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Lord Sebastian's Secret

Lord Sebastian's Secret

2.5 6
by Jane Ashford

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A Passionate and Whimsical Regency Tale from Bestselling Author Jane Ashford

Will the secrets that brought them together tear them apart?

Proud. Cunning. Battle-hardened. Lord Sebastian Gresham is the epitome of military might and excellence. He's wealthy. The son of a Duke. There's just one problem: he


A Passionate and Whimsical Regency Tale from Bestselling Author Jane Ashford

Will the secrets that brought them together tear them apart?

Proud. Cunning. Battle-hardened. Lord Sebastian Gresham is the epitome of military might and excellence. He's wealthy. The son of a Duke. There's just one problem: he can't read. It's those damned words. He doesn't see them in the same way everyone else does. It's a secret he'll never tell, certainly not to his new bride-to-be.

Brilliant. Witty. Beautiful. Lady Georgina Stane has always known she'd make the perfect bride, that is, if her eccentric family didn't scare off every potential suitor from London to Bath. After carefully orchestrating a London season with her parents out of the picture, she secured an engagement to an impeccable gentleman. And when Lord Sebastian arrives at her family's estate to meet her parents, she's not about to let their antics ruin her perfect marriage.

But what happens when these two learn that some secrets aren't so easy to keep?

The Duke's Sons Series:
Heir to the Duke (Book 1)
What the Duke Doesn't Know (Book 2)
Lord Sebastian's Secret (Book 3)
Nothing Like a Duke (Book 4, coming May 2017)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ashford’s third Duke’s Sons Regency (after What the Duke Doesn’t Know) introduces more delightful characters who feel appropriate to the period while dealing with challenges that resonate with the modern reader. She seasons the story with plenty of teasing brotherly warmth and good-natured hijinks in the name of love. Soldier and self-proclaimed dullard Lord Sebastian Gresham travels to the country home of his clever betrothed, Georgina Stane, and is welcomed by her distracted mother’s roving pack of pugs, an elegant guest from India brought in to indulge her father’s current obsession with reincarnation, and two younger sisters intent on pushing Georgina and Sebastian’s wedding date up in the hopes of a quicker escape to their sister’s future London household. Sebastian navigates the challenges of the Stane family with ease but fears humiliation if Georgina and her family discover that he cannot read. Ashford’s vivid characters and lively plots that drop surprise adventures in the midst of courting give the series a spirit of fun. The underlying message, that quirks and struggles should be no impediment to familial or romantic love, is conveyed with warmth and tenderness. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Delightful Regency romance . . . this is one I will reread again and again. 5 Stars. TOP PICK" - Night Owl Reviews

"A comic delight. Highly recommended to Regency lovers." - Historical Novel Society

"A busy and steamy romance
" - Kirkus

"Marvelously inventive." - Booklist

"Vivid characters and lively plots . . . The underlying message, that quirks and struggles should be no impediment to familial or romantic love, is conveyed with warmth and tenderness." - Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
They're perfect for each other—but their families aren't.Lord Sebastian Gresham has done the unbelievable and somehow landed himself the beautiful and intelligent Lady Georgina Stane as his future wife. As a younger son of the Duke of Langford, he's unlikely to inherit, so he has made a career in the military while hiding his dyslexia from everybody except his valet and trying to avoid notice. As the book begins, his happy ending is in sight: he just has to get through a few weeks with his future in-laws. This turns out to be harder than he anticipates, because even though Georgina's father, the Marquess of Pembridge, comes from a very proper noble line, he and his family are unusual. "All families had their oddities," as Georgina says hopefully, but hers has a father of intense academic obsessions, a mother who breeds and keeps pugs, and two nosy sisters. Sebastian and Georgina simply want to marry and spend a quiet, normal life together, but the weeks before their wedding keep presenting challenges. Georgina is the model of a perfect Regency heroine, with her family her only flaw, so it is in Sebastian that the book finds its true protagonist. His trouble reading and belief that he's "thick" are important to the plot, but rather than using them to elicit pity, Ashford shows that intelligence and heroism can take many forms. The plot meanders and is stuffed with several pratfalls, including an ongoing clumsy attempt to portray how the British might have misunderstood Hindu theology. But though Ashford (What the Duke Doesn't Know, 2016, etc.) has a tendency to distract from the sweet and pure romance between Sebastian and Georgina, it is their love that ultimately brings the book together and makes it satisfy. A busy and steamy romance where the conflict is a bit manufactured but the love is not.

Product Details

Publication date:
The Duke's Sons , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 3.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, and Spain as well as the United States. Born in Ohio, she currently lives in the Boston area.

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Lord Sebastian's Secret 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
gaele 11 months ago
Sebastian Graham is a brilliant strategist on the battlefield, but completely out of his element in society and libraries. For years he has struggled to hide his difficulties with reading and deciphering the written word, but hand him a battle plan overview and he’s everyone’s golden boy. He’s convinced that if the woman he is utterly in love with discovers this secret, he’ll lose her forever. Georgina Stane is gorgeous and bright, and fortunately her family is rich enough to be considered eccentric rather than utterly crazy. For they are – wholly unconventional and outrageous. Two terrible parents who veer wildly from utterly absent to so present and imposing that one can see how Georgina is able to accept a bit of ‘unusual’ in her life. And then as a couple – I had real issues. This story is overburdened with too many characters, al placed for one or another reason that may have been in earlier books – but completely unfathomable reasons here when we consider the plot moving forward, and I would have much preferred more dialogue between the two. Their connection, physically, was problematic, as their sensual scenes felt awkward and hesitant. In my opinion, the story would have been better served with the removal of those scenes, as they are written as if the author is uncomfortable, and would have preferred to leave them out. There wasn’t a ton of emotion in here unless one considers Sebastian. He was struggling and moving on, trying to find compensations for what would now be diagnosed as dyslexia, and he’s still determined to be kind, protective, and happy in spite of those worries. It just wasn’t a book that carried a flow for me, making the story a bit more difficult and longer to read. With humor that comes more from the antics and behaviors of others that borders on crazy unrealistic, this is a story best enjoyed by those who enjoyed earlier titles in the story to have some background on the ‘events in London’ that appear to have such an influence on the couple. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
nhr3bookcrazyNR 8 months ago
This is the first book in this series that I have read. I enjoyed it, but I felt it was a bit slow at times. I thought the characters were nice enough, and seemed like a perfect fit for one another. I have to say, that at times it was a bit far-fetched, but overall I thought it was a sweet book. I would read more in the series.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks 11 months ago
Jane Ashford's regency romance series, The Duke's Sons, continues in Lord Sebastian's Secret. Sebastian Gresham is prepared to marry Georgina Stane, the young heiress he met during the past London season. At Stane Castle though, Sebastian and Georgina face secrets and a quirky family that threaten their relationship. The story itself was not as exciting as I thought it would be, but it had some moments of levity that set it apart from other regency novels I've read. While some are stuffy and focus more on setting the scene through lengthy descriptions and fancy dialogue, Lord of Secrets is quite the opposite. The story is very character based, so all the attention is on Georgina and Sebastian, and Georgina's quirky family. The Stane family is quite unconventional and a threat to the marriage. Georgina is worried that Sebastian will be turned off by them, but Sebastian is hiding a secret that he believes will cause Georgina to regret their pending nuptials. Georgina and Sebastian were so obviously into each other from the very outset of the novel, so their doubts and insecurities about the marriage started to feel repetitive. If I as the reader felt doubts about their relationship I think it would have added some suspense to the story, but it was really plain how the story would play out. The road to get there, littered with obstacles from various members of the household, is another matter entirely. From pugnacious pugs to an obstinate father obsessed with reincarnation, something comes between Georgina and Sebastian over and over again. After a certain point in the novel I felt like I was reading just to get to the end. I didn't expect any surprises, but sometimes when you start a novel it's easier to just finish it. Maybe the fourth book in the series, Nothing Like a Duke, will be a little more wild and unpredictable. *eARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
BuckeyeAngel 11 months ago
Lord Sebastian Gresham is hiding a secret, he can’t read. So far, he’s been able to hide that fact, but now he’s engaged and must figure out how to hide it from his fiance. Lady Georgina Stane is now engaged to Lord Sebastian. He’s coming to her home, but once he meets her family and the secret on how eccentric they are, she’s afraid he will end their engagement. This had an interesting premise, but unfortunately I just couldn't’ get into it. I got about ⅓ of the way in and, considering Sebastian ran smack into Georgina’s secret with the first few pages, it just seemed to drag with no hope of really picking up. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Anonymous 12 months ago
Lord Sebastian Gresham, son of the duke of Langford, is engaged to Lady Georgina Stane and is heading to Stane Castle in Herefordshire before their wedding to meet her parents, Charlotte, Marchioness of Pembridge and her father, Alfred the Marquess. Georgina’s mother loves Pug dogs and breeds them. The woman’s life seems to revolve around the dogs and Georgina’s father loves local history. Sebastian meets Georgina’s two sisters, Emma and Hilda, and her brother, Edgar. Sebastian and Georgina spend as much time together alone as they can, but the Pugs running around coupled with the eccentricity of the Marquess and the nosiness of Georgina’s younger sisters, make things difficult for them. They enjoy stealing a chance here and there to kiss one another wishing they could do more. Georgina has been left a rich heiress by one of her deceased relatives. This is one of the big things that drew Sebastian to her. But after getting to know her more, he has found her to be intelligent and kind in addition to being beautiful. When Georgina and Sebastian ride out to visit a waterfall, Georgina falls into a ravine and Sebastian climbs down to rescue her. But they both become stuck and it takes days for them to be found. But Sebastian’s secret is about to be revealed when he needs to contact his family to let them know that he and Georgina are fine. Will they be able to get through the next few weeks until their wedding? I did not care for this story because Georgina’s family is a serious bunch of nutcases. I have enjoyed the author’s books in the past, but this is not one I can recommend. Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Lashea677 12 months ago
Ordinary breeds extraordinary. What that means to me is that a person is so much more than the skills they lack. They are special because of who they are. In the long run a pure heart and an open mind are all that matters. Sebastian was a smart man but he failed to see that because of a misinterpreted flaw. He was a man of action. He could create a plan and carry it out but with intelligence and skill but when it came to understanding the reading, writing and curriculum, he felt like fish out of water. Lord Sebastian's Secret deals with a prevalent subject in a time when not much was known about it. Still to this day dyslexia is still look at as a weakness, in our ever changing world. Ms. Ashford examines the subject with gentleness and a great deal of insight. Through the eyes of Sebastian, the author allows the change to understand the frustration and shame of an individual dealing with the not knowing and the fear of being different. Lord Sebastian's Secret is an eye opener. The message is clear: "Every journey is unique, but we all have struggles to overcome." Sebastian was stronger than his fear and with the love of a good woman like Georgiana, he learned that he was more than his disability.