Fans of historical romances will want to check this one out. It has a strong heroine and sexy hero, great secondary characters and a tantalizing plot – an absolutely fantastic read. Make sure you read the excerpt and my review!
Secrets and Seduction, #2
by Sheridan Jeane
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Despite Lady Catherine’s love of fencing, she needs to stop pretending to be a boy and fraternizing with men…but not until after the fencing tournament! Her mother plans to marry her off by the end of the season, so this will be her last chance to enjoy her freedom. When she impulsively puts her reputation at risk to save the life of a dashing competitor, all seems lost when he sees through her disguise, but he vows never to reveal her secret. Thank goodness for gentlemanly honor!
Daniel, Marquess of Huntley, wants to overcome the rumors of his father’s madness so that he can be embraced by London society. His plan is to marry the most proper woman who will have him, and then raise stable, respectable children. He certainly isn’t interested in some hoyden with a penchant for masquerading as a boy and flaunting society’s rules. In fact, he’d prefer to keep his distance.
When an obsessed suitor discovers Catherine’s secret and threatens blackmail, the only path out of social ruin is marriage. But what kind of protection does matrimony provide when a vengeful suitor is plotting the ultimate revenge?
Daniel downed the glass of Glenfarclas in one swallow. “My plan isn’t progressing at all,” he said.
“Yes, of course. Your ridiculous plan.”
Daniel shifted under his friend’s amused gaze. “I’m having trouble finding a highly respected woman who is willing to align herself with someone as—as unusual as I am. I believe ‘colorful’ is the most polite word I’ve heard used to describe me. Although I’ve also heard the words ‘bourgeois’ and ‘unbalanced’ bandied about.”
“Stop it.” Wentworth scowled at him. “With your title, you outrank everyone except a duke and the members of the royal family. Nobody would dare snub you.”
“Perhaps not openly, but once they factor in my shipping business, my lack of polish, my mother’s low birth, and the rumors of my father’s madness, I’m beyond redemption in the eyes of most members of London society.” He downed the contents of his glass in a single swallow, savoring the burn that turned into a spreading warmth. “The thing that provides me with the most satisfaction is the very thing these people find the most damning. My shipping business.”
“Why do you care what they think?” Wentworth said as he gestured angrily toward Daniel. “Why place so much emphasis on propriety? After all, your primary goal in this is to find a woman who can provide you with an heir, isn’t it? Why complicate the issue by insisting that she and her family also be paragons of propriety? Don’t you see your own hypocrisy?”
Daniel thumped his glass down on the sideboard and pulled the stopper from the decanter, sloshing another inch of liquid into his tumbler. “I know I’m not a saint, but I refuse to put my children through the same hell I endured.” He turned and glared at his friend. “You, better than anyone, know how much I suffered at Eton. You were there with me. How can you ask me why?”
Daniel clenched the glass as he remembered those first few months at Eton. The loneliness and abuse he’d endured had nearly broken him. He’d begun to believe everyone’s taunts. They were right about him. He was no good. Especially after the horrible things he’d done. They were unforgivable. How could he ever redeem himself?
The dogs of melancholy had nipped at his heels as they tried to chase him to ground. His depression must have been only a faint echo of what his father experienced on a daily basis, and it explained why the man had escaped into a bottle, eventually descending into madness. What if Daniel was destined for the same path? What if his regrets drove him mad as well?
This is the second book in Jeane’s Secrets and Seduction series but as far as I can tell the two books are not closely linked. And while the first one was a whodunit, this one deals more with the secrets people keep and the impact they have. There is a villain but we know who he is about halfway thru, just when his part starts to come into play, so the rest is about what he’s going to do and how it is going to affect our happy couple.
I guess what I’m getting at is if you are starting here, that’s fine because it stands on its own very well. But if you are a returning reader and looking for the same intrigue element from the first one you might not find what you are looking for here. That being said, if you are looking for a well-written, well-paced and involved historical romance then this is definitely the book for you.
We are given our two main characters right away but they spend quite a bit of time going their own way. Of course we know they are going to get together and live happily ever after but they have other plans … silly of them, eh? I really like Catherine and Daniel. Both have parts of their pasts that they want to overcome and readers can easily understand how they ended up where they are, doing what they are doing. In a society controlled so much by impressions, the two of them are motivated by avoiding scandal at all costs. They just don’t recognize that in each other they may find acceptance.
With matchmaking mamas, societal scandals, and a couple who needs each other to truly be free, Lady Catherine’s Secret is the perfect choice for lovers of historical romances.
Sheridan Jeane writes exciting and emotion-packed historical romances set in the Victorian Era that confront issues of trust and conformity.
With the advent of the industrial age, life was changing. Many people tried to hold on to the old ways of life while others embraced the new opportunities open to them.
Join Sheridan as she explores the clash between the old and the new.
Sheridan has always loved books, history, and stories about amazing people who blaze new trails.
Despite naming their daughter Sheridan because they thought it might someday look great on the cover of a book, Sheridan’s parents urged her in a more practical direction for college. Sheridan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in English.
Media Contact: IndieSage PR – www.indiesage.com
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