The Secret Lover (Rogues of Regent Street Series)

The Secret Lover (Rogues of Regent Street Series)

3.7 18
by Julia London
     
 

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Julia London captivated readers and critics alike with her acclaimed Rogues of Regent Street trilogy. Now the nationally bestselling author Romantic Times calls “a rising star” returns with the passionate story of a man and a woman pursued by secrets, shadowed by scandal, and surprised by love…
 
Eight years after fleeing England

Overview

Julia London captivated readers and critics alike with her acclaimed Rogues of Regent Street trilogy. Now the nationally bestselling author Romantic Times calls “a rising star” returns with the passionate story of a man and a woman pursued by secrets, shadowed by scandal, and surprised by love…
 
Eight years after fleeing England in the wake of a terrible scandal, Sophie Dane is no longer the trusting debutante betrayed by love. Now as companion to a worldly French widow, she returns to London where her arrival instantly sets tongues wagging…and attracts the roving eye of aristocratic Trevor Hamilton. But it is his mysterious brother, Caleb, in whom Sophie senses a kindred soul—and who captivates her as no other man has before. Reared on the continent, Caleb has come home to his ailing father—only to be shunned by society as a fortune-hunting imposter. Sophie, alone, seems to believe in him. But an unexpected series of events sets them both in flight once more. As scandal pursues them to a remote ancestral estate, a man and a woman haunted by the past will defy every convention on earth for a future in each other’s arms…

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“London’s fast-paced narrative is peopled with colorful characters…Sophie’s growth into a strong, admirable heroine is inspirational and not without its fair share of thrills.” …Publishers Weekly
 
“Sophie is remarkably engaging.  Bedeviled by her own insecurities and confused about what she wants out of life, she comes across as a real person.  And when London pairs her up with a hero who knows a thing or two about being ostracized, then mixes in appealingly eccentric secondary characters, a bit of danger and suspense, and some nice touches of humor, the result is one delightfully imaginative romance.”—Booklist
 
“Within the confines of a passionate romance, Ms. London infuses mainstream themes such as parental abuse, familial ties, friendship, and the power of love.  She does this with skill and compassion, winning this reader’s respect and admiration.”—Romantic Times
Publishers Weekly
London (The Beautiful Stranger, etc.) paints a vibrant portrait of early Victorian-era life in this witty, absorbing offering. After an eight-year absence, plain Sophie Dane reluctantly returns to London, where her name is synonymous with scandal due to her decision to elope against her family's wishes and then divorce her abusive husband not long after. Sophie has come as a companion to her flamboyant friend, Honorine, and though she tries to keep a low profile, she quickly becomes embroiled in a situation fraught with scandal potential. While visiting the park, Sophie befriends Caleb Hamilton, a man of questionable lineage, who lightens her heart. At the same time, Caleb's arrogant half-brother, Trevor, suddenly begins courting Sophie, but his attentions unsettle her, especially when she learns that Trevor has forbidden Caleb from seeing their ailing father, Lord Hamilton. The tempo reaches a gallop when Trevor announces his betrothal to Sophie before even asking her, Honorine whisks Lord Hamilton to his country estate and Sophie and Caleb flee London with Trevor in hot pursuit. London's fast-paced narrative is peopled with colorful characters, but her dialogue can be over-the-top ("Let me breathe you, let me fill my soul with you once more"). Sophie's growth into a strong, admirable heroine is inspirational nevertheless and not without its fair share of thrills. (May 7) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440236948
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/2002
Series:
Rogues of Regent Street Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
433,427
Product dimensions:
4.22(w) x 6.87(h) x 1.06(d)

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

London, England, 1836

Sophie could scarcely hear what Stella was saying; her heart was pounding so loudly in her ears and filling her throat that it was difficult to even breathe. It was bitterly cold, so cold that every bruise on her body seemed to throb with eager vengeance. But it was precisely that throbbing pain which forced her to put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving down the walkway, calmly, despite an inner voice warning her to turn back.

Turn 'round, turn 'round, turn 'round! It's not too late! He'll not know you attempted to escape if you turn 'round now! "Ooh, milady! That'd be his lordship Allenwhite just ahead! What are we to do?" Stella whispered frantically.

Sophie lifted her gaze, saw the portly gentleman walking briskly toward them. Instinctively, she lifted her chin, wincing at the pain in her jaw where she had been struck just that morning. "We shall say good day and keep walking," she said low, ignoring her maid's fearful grip of her fingers.

"Lady Stanwood, how do you do?" the man asked, pausing to tip his hat.

"I am very well my lord, thank you." Stella's grip tightened painfully. "You'll forgive my manners for hurrying past, sir, but I am quite overdue for an appointment with my modiste, and I confess, I'm rather chilled to the bone."

Allenwhite seemed almost relieved, gave her a curt nod. "Yes, indeed, a nasty day to be abroad. I'll not keep you, my lady." "Good day, my lord." She continued walking, pulling Stella along, her step quickening in time to her pounding heart. She would not allow herself to look back, would allow herself nothing but to stare straight ahead. They were almost there. It was too fantastic to believe, but they were almost there. Almost free.

They rounded the corner onto Bond Street, felt a respite from the wind. Where was Claudia? Sophie's heart plummeted into the pool of her fear-Claudia was not there. She had promised to meet them at the corner of Audley and Bond streets! Had something happened to her? Julian! Julian had discovered their plan and stopped Claudia from coming! The panic spread thick in Sophie's throat. No. No! She could not come so close and be denied! It was so unfair! God!

Frantic, she glanced furtively over her shoulder-Lord Allenwhite had continued on, his head down, oblivious to her and Stella. How long would it be before someone asked him if he had seen her? Sophie fumbled anxiously with her cloak, pushing it open so she could stare at the small watch pinned to her breast. Five minutes past two o'clock. Claudia was five minutes late.

She was not coming.

"By the saints, what could have become of Lady Kettering? Ooh, there's something amiss, I feel it in me bones!" Stella squeaked, gripping Sophie's arm tighter still. Unable to assure Stella they would indeed succeed, Sophie swallowed and stared at the deserted corner of Audley and Bond Street. The words simply would not come, smothered by the weight of her heart, now lodged in her throat along with the fear and the biting dis- appointment . . . and an insane sense of relief.

It is over.

Her little fantasy of escape was over. It was foolish to have thought she might have succeeded. There was nothing left but to turn around now, hurry home before William discovered what she had almost . . . No! She would not allow herself to think what he might do. She would simply hurry home now, before she was forced to imagine it.

She would find another way out of this nightmare, surely.

Or perhaps she would live with the consequence of her foolishness all the rest of her days.

Tears suddenly blinded her, and Sophie looked again at her watch. Seven minutes past. Claudia was not coming. She should have known it was impossible. She should have realized there would be no escape from the private hell she had created for herself. Sophie blinked, felt the tears freeze on her lashes. Huddled beside her, Stella was frightened unto death. Sophie opened her mouth to tell her they would go back now, end this silly escapade, but a hack careened around the corner of Bond Street onto Audley before she could speak. Her heart swelled; Stella turned, too, just as Claudia flung open the door ahead of the coachman and leapt to the ground. She glanced quickly up the street and then down, her gaze landing on Sophie and Stella several yards away. She began walking purposefully toward them.

Sophie's heart filled to almost bursting.

Freedom!

For the first time in several months, she could taste the sweetness of freedom mix with the acidity of fear.

Meet the Author

Julia London was raised on a ranch in West Texas, where she spent her formative years in the middle of vast wheat fields driving a tractor at the reckless speed of five mph. In spite of her humble beginnings, Julia went on to earn a degree in government and eventually landed in Washington, D.C. There for nine years, Julia had her brush with greatness when one day she actually shared an elevator with a senator from Iowa. She eventually returned to Texas and now lives in Austin with two enormous Labrador retrievers. Wicked Angel is Julia's second book and a sequel to her first, The Devil's Love. Julia is currently working on her next book for Dell.

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Secret Lover (Rogues of Regent Street Series) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not finish this book. It took her 50 pages to introduce the man male character, and the writing was poor with too many descriptions of nothing without describing anything to move the story along. After 100 pages, the story was still stagnant with the same blithering "I don't want to be here" and very few appearances by the lead male character. I had wasted enough time on this one and threw it away. I didn't think it was worth giving to the library. I wouldn't want anyone to waste their time on it. It is not worth the money or time.
brighteyes125 More than 1 year ago
I literally cried my eyes out at the end of this book. It is a beautiful romance. Great writing! I couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading this with very low expectations, and i was very pleasantly surprised to admit this is one of my most favorite books ever...almost all because of the ending....i really wasnt expecting it to be so good...maybe thats why i liked it? but the story actually made me cry...it was sooo wonderful...magnificent...you need to read it!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1836 England, Sophie Dane chases ¿freedom¿ when she finally decides to leave her cruel husband to become a companion to Honorine, as the woman travels abroad. Sophie knows the price she will pay is a divorce from her spouse and non-existence except in terms of gossipy scandal from her peers. Legally not being married is simply great to Sophie, but the Ton reaction is a high price. Still, to the beleaguered Sophie, fleeing this marriage is worth everything.

In 1844, Honorine decides to return to England taking Sophie with her. Honorine cares for Lord Trevor Hamilton, recovering from a stroke. Trevor¿s son Caleb has also come from the continent to help his father. Caleb and Sophie are immediately attracted to one another, but they first must confront, almost accost the past, if they are to pursue a future together.

THE SECRET LOVER is first and foremost an early Victorian romance. However, the tale contains several other elements involving inter-family relationships, not all positive, that make for a stronger blend than usually found within the sub-genre. The prime characters are fully developed so that the audience understands what drives them to risk scandal. Romance readers will enjoy reading Julia London¿s mid nineteenth century novel that has a sort of Dickens undercoat to an already engaging tale.

Harriet Klausner

ExArkie 11 months ago
I've been a widow for more than 10 years - married to one of the "good" guys! Last month would have been our 60th anniversary The last 30-40 pages of this book had me in constant tears. This book provides a picture of a loving, happy love affair and marriage - despite troubles and tribulations. Just keep the tissues handy and enjoy - yes, the book has flaws; but, so what - I LOVED it! ExArkie
Susam00 More than 1 year ago
I love to read, and I don't like to leave a book unfinished. I also, don't like to write bad reviews. However, this book was the slowest book I have ever read. The characters were indecisive, the story went no where for a good five chapters and I felt like I read the same thing over and over again. I did not finish this book and I think I never will.
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