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A Lady's Secret [Mass Market Paperback]

Jo Beverley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 4.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Book (1 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451224191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451224194
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jo Beverley writes bestselling historical romance novels. Publishers Weekly declared her "Arguably today's most skillful writer of intelligent historical romance..." Her work has been described as "Sublime!" by Booklist, and Romantic Times declared her to be "one of the great names of the genre."

She was born and raised in England and has a degree in history and American Studies from Keele University. She emigrated to Canada in 1976. In 2008 she returned to England and now lives in Devon. Her novels are set in the medieval, Georgian, and Regency periods and have won five RITAs, romance's top award, as well as many other accolades. She is one of twelve members of the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame.

She also writes some fantasy and science fiction in novellas and won the Sapphire Award for best SF romance for The Trouble With Heroes.... Her story, The Marrying Maid, was an honorable mention for Best SF of 2010.

For more about her work, please visit http://www.jobev.com

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Georgian rake meets fiery nun 14 May 2008
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jo Beverley's writing is usually a cut above the crowd and this book is no different. Set in the Georgian period (fifty years earlier than the Regency) and revisiting some characters from previous novels, this works really well as a standalone novel and an introduction to Beverley's style.

When Robin Fitzvitry, the Earl of Huntersdown, is travelling back to England from some time spent in Versailles, he is rather surprised to come across a cursing nun at an inn. He soon rescues Sister Immaculata from her drudgery as companion to a shrieking woman and her two children and they travel together onward towards England.

Things aren't quite as they seem, however. Sister Immaculata isn't quite a nun; Robin isn't quite who he introduced himself to her as - a gentleman, Mr Bonchurch - and both have other things to hide. They travel into danger at an isolated farmhouse as Sister Immaculata, Petra d'Averio, is pursued by a man from her home in Milan. Petra is travelling to London to meet her father for the first time, an English aristocrat, but she won't tell Robin who he is. Robin, for his part, wants Petra for his mistress but knows she can be no more to him because of her illegitimacy. As they travel together through France, across the Channel and as Petra strikes off on her own across Kent and Sussex the story keeps the reader's interest and the characters are great. The little papillon dog Coquette is amusing and both Petra and Robin are well drawn with enjoyable conversations between them.

The basic premise, that Petra would indeed go off with a strange man she meets at an inn, I found a bit difficult to believe but the rest of the story was a great read with interesting locations, historical details and a few plot twists. This is a book to enjoy.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book Helen Hancox 2008
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good 'un 21 April 2008
By Val Birbeck VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Over the last couple of years my "favourite" authors have been disappointing in characters and plot line
BUT this is another good plot and characters. Nice to meet characters from previous books, it makes the story more real, there really can't be limitless members of the aristocracy/nobility. It's also set in the Georgian, rather than the ubiquitious Regency period so favoured by most historical writers. It took them a long time to reach England, but what an adventure. Loved the main male character - Robin - and the introduction of other (hopefully future storylines) characters, and what can you say about . . . (sorry, I'll not spoil it)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, intrigueing, and thoroughly enjoyable 20 April 2008
By Terry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Lady's Secret combined everything I like best about the romance genre, along with refreshingly new settings and plot twists. The typical features I expect - handsome hero, beautiful adventurous heroine, boy-meets-girl-loses-girl-finds-girl plot, a bit of mystery - were all there and comfortingly familiar.

Jo Beverley, however, added enough new elements to make this book stand apart. Her time period (Georgian) is a bit early than than the usual Regency period, allowing us to enjoy a new, but not drastically new, historical context. Part of the book takes place in the French countryside, rather than strictly in London and England, and her heroine hails from Italy. Again, this allows the author to introduce us to new perspectives and broader horizons, while still staying close to the genre I enjoy.

Her hero and heroine are both a delight. I liked them and sympathized with them. Both characters make mistakes and are quite human.

The "secret" referred to in the title is a realistic one, and something that certainly occurred yet is rarely addressed so openly. This is an intelligent book that an intelligent reader will take pleasure in reading.

I was especially delighted to reunite with the Malloren clan in this book. Rothgar is one of the most outstandingly unique characters in romance, and I was delighted at the plot twist that brought him into the story.

In fact, I wish there could have been more Malloren involvement in this book. I recommend all of the books in the Malloren family saga.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific. 21 April 2008
By Detra Fitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robin Fitzvitry, the Earl of Huntersdown, is en route home from Versailles. When he spies a nun muttering curses, Robin cannot help but smell a mystery; and Robin loves a good mystery. The lady going by the outrageous name of Sister Immaculata needs to escape her traveling companion, Lady Sodworth, and the Lady's two spoiled brats. Seeing some amusement as he travels, Robin offers to help the Sister reach England as quickly as possible. During the ride, Robin intends to learn all the secrets the good Sister is hiding.

Petronilla "Petra" Maria d'Averio has spent years with her widowed mother in an Italian convent. Recently her mother has died, leaving Petra in danger. Her only hope is to reach England and locate her father, who has no idea she even exists. Her father is an English lord, so there is a chance he will not want anything to do with her. First, though, Petra must reach England. She is being pursued by a possessive and dangerous man. Therefore, she jumps at the offer from Robin. He clears does not believe Petra is a nun and has made it clear that during their travels he fully intends to coax all her secrets from her. The travel time should not be more than a few days, but Petra finds herself becoming attracted to the young aristocrat - whoever he really is. But Robin is her only hope.

***** Author Jo Beverley has a one of the best imaginations I have encountered in years! Those few days of journey for the main characters are filled with not only Petra's pursuers, but also unexpected dangers. Petra's secrets are neither blurted out from the start, nor kept hidden until the end of the story. Instead, they begin to slowly emerge during her travels with Robin. Once in England their adventures get even more complicated, involving a prayer book. Absolutely terrific! *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 5 April 2008
By sahara836 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Georgian world of the Mallorens that Jo Beverley does so well sparkles as always, and this one was much more engaging than I found her last few forays into that world. The characters face one adventure after another as they travel through rural France and England, and the fast paced action will keep you riveted. The chemistry is strong, and the characters likeable. In addition to the protagonists, she revisits some old favorites, and introduces a few new characters whose stories I hope will follow soon. My only complaint was the inordinately frequent use of the word 'cock', in every conceivable context - it became sort of a plot point, but it got old quickly. But certainly not enough so to detract from the overall fun of this book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JoBev in fine form 14 April 2008
By Beanbag Love - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really liked these two leads. Very nice combination and their chemistry was undeniable. There's definitely a love-at-first-sight thing going on, but really they seem so made for each other it's perfectly believable.

One complaint I have -- and this goes for a lot of books that are part of a 'world' or series -- is that when a character that is known from another book is mentioned, I really want to see that character and sooner rather than later. Several characters were mentioned here and we went through half the book before we ever got to see them. The reason this is a peeve of mine is that the knowledge we're going to see them or might see them is a distraction from the current story at hand. So it's best to get it out of the way in my opinion.

I would have liked to have seen more of the Mallorens. And a little more emotion on their part. They seemed to be lacking their usual spark. I would have liked for them to come in sooner so we could spend more time with them and see some things from their POV. As it was they seemed to be lifeless props. And some events that were important and would have been nice to actually see were handled with a quickie hindsight summary.

But as usual Jo Beverley wins me over and I give it four stars. I love the Malloren series, but whenever I pick up a new installment I want Mallorens. All of them. Please.

Looking forward to more books in this world. JoBev seems to be setting up an off-shoot with this hero and his friends. At least I hope that's what is happening because I always want more!
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance fairly tame...but fun, eventful, and fast-paced story 27 April 2008
By statengirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An Italian `nun' on-the-run in France is aided by a handsome English earl in this entertaining road-trip romance. Sister Immaculata, real name Petra D'Avario, is fleeing from a powerful married Milanese count that is obsessed with making her his mistress. Petra is desperate to get to England and the safety of her aristocratic English father - who does not even know she exists! At a difficult point in her travels she meets Robin, a charming English tourist, who persuades her to accept his help in getting to England. Petra dresses in traditional religious garb, but Robin doubts she is truly a nun and shamelessly flirts with her as he tries to uncover her secrets. Robin views their journey as a fun adventure to relieve his boredom. He does not foresee the danger ahead from the count's brutal henchmen, nor the threat to his carefree bachelor days from his brave and beautiful damsel in distress.

Jo Beverley is a consistently good writer - she really has a beautiful writing style - and I have a soft spot for road-trip romances. This one is lighthearted with good pacing, lots of action, first-rate dialogue, and a fun and likable hero and heroine. Perilous moments abound, but the bad guys are essentially cartoon characters who do not harm the story's optimism. There is good chemistry between Petra and Robin but, alas, no great heat, with their love scenes few and far between. In fact, soon after the couple becomes intimate, they are separated for 136 pages - one-third of the story! Events remain quite interesting during this interval, and the intrepid pair sweetly pines for one another, but it nonetheless takes something away from the romance. Overall, this is an entertaining, involving, and well-written tale of hope and faith...but one that recommends itself more for the general story than for the intensity of the love affair. 3 1/2 - 4 stars
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