Hannah, the Duchess of Dumbarton has created such a prison. One would think she would discard the façade; after all, she is free at last. After ten years of marriage to the Duke of Dumbarton she is finally able to experience what her 80-year-old husband could not provide - lust between the bed sheets. With her pick of worldly and sophisticated men of the ton she chooses an unlikely partner, Mr. Constantine Huxtable – the Devil himself.  And you know what happens when a woman picks a devil, aka a rake, a wastrel, a rouge, a scoundrel -- a man who has a new lover at the beginning of every London season?  When a woman chooses such a ‘man’– ooh, la, la, lust filled weeks just might turn into love.  However, there would be no story if they simply feel into bed and lived in lustful bliss for eternity.  In the capable hands of author Mary Balogh, we get drama, intrigue and most of all the unraveling of secrets between the tangling of the beds sheets.

A Secret Affair is more than just Hannah and Constantine having an affair and keeping it under wraps from the rest of the ton.  (Although if you are at all familiar with the drawing room gossip of Regency London, you know trysts were the main topic of conversation.) No, it’s the secrets they both keep that have isolated them from everyone. Hannah and Constantine’s back stories are not your typical fodder for romance.  While both are portrayed as icy, uncaring and all consumed with themselves, they each have a  life hidden from others - a life no one would suspect or expect. The secret affair between them is what finally unravels the secrets in their lives, like the petals of a rose falling away to reveal the heart of the matter.

This is a romantic journey of discovery as the hero and heroine remove the façades  piece by piece and finally realize that they are not islands alone with no hope of ever crossing the water that separates them from life.

This is the final book in the Huxtable family saga.  Released last year in hardcover, it becomes available this month in paperback.  

Do you wear a different face for different occasions?


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by wyntermoon on ‎01-10-2011 06:50 PM

I have read only one book in the Huxtable series, it was Then Comes Seduction...this one sounds great as well, I will have to check it out.

by bookscoutDR on ‎01-17-2011 11:44 PM

To fully appreciate Constantine's story, I advise reading the first book in the series, First Comes Marriage. THe rift between Constantine and his cousin is explained and complicated in that book. What makes A Secret Affair so satisfying is finding out the truth of the allegation that is made against Constantine.