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Secrets of the Heart [Mass Market Paperback]

Candace Camp
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Books (Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373771622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373771622
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 11.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,100,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book by Camp Candace

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely written if a bit predictable 8 Sep 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rachel and Michael end up in a cold, loveless marriage after she tries to elope with another man on the eve of their wedding. She feels guilt and shame and thinks he's only married her to uphold the family name - and he doesn't want to force himself on her although he loves her still.
The frozen state of their marriage starts to thaw when Michael's involvement in a Bow Street investigation leads him to the supposed murder of Rachel's former love's wife. Rachel gets drawn into the investigation and Michael employs his mastery of disguise to win the wife he secretly loves.
The thawing of the relationship is well done (though you can't believe they've gone so many years being married to each other without seeing what's under thier noses!) The attempted seduction of Rachel by Michael under the guise of his half-brother is fun, and Rachel's development from seemingly cold-hearted prig to a woman of action is also good. Michael is the better character of the two - I did find myself getting quite irritated with Rachel in the earlier part of the book. However, once it gets going you do find yourself caring what happens to them - always a sign of a good book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets of the Heart 29 Oct 2011
By vipa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good condition. Excellent book.I enjoyed reading it very much. I have passed this onto my sister, who is also very pleased with the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets of the Heart 28 Jan 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been searching for this book for ages,I was amazed at the very good condition considering it was classed as second hand.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars secrets of the heart 15 Sep 2014
By junek
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
love Candace camp stories
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as the reviews 27 Jun 2004
By S. Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First the criticisms. Yes, this book is sometimes quite slow, with Camp doing a lot of telling. It is an unfortunate necessity since the protagonists have lived with a sham marriage for 7 years. The reader needs to know their history, and there is no easy way to convey all that. So the first half of the book is a bit slow while the author gives the reader all the necessary info. In addition, if you've read the other books (or either) recently, the redundancy is annoying. Read some other things in between to alleviate that problem.
Michael and Rachel have indeed built their own individual prisons that keep them from recognizing the truth about their relationship, their feelings, and each other. Indeed, they do not know each other at all. Their oh-so-polite marriage is something both want changed, but they feel helpless to do anything about it after so many years. But then rumors crop up, misunderstandings are set up, and the pursuit of truth leads to an untenable situation in which Michael must pretend he's his illegitimate half-brother, and Rachel must find an inner reserve of strength and struggle with what she thinks are adulterous feelings. Her "revenge" when she finds out that Michael's been deceiving her is priceless!
I found the mystery in this book to be interesting and slightly surprising. I like it when I don't have it totally figured out well before the villain is revealed. The book also features a decent cast of secondary characters.
Rachel grows a lot in the book, discovering inner depths and suppressed dreams. Michael shows that he's more than a kind but distant gentleman; he's also a highly intelligent investigator and talented master of disguise who has loved her since the day he met her.
Get through the first 1/3 or so of the book, and the pace really picks up. As for the far-fetched idea that Rachel doesn't recognize her husband: they live apart most of the year, they really don't know each other well, they've never consummated the marriage, Michael is a master of disguise, Rachel hardly expects him to be doing what he's doing, and people tend to believe what they want to believe. Put all that together, and it's not quite so far-fetched for the short time that she's hoodwinked. She is still rather naive at that point in the story, after all.
It's a 3 & 1/2 star book, but I'm giving it 4 stars to help its overall rating. It's really not a bad book.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than any reviewer indicated!! 12 Mar 2005
By J. Brennan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am so glad I do not select my books by some of the negative reviews given here. I had just completed Devin and Miranda's story and was so happy I had already purchased the book on Michael and Rachel. First off, I love series books, if done well, and the characters are able to be developed so thoroughly that one really comes to care about them in depth. Just enough of Michael and Rachel was in the first book that you immediately loved and cared about both of them and so wanted them to have the love that other siblings had.

This couple just got off on the wrong foot so to speak, and neither seemed gusty enough to break out from the pattern they had established. On the eve of her wedding to Michael Trent, the Earl of Westhampton, Rachel Aincourt tried to elope with another man. Her plan failed and she was returned to Michael but she refused to accept this man as her husband for real. Rachel just felt this now was her life and what she deserved, trapped in a loveless marriage. Michael hides so much from his wife and this contributes severely to them ever becoming close. He doesn't even tell her that he works as a Bow Street Runner, which of course becomes a major part of the story.

A pattern of stilted awkwardness had developed when either got to close or things became too intimate and both were so wanting this to change but seemed locked into their own prisons, refusing to bend or recognize the potential for love in their relationship. Rachel had become much less afraid and more gutsy, perhaps because of her sisters influence.

The interesting twist that Michael had a double life and really was able to be a totally different person. When Rachel suddenly stumbled on this other person, James, and found Michael's alter ego, the man she always wanted to love and desperately wanted to make love to things really do heat up. Finally the ice melts for this couple and seven long years later they have blissful passion.

The mystery that surrounded their lives was just enough to intrigue the reader without taking away from what was the main story, their developing love story. I don't really understand how anyone could feel this a dull read. As part of this overall series I could only, happily give it five wonderful stars.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uneven writing -- needed a good editor 24 Jun 2006
By E. Kelch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I like Candace Camp, and I like the general plot of this book--two married people finding unexpected love with each other. But this book was really wooden in parts. I agree with the other reviewer who said Ms. Camp does a lot of "telling." I found the parts where she tells the reader what happened in the other books in the trilogy especially unnecessary and dull. Why didn't Ms. Camp's editor cut out the superfluous material (like a page on what Rachel is embroidering on a christening gown)?

Rachel's and Michael's characters aren't very believable, either. On the one hand, Rachel's a naive socialite who enjoys her life of fashion criticism and gossip; on the other, an assertive detective who yearns for meaningful work? And Michael: a passionate investigator and master of disguise with successful relationships at many social levels; but a diffident bookish type who won't approach his own wife over -seven years- and can't discover she'd welcome him? I'll try another Camp book, but this is not her best work.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could have been done better. 18 Oct 2004
By a-wish-upon-a-star - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I didn't like this book, but not because it was slow. I didn't mind the slow part, and I did think it was necessary to explain how the circumstances of their marriage was the way it was.

But . . .

First, I had really come to like Michael from the first two books in the series. He comes across as a steady, reliable person, with a lot of depth. In short, I had really come to like him. I did not recognize Michael at all in this book. He acts totally out of character for how I had expected the other Michael to act. Also, I felt that Michael deserved better than second-hand love, a love that was given to him "because he was always there", that "she could come to like him also". I really think Michael deserved better than that, he deserved to have his wife love him for all his real qualities. Instead, Michael comes across as Rachel's second choice - we never actually see her totally renouncing her first love. (And she could easily have done so - who hasn't had a first, yet long ago love?)

Second, Rachel does not get developed at all this book. We get to see that she's beautiful - and that men desire her - but that's it. I know she's quiet - but even quiet people can have SOME personality.

Third, even though I usually like mysteries as a subplot, and the mystery was quite good, having read all Agatha Christie's books, it was all to obvious who the culprit was. (There, I gave you a really big hint).

Candace Camp, as always, writes beautifully, and it is always a pleasure to read a novel of hers, even if I didn't like the characters.

In her defense, I would have to say that she had set the book up to be a very hard one to do - a marriage that was a sham for ten years to suddenly turn into a real one is a very difficult concept to pull off well - but I guess I was expecting some kind of flash of brilliance, which this book definitely did not have.

Oh, and the name Lillith, by the way, is a very funny one to use for such a nice lady. I'm sure she didn't know that the original Lillith was the demon of sexual temptation in Jewish lore! The person who should have been named Lillith was actually Lady Vesey!

I wish Ms. Camp would re-write this book!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars electrifying historical romantic suspense 2 Feb 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Seven years ago, her father arranged for her to marry an Earl, Michael Trent, but she loved another. So Rachel Aincourt eloped with her beloved Anthony Birkshaw, but Michael and her father catch up the duo before she is compromised. Michael marries a heartbroken Rachel.
Michael loves his spouse when he married her and still does, but he hides his feelings because he knows she still cherishes another. He also hides from her his work as a Bow St. runner behind the face of a quiet aristocratic gentleman. Starting with her carriage being stopped by a highwayman who acts like a friend of her husband to being led by Anthony into the London slums, Rachel enters her husband's other life. When they meet with him in disguise, Rachel finds herself attracted not knowing that the stranger is her spouse. While she works through her feelings, someone else has other plans for her and the men in her life.
SECRETS OF THE HEART is an exciting Regency romance that hooks the audience from the moment Rachel's coach is stopped. The story line is fast-paced and readers will fully appreciate Michael, a sort of Scarlet Pimpernel though not a dandy, and wonder about Rachel's immaturity, mindful of Marguerite though no Citizen Chauvelin pressure. Fans of an electrifying historical romantic suspense will want to read Candace Camp's pleasant thriller.
Harriet Klausner
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