In Lord of Secrets, after years of travelling the world, Rosalie Whitwell finds herself an orphan when her father dies on a ship sailing back to England from America. Her only prospects are to go live with her aunt and uncle, who has assumed her father’s title, or find a genteel lady’s job… until she gets an offer of marriage from fellow passenger, the standoffish Lord Deal. Deal is known for his solitary tendencies. He avoids most social interactions and comes across as a snob. When the lovely Rosalie ends up alone, Deal feels the unexpected urge to offer marriage as a way out for her. Though he is attracted to Rosalie, he’s done things that make him unworthy of her. Will he be able to get beyond them to make it a real marriage? Can Rosalie discover what demons haunt him?
I really enjoyed getting to know Rosalie and Deal. Rosalie has an overwhelming desire to mother and please everyone. She feels like she has to be useful in order to not be turned away. After her mother died, her father sent her away to school until she was old enough to benefit him on his travels. She’s spent the time since making herself useful so he wouldn’t send her away. A traumatizing event in Deal’s past has shaped his life up to this point. It has left him with serious doubts about the kind of man he is and whether he is worthy of giving himself fully to Rosalie. I loved watching these two get to a point where they can move forward with their life together. I also loved that at the end Rosalie states that Deal’s history will still affect his future at times, so once again love doesn’t fix everything (a big pet peeve for me). Some things require time and attention to be resolved.
If you are looking for a heartfelt historical, with hard-hitting emotional issues and a sweetly satisfying resolution, Lord of Secrets is your book.