When heiress Charlotte Wentworth finds out that her fiance is unfaithful, she decides to call off the wedding. A conversation with her father reveals that the man was only marrying her as part of a business deal anyway, and that her parents don’t have an issue with that or his cheating. So she decides to take off on her own, incognito, to evaluate her future. When she saves Gabe Grenville’s young niece from drowning in Italy, only to have everything she owned stolen, they invite her to spend the week with them. She soon finds out that things are even worse. Her fiance has emptied her bank accounts and frozen her credit cards. Without funds or a plan, she accepts Gabe’s invitation to come back with them to London. A Reality TV Producer, Gabe creates a new show idea with Charlie’s help and pushes her to try out. But she’s still keeping her identity a secret, and the truth could ruin everything.
The standard plot sequence of lying, revelation and forgiveness has been used forever (especially in romances) and can get very stale. Most of the time, you feel like the author is stretching to keep the storyline going but Seducing the Secret Heiress flows nicely. Usually I don’t like romance stories that center around one person deceiving another, but it is handled well here. Charlie’s reasons are understandable and it is easy for readers to see why she makes the choices she does. Once the lying starts things quickly get out of hand, but I never felt like the choice to continue lying was forced. The characters are interesting, their decisions are realistic, and I was involved in their lives from start to finish.
In Seducing the Secret Heiress, Jennifer St George gives a fresh voice to an old plot device and makes it work.