LORD OF SECRETS by Alyssa Everett

Carina Press, March 25, 2013

BLURB:

Somewhere on the North Atlantic, 1820 –Rosalie Whitwell has spent most of her life sailing the globe with her adventurous father, dreaming of the day she can settle in one place long enough to have a home and family of her own. When her father suffers a fatal heart attack in the middle of the North Atlantic, Rosalie turns in her panic to a fellow passenger—the cool, reclusive Lord Deal.

For years David Linney, Marquess of Deal, has avoided the society of others. Even so, he’s drawn to his lovely shipmate, like him the victim of family tragedy. As the voyage nears its end, Lord Deal is compelled to propose. But on their wedding night, Rosalie gets an unwelcome surprise: her handsome husband is strangely reluctant to  consummate the marriage. Does she fall short of her groom’s expectations? Or is he hiding a secret past that only she can unlock?

RHL Classifications

Historical Romance, Post War England (1820)

Heat Rating 2

Rating 4 Stars

Reviewed by Lady Blue

Rosalie and her father are sailing back from America to England, one of many journeys they have made in recent years.  Also a passenger is Lord Deal (David) who is very aloof, and rebuffs any overtures of friendship or even conversation.  Rosalie returns to their cabin one evening to find that her father has died.  In her grief and panic, she runs to the first cabin she comes to, which happens to be David’s.  In spite of his reluctance to become involved, he feels compassion and comforts Rosalie.  Over the remaining days of the voyage, it becomes apparent that Rosalie’s future options are very limited.  David proposes marriage, and Rosalie, already half in love with him, accepts.

It’s obvious that David finds Rosalie attractive, but he is unwilling to consummate the marriage.  We know that something has happened in his past to shape him into the person he is, but the author is very skilled at keeping us guessing.

Rosalie begins to draw David slowly back into local society.  He had believed that the townspeople despised him, and they, in turn, felt abandoned and neglected by him.  Reconciliation begins to happen, and life improves.  Still, David won’t come to Rosalie’s bed, and she believes he just does not desire her.  In reality, it is his guilt over his past that keeps him from her.

When we finally (at last) find out David’s secret, it is something major, not just something that he had built up in his mind.  It will take a very strong woman to be able to accept what he has done, and go forward.  Rosalie’s strength and intelligence are just what David needs to lean on in order to let go of his past.

This story was engrossing and moved quickly.  There was the theme of redemption, which is much used, but the plot was different enough to make it fresh. (Besides, I don’t tire of tales of redemption.)  I enjoyed reading this book very much, and recommend it.

This will be available from amazon.com as an ebook for $2.51.

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