Title: Lord of Secrets
Author: Erica Ridley
Genre: Historical Romance
Date of Publication: 15th June, 2018
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Heath Grenville is the problem-solver for London’s elite. Unmask the devious cretin skewering the ton with audacious caricatures? With pleasure. His success should keep the powerful happy. But when his work leads him to a young lady outside his class, surely he won’t do anything so scandalous as to fall in love…
By day, Miss Eleanora Winfield is a proper, unremarkable paid companion. By night, Nora’s skillful hands sketch the infamous penny caricatures rocking high society. Nora desperately needs the money…and her anonymity. But how can she keep them both, when she’s fallen for the one man whose livelihood and reputation requires him to expose her?
The reviews on Goodreads are very positive, so this is a case of ‘it’s not the book, it’s me’. Although I liked Nora and Heath, I didn’t engage emotionally with their developing romance and the supporting cast of characters were fine, but nothing to write home about.
I will note that this story has a couple that take the time to get to know each other personally instead of falling in insta-lust, which is something I really have to commend the author for because I always want more of that! The couple’s devotion to their respective family members was lovely and I enjoyed Heath’s interactions with his sisters and Nora’s with Lady Roundtree, but it’s not a great sign that I felt more interest in the family dynamics than I did in their romance. There wasn’t much chemistry between them at the start, and while I liked them as friends, I didn’t feel it was believable that they felt this consuming passion for each other that would explain why they HAD to torment themselves with visions of the future they supposedly couldn’t have.
The main problem was that the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of their wildly varying social classes with Nora being a commoner and Heath being a titled lord expected to marry well kept being repeated ad nauseum. I started bookmarking every time the whole ‘I want him/her, but we’re not meant to beee‘ refrain came up, but then stopped because it was in EVERY. SINGLE. CHAPTER. We get it! This isn’t difficult to grasp! There was a marked lack of angst or dramatic tension, so it was as though the author had to keep falling back on this one obstacle to keep the story going and it had me gritting my teeth just wishing the characters would forget each other and move on already.
If you’re in the mood for a low-stakes fluffy romance, this will suit you well. Again, I seem to be the lone critical voice as the majority of reviews are filled with glowing praise, so this is a book that seems to work for most readers. Alas, it just wasn’t for me!
Personal Rating: 3 out of 5 kitties approve this book.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a digital copy free from WebMotion via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.