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When Robin Fitzvitry, the fun-loving Earl of Huntersdown, encounters a cursing nun in a French inn, he can't resist the mystery. He offers to help Sister Immaculata reach England, expecting amusement on the tedious journey home from Versailles.
Petre d'Avernio is not exactly a nun, though she has spent years in an Italian convent with her mother, whose death has left her in danger. She must find the only person who might protect her-her true father, an English lord who does not know she exists. The gorgeous earl Robin Fitzvitry will be a dangerous ally, but she's glimpsed her pursuers and must race to the coast. She will resist him, use him, and eventually escape him with her virtue and secrets intact-she hopes.read more
Jo Beverley is the NYT bestselling author of over thirty historical romance novels, all set in her native England. She has a degree in English history from Keele University, Staffordshire. After many decades in Canada, she has now returned to live in England.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including two Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times. She is also a five-time winner of the RITA and a member of the RWA Hall of Fame and Honor Roll.
Publishers Weekly declared Jo Beverley "Arguably today's most skillful writer of intelligent historical romance..." Her work has been described as "Sublime!" (by Booklist) and Romantic Times described her as "one of the great names of the genre."read more
Reviews for A Lady's Secret
This was a very enjoyable book. It started out a little differently with a nobleman becoming fascinated with a cursing nun. Sister Immaculata, or Petra as she is later found out to be, has been traveling from Italy and is trying to get to England. Enter Robin; a nobleman who has just come from Versailles and is on his way home to England. They decide to travel together (which stretches credulity) and we are treated to a fun journey filled with half-truths, insults, and desire.I very much so liked Petra and her outlook on life. Here finally was a heroine who was presented as level-headed and actually stayed level-headed. Even though she occasionally indulged in fantasies of Robin and got distracted at times, she always came back to herself and continued with the path she had set. I liked that she didn't abandon all her plans and become unable to think beyond Robin the minute she met him. I also liked the lack of woe is me about her past with Ludo.Robin was a pretty good guy, even though he didn't seem to be able to take anything seriously if they weren't in immediate danger. That isn't a bad thing though. His light hearted attitude gave the journey a very fun feel to it. I think Petra's attitude toward his obligatory stroking and petting was very realistic and in keeping with her level-headed attitude. The aftermath of the first love scene emphasized her feelings on that very well. One thing that bothered me about him was his interactions with his mother. She was very interfering and felt a bit spoiled. Robin made her butt out on some points and hired someone who wasn't her spy, but he didn't seem to mind her prying conversations that much. I couldn't help but think mama's boy and get a little sneer.The only major problems I had with the book started when Petra got to her father. I never got a sense of adjustment or any real closeness to them. I read the author's note and apparently the family is part of a series, so maybe I was supposed to care about them and know how they would feel already? If so, it doesn't really help her new readers. Petra's lack of upset about her father's lack of attachment toward his past with her mother was refreshing.I liked the dueling views of what was going on with Petra and Robin while they were apart. I was irritated by the fact that they were separated for so long though. I also never got a real sense of why Petra had to get to her father alone. I would fear rape if I were traveling alone like that. When Petra and Robin reunited I was left feeling dissatisfied. All of a sudden everything will work out without any reservation or problems? No more discussions and growing as a couple? I couldn't help but be reminded that they had only spent a few days together and start to doubt the strength of their attachment for the future.Overall a good book with enjoyable characters and well written prose. The relationship seemed a little weak, but the bones were there and it would have been great if they were built on a little more.read more
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How can you not enjoy a book that begins with a cursing nun? OK, so she's not really a nun, but HE doesn't know that for sure until quite a bit further in the book. "A Lady's Secret" is a wonderful reunion with Jo Beverley's Malloren family, one of my cherished keeper series. It was my own stupidity that had this book sitting in my TBR pile (which should more correctly be called 'the Alps' vice 'pile') as even after reading the back cover blurb, I didn't connect it with the Malloren family. But then again, it was kind of like putting on your favorite jeans and finding a $20 bill in the back pocket! An unexpected, but serendipitous event.Robin, Earl of Huntersdown, is on his way back to England from a mission in France. He's still the fun-loving and adventurous man from earlier books, but with his father's death he knows it's only a matter of time before he's forced to face the responsibilities and accompanying boredom of life as The Earl. So when he catches sight of what appears to be a nun and hears her utter Italian curses, he's intrigued. And when he sees her face, he's captivated. She's a mystery and an enigma...and Robin is rather bored at the moment.Petra is on a flight for her freedom. Disguised as a nun, she's trying to reach the father she's never met, and who knows nothing of her, in England. It's either that, or become the mistress to a spoiled and dangerous nobleman back in Italy. All that protects her is her ingenuity, her bravery, and her nun's habit. Then she's surprised by a teacup of a dog...and her life will never be the same.Coquette the papillon dog is unarguably one of the funniest, and most endearing, secondary characters in this book. There are many scenes where she stole the show and I loved it. Petra is an astonishing woman for her time and it was hard not to admire her bravery, even during the times I thought she was foolhardy and rash. But overall, she's one of the more interesting heroines I've read so far this year. And once her father was revealed...well, enough about that. You'll have to read the book to find out. And Robin? Oh the confusion and consternation Petra brings to his life. I can't think of anyone more deserving and I am awed by the way Beverley uses his situation with Petra to silently spur his emotional and mental growth. Two characters, well three if you count Coquette, who will stay in my memory for a long time.Beverly's Malloren series is set in the Georgian era and her depictions are fabulous and fascinating. The action never really slows over the 409 pages of the entire story. Fans of the Malloren series MUST buy this book and I would guess those who read this without having read other books about the family will find themselves searching out the previous reads. Sexual tension, mystery, and suspense all liberally interspersed with heaping doses of humor and witty dialogue are all, for me, trademarks of a Jo Beverley story. "A Lady's Secret" didn't disappoint and if those tags sound interesting to you, I can't recommend this one enough.read more
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