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Secrets of the Heart by Mary Balogh. Sarah was as wildly in love with the Duke of Cranwell as he was with her And that, midst great public scandal, ended their marriage almost before it began. Then in fashionable Bath their paths crossed again. The stunningly beautiful Sarah knew it was folly to think this dashing and sought-after lord would ever get over her shocking betrayal. His fury made it painfully clear that they should separate again, this time forever. Sarah could find a thousand arguments against the wisdom - or likelihood - of so miserable an edict.
For one, the duke's ridiculous masculine pride was no match for the sensuous power of her affection for him Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 5th by Signet first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4.
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More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Secrets of the Heart. Jan 31, Ilze rated it did not like it Shelves: mary-balogh. As a rule, I love Mary Balogh's books. This one, however, was hard to read and hard to finish for 2 reasons: the heroine is just too stupid to believe in the hero is not much better and the villain is just too convincing. In fact, the villain of this story is such an amazingly convincing depiction of a psychopath that he leaps off the page and turns what is supposed to be a romance into a horror story. Not exactly what I was looking for when I started the book View all 3 comments.
Mar 25, Gilgamesha rated it did not like it. I am not mad about the way the heroine acted. She behaved like a true victim of a heinous crime.
Also her behavior was historically accurate The hero also behaved like a typical confused man who didn't know whether to be fair or uphold the unfairness of society against woman. What really really really ticked me off about this book was that the villain only got a bad beating for all his despicable beh I am not mad about the way the heroine acted. What really really really ticked me off about this book was that the villain only got a bad beating for all his despicable behavior. He should've been exposed for safety of other young girls and he should've been punished severely like transported to suffer for the rest of his days But he didn't.
I hate this book because of that alone. Jun 06, Jessa rated it liked it Shelves: non-con , historical-romance , second-chance-romance , uptight , abuse. I actually liked this one more while reading it, but after the fact, I thought about it and realized how indignant I really was over Sarah's treatment by the men in her life.
I understand Winston, because he's supposed to be garbage, but George was so shabby towards her for far too long. That being said, something I liked that doesn't happen often is that there was an actual divorce between the two mains. It's always threatened in books but never happens, but I felt like this was realistic, beca I actually liked this one more while reading it, but after the fact, I thought about it and realized how indignant I really was over Sarah's treatment by the men in her life. Jul 27, tacitus rated it really liked it.
I know a lot of people found it hard to like this one because of the villain. I think another reviewer said the villain was so realistically psychopathic, that it turned the book into more of a horror story than a romance novel. Still, I think the strong villain really makes this story! The triumph of the hero and heroine means more if the obstacle they must overcome is all that more difficult--or in this case, evil. I did have some serious issues with the behavior I know a lot of people found it hard to like this one because of the villain.
I did have some serious issues with the behavior of the hero and heroine, but they are all aspects typical of Balogh. Her characters are often very reticent, keeping secrets for far too long, never speaking when they should, etc.
Secrets of the Heart | Book 1, Arcadia Valley | Author Lee Tobin McClain
I'm starting to think this is the curse of English people, since half of Austen's characters behave the same way! I do have to object, however, to the heroine's misplaced self-righteousness. She spends the entire book convincing the hero that she is something she isn't for good reasons, though , yet decides to act outraged and offended when the hero treats her exactly like the thing she has pretended to be. Well, how dare he!? It's not like she didn't go out of her way to foster his misapprehension.
How can she then accuse him of bad behavior? She also resorted to the modern-influenced speech about the "unfairness" of the double-standard between men and women. While I agree with this as a modern person, I don't think it belongs in an historic novel. I don't think women of that era would ever have said such a thing, or perhaps even thought it. Women enforced the double-standard as much as men did.
Another pet peeve and this applies to most of Balogh's works is that the villain almost always gets off light. They are either not punished at all for their heinous crimes, or their punishments are ephemeral and only mildly satisfying. I will only say that the crimes of this villain deserved death, and he didn't get it.
Secrets of the Heart
Jan 31, Twiggy rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-romance , abused-heroine , heroine-raped , heroine-tstl , spoilers. Mary balogh is always a guaranteed good read. She also always manages to capture angst, guilt and shame very well. The story starts out with the heroine Sarah going to live with a distant cousin in Bath. It emerges that she was abused by her step cousin over the course of two summers: the first summer he starts touching her inappropriately and thereafter the next year he raped her on three occasions.
I did feel that there was a degree of realism in terms of her inability to tell her aunt and unc Mary balogh is always a guaranteed good read. I did feel that there was a degree of realism in terms of her inability to tell her aunt and uncle what was going on due to fear and shame. Sarah became more withdrawn until the hero a duke called George then meets her and is drawn to her. He eventually brings her out of her shell and they marry.
Sarah feels unable to inform the h what has happened and is afraid of the wedding night. When the h discovers that she was not a virgin, he takes this very badly and calls her a whore and then abandons her. Sarah feels very guilty about what happened and determines to allow the duke to free himself of her. She wrongly admits to adultery and a divorce is obtained in parliament causing terrible scandal. She then goes and lives quietly in the country for four years. When we meet the heroine the villain has stolen all her money and she is living with a distant cousin as a last resort.
All parties hide their relationship as the H is living under a different name than that known in the scandal. The duke initially makes fairly cruel comments to Sarah and accuses her if whoredom on a number of occasions but despite this she continues to love him. What I found to be incredible is that despite all the wrongs that winston the villain has done her and that he makes her flesh crawl, is that she continues to associate with him; she allows him to be alone with her and to further threaten and manipulate her. Why did she not simply refuse his company or deny him access?? There is one scene when she is alone in the house and he calls , yet she tells the maid to shut the door as he is her cousin - and then is surprised when he threatens her and inappropriately touches her again!!!
This just did not make any sense!!
He also steals more money from her - although I could not get over the fact that despite ALL that had gone before including her knowledge of his debts, dishonesty, and lack of faith that he would actually marry her that she was stupid enough to have actually given him the money in advance of the wedding. It was just incredible! In any event things come to a head at the duke's country estate.
They all live happily ever after. There were many things that did not make sense in this story and the heroine just consistently made things worse for herself; divorce was a terrible scandal at the time and did not fit with the personality of the hero, who was presented as truly worthy - but yet cruel to the heroine. Also the fact that none of the other characters clued into to the reality of winston was quite difficult - it made the hero seem quite unheroic! Nonetheless it was a good read with well drawn personalities and emotions and Ms Balogh does not disappoint. Apr 23, Christine rated it really liked it Shelves: romance.
With her parents dead, her only brother feeble-minded, and her aunt and uncle beliving their son was the sun and the moon, she had no one in whom she could confide, and she kept the terrible secret. She thought herself ruined, buying into the idea that a woman's virtue is her most important asset. As sad and as difficult as that was 4.
As sad and as difficult as that was to accept as a premise for what ended up keeping the hero and heroine apart, it rang unfortunately all too true and all too plausible. Sarah falls in love with George and marries him, but when he discovers her lack of virginity, they argue and she ends up pushing him away into divorce. There was a part of me, especially early in this story, that kept shouting, "Just tell him the truth!
It will all be okay if you'd just tell him! They meet again 4 years later, and circumstances force them into one another's spheres.