Monday, April 5, 2010

A Secret Affair-

A Secret Affair
Mary Balogh
Delacorte, May 25 2010, $24.00
ISBN: 9780385343305

The Ton has a low opinion of Duchess Hannah Reid. The widow married a man much older than her when she was a teen so everyone assumed she wed him for his money. Surprisingly during their decade together she adored her septuagenarian spouse, but no one would believe that. In fact the other assumption made about the duchess is that all her escorts are her paramours. She has no friends except Miss Barbara "Babs" Leavensworth as everyone else gives her the cold shoulder ever since her spouse died. One year has passed since the Duke's death and Hannah went into mourning. Now she will heed the advice of her mentor, her late husband, to do what she wants as an affluent widow she can do anything she desires.

Hannah decides to have a lover; contrary to belief her first. She selects Mister Constantine "Con" Huxtable, who every season picks a new mistress. He would never have considered Hannah, but she gives him no choice. As they become lovers, they also become friends and perhaps much more.

The last Huxtable family Regency romance (see At Last Comes Love and Then Comes Seduction) is an intriguing affair due to the initially unlikable lead female protagonist who comes across as a frozen tundra until her anointed lover melts the ice surrounding her heart. The story line uses flashes into Hannah’s past that reveal how she became the icy duchess. Readers will empathize with her, but wonder what happened to Con who never really comes alive as the lead. Still fans will enjoy the final Huxtable historical with the rest of the extended family making appearances.

Harriet Klausner

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