Friday, March 27, 2015

Lady Catherine's Secret by Sheridan Jeane

Lady Catherine's Secret
Lady Catherine's Secret by Sheridan Jeane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lady Catherine has a secret and for a lady of the ton it's a BIG secret. A scandalous secret. A secret that could ruin both Lady Catherine and her family. Lady Catherine is an accomplished fencer. While that is bad enough, the aspect of her accomplishment that would cause her family's ruination is that to partake of training she dresses as a boy and must enter the men's dressing room. That she does so in her brother's company would not preserve her reputation as there is still the matter of her traipsing about in men's clothing...trousers! Egads!

While it is difficult to imagine living in an era when trousers on a woman and the exposure of one's ankle is scandalous, Lady Catherine is everything I love in my historical romance heroines – she's spunky, she's determined, and she's fiercely independent. At the same time, she does what she must to keep her secret from her mother and to keep her happy by portraying the dutiful daughter. So it is with much chagrin that Catherine faces her toughest challenge – enduring the husband hunt her mother has planned. As the requisite see and be seen social engagements ensue, Catherine finds it draining as she has less and less time to practice for the upcoming tournament. One of the things I enjoyed most about Lady Catherine's Secret is that Catherine did not fall in love with Huntley immediately upon seeing him; to the contrary, she sized him up as an opponent as their first encounter took place at the fencing studio – but she did notice that he was handsome. In the same vein, when Huntley first meets Lady Catherine he is intrigued by her contradictions but dismisses her as she does not meet the criteria he has set for a proper wife.

Their relationship actually progresses naturally from physical attraction to fondness to mutual respect until incidents cause them each to realize that despite their best intentions, they have each come to love the other. Consistent with the genre, Huntley and Catherine do not consummate their relationship until after they're married (don't act shocked, you knew that was where they were headed) and it was quite the steamy scene. While my review focuses primarily on the romance, Lady Catherine's Secret has a major romantic suspense storyline that, as expected, threatens Huntley and Lady Catherine both individually and as a couple. Even knowing how books of this genre tend to play out, I was concerned for Catherine's safety more than once. I thoroughly enjoyed Lady Catherine's Secret and it has found a rare place on my re-read list – something not many historical romances achieve. As this is the second book in the series I should note that it is not necessary to read book one first; that said, I so enjoyed the author's writing style and plan to go back and read It Takes a Spy… as soon as I can.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Lady Catherine's Secret Tour Stop! blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.

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