she's left only with a cousin preparing to join the military, and an alcoholic uncle who inherits her father's title and lands (and money).

There were several things I especially liked about this. First, being trapped on a ship was a perfect vehicle (HA!) for forcing two people to develop an attachment in a relatively short time span. Second, the two really were well suited, in that their strengths and weaknesses balanced. Third, I liked that when finally confronted with Deal's darkest secrets, she reacts with horror, but then calms down and remembers that he had tried to warn her off him.

I also liked (liked isn't the right word) how once Deal talks to his neighbors, he discovers that part of what he'd feared all those years ago wasn't true.

But there were weaknesses. I really could have done without all the explicit detail as Deal remembers his past and attempts to come to terms with it. I get that he had to work through seeing those events as an adult, but I really REALLY didn't need quite as many details as were provided. I mean, he might not have initially been able to see those past events as an adult, but I didn't really need his mulling over his memories to believe he could discover things were not as he'd seen them as a child.

I also could have done without the scene immediately prior to their reconciliation. It felt over the top and added on for extra sensationalism. It didn't need it and cheapened the story.

But all in all it was a compelling story, and I wasn't able to stop reading it, which is always a good sign.

Publisher: Carina Press

Rating: 6.5/10