Secrets and Suitors

Secrets and Suitors

by Joanna Barker

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Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora’s father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded. Until James returns unexpectedly and Nora’s feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen’s affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart. But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long-kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life and decide what true love is worth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524411749
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 81,692
File size: 1 MB

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Secrets and Suitors 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
BookwormLisa 8 days ago
I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a time and place where young men and women were supposed to marry someone who could give a better social standing or had a large dowry. Nora is faced with this dilemma. Her father has picked out her suitor and she is to fall in line and obey. Her head cannot reconcile this with her heart. She tries to look at Mr. Weston objectively, but he doesn't compare to her childhood friend. In order to buy time with her father, she strikes a bargain. Now, she needs to figure out a way to extricate herself from a delicate situation. This book is a pleasure to read. I love how Joanna Barker is able to pull me into her story. I had great empathy for the characters and loved the descriptions. Regency Romance is one of my favorite genres because of the pageantry, societal expectations, and love finding a way in spite of roadblocks. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own,
SSTALEY 9 days ago
Secrets and Suitors is a very appropriate name for this book. The very shy, and demure Nora Hamilton finds herself at the age of 21 finally with more suitors than she knows what to do with. There are also many secrets being hidden by her, her best friend James, and other family members. I loved how this Regency Romance played out as a mystery at times. The novel is told solely from Nora's perspective, so the reader is finding out secrets along with her. My heart was fully aching for Nora as she is being pressured by her domineering father who wants her to marry ASAP. Nora's biggest problem is she hasn't fully acknowledged to herself or others that she is in love with her best childhood friend, James. Of course, James is the type of man any woman would want but he isn't wealthy enough to gain her father's approval. Many scary and embarrassing situations could have been avoided if only Nora and James had been honest with each other a year before. Though Nora and James are wonderful characters, many other characters bring such light and life to this novel such as the wealthy Lady Worthington and her vivacious granddaughter Harriet. I also adored Nora's siblings, sister Susanna and younger brother, Ralph. The beauty in this novel for me lies in the family bonds that are mended, love that is found, and the overall idea that being honest will always win out over being secretive. This book is another winner for author Joanna Barker.
Anonymous 10 days ago
I was just in the mood for a good regency novel, and Secrets and Suitors checked all the boxes for me. Sweet, check. Clean, double check. Great characters, check. A fun plot, check. A quick read (or one that you don't want to put down so you end up staying up way too late at night to finish because you know you have to get back to the real world in the morning...I'm already cursing that alarm clock. Seriously though, didn't want to put it down) check. Did I miss anything? The cover of the book is perfect. I love the silhouette, because I will admit sometimes the models on the cover are super distracting because they don't match what I have in my head. But regardless, it's a beautiful cover that screams to be picked up at the store of the library. My favorite thing about Nora was that she was imperfect, and that while her flaws showed, they were real and you could see that she saw them and was trying to be better. Much of the time authors write these perfect characters that you'd love to be like, but it isn't realistic in any way. I could relate to Nora and her choices...even the bad ones, and that is what makes a great character for me. I am hoping that more comes from this book. I'd love to see more about Nora's friend. I'd love a little background on Nora's sister, and without a spoiler, I'd like more on another guy too. Again, the mark of a good book when I want more. The book itself was complete and satisfying, but I definitely wouldn't be sad if this became a series. * Received a copy, all opinions are my own.
boss421a 11 days ago
This was such a fun book to read. I have always been really shy, so I was able to completely relate to Nora. I whole-heartedly approve of hiding behind greenery in order to take a break from the mass of humanity. People can be exhausting! At any rate, I was caught up in the story and was really rooting for Nora to find the happiness she wanted, not the one her parents seemed to be pushing on her. Multiple characters in the story had several different layers, and just when you thought you really had them pegged, you were thrown a curve ball, completely changing your opinion. I like that I was kept guessing. Definitely a story I enjoyed. I highly recommend it.
WishEnd 11 days ago
SECRETS AND SUITORS is a story that is a delight to read from the first page to the last. Readers won't be able to resist falling in love with the heroine, Nora, with all her insecurities, shyness, and bravery, and wish for her to find happiness. With an endearing family dynamic, friendship, and a sweet romance, this is the perfect read for sweet historical romance fans! I'm a big fan of friends-to-romance stories and this one did not disappoint. Nora was such a reserved character who lacked confidence in herself, but under James influence she literally blossomed before my eyes. I loved their friendship and teasing. I also loved how well the author conveyed feeling through looks and a touch here and there, besides words. The chemistry was definitely palpable. There was a bit of a love triangle, or maybe square, here which is normally not my thing but it worked and made sense to me. There was even enough of chemistry between Nora and one of the suitors that I felt the story left a bit of a question as to how things might have turned out, making me question that maybe Nora wouldn't end up with the person I thought she should. I enjoyed seeing Nora develop as a character, as well as how her friendships developed, and the way her family joined together and the changes there. This story pulled emotions from me with the decisions these characters faced and the realizations they came to. In the end, was it what I wished for? This story was full of so much heart, with lovable characters and an endearing plot. Highly recommended! Content: Clean Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
I_love_books 11 days ago
4.5 Stars What a sweet story. It’s a story about falling in love with your best friend and not feeling that it’s reciprocated. You try and move on and do what’s best for your family, but then true love conquers all. I liked the characters. It was a fast read with some touching moments. I really felt bad for Nora. She didn’t think much of herself and didn’t think others could love her. Part of that came from how her parents treated her. Many relationships were mended throughout the story. It has a very happy ending.
Heidi_Reads 11 days ago
Poor Nora! I really struggled with the first part of the book because Nora feels hopeless and resigned, and the author did a great job of connecting the reader to her emotions- so I was feeling sad and frustrated as I read. Things picked up when the setting moves to London and Nora begins to develop hope for another plan for her future. I found the evolving dynamics of her family interesting and I appreciated that we got to see the more complex layers of her parents and especially her father, who is not the villain he seems to be in the beginning. Nora has a strong bond with her sister and brother, and it added a nice element to the story. Nora also evolves and grows through her experiences and she is a much stronger person for it by the end, where she refuses to let the secrets stay hidden so she can grasp the future she wants with both hands- not just who she marries, but a warm and loving family. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
foxreads11 12 days ago
I really enjoyed reading Secrets and Suitors! I could feel all the warm fuzzies and the sorrow, disappointment, family bonds and healing! I felt urgency with the characters and was drawn to keep reading to find out what would happen next! There was a question from the very beginning that I knew the answer to but wanted to find out what had happened that formed that question! There were so many secrets. I am ever so grateful I did not live in those times! Just putting that out there! Nora and James have been friends since childhood. James knew Nora better than I think Nora knew herself. He could pry anything out of her. He knew when things were not right with her. Last summer he left to his plantation in Jamaica for business and left Nora devastated. She had thought he loved her but he had left. She is trying to move on. He returns and is ever there for her again and Nora’s heart can’t seem to get over him. But Nora has been forced to marry Mr Weston by her seemingly uncaring father. Nora then notices that Lord Worthington has noticed her. He is attentive to her and she thinks that maybe she can get him to propose to her so she would not have to marry the quiet and humble looking Mr Weston. Meanwhile James who is in need of an investor into his plantation has also been invited to Lord Worthington’s grandmother’s home for a visit along with Nora who had fallen ill and needs the country air and has also become good friends with Lord Worthington’s sister. James is hard to let go of. I wouldn’t let him go either. The author writes him so kind and caring and really a wonderful man that I want him too! Hehe! But Nora tries hard to be herself and get Lord Worthington to be hers. Nora and James are a match if ever there was one! He would grab her hand and just pull her somewhere and the way the author wrote it, I could feel her hand in his and her feelings over a simple act. She reacted every time he showed up in a room! How difficult it must have been. I forget that it is just a story and not real! I enjoyed learning all these secrets everyone has kept and how it impacted soo much of the story and you don’t even know they did until the secrets come out! I love watching people grow. I also love watching people do stupid things as well. Keeps the book interesting! Haha! And stupid things were done!! And you don’t really know who Nora will end up with till the end after all the secrets are out! If you like stories of families who grow, people who guard their hearts to protect from getting hurt, rakes, secrets, tree climbing, little brothers who adore their older sister, lions, running away from home, families who make mistakes but learn to fix them, intimidating people, deceiving people, and doing what is right and kind and fair and full of love than this story might be for you. As for me, it is on my shelf to be read over and over!
mara1108 12 days ago
Oh my what a lovely Regency friends-to-lovers romance the author has written. When a young woman hides behind large ferns at balls, it's never a good sign although there's usually a good reason for her doing so. Nora Hamilton has several reasons--she's shy, hates socializes at balls, and her father's determined to marry her off to the ever socially correct, but dull Mr. Weston. I think the main reason she was hiding is she missed her best friend James, whom she can't seem to admit that she loves. James Allen left England six months ago to help his family's sugar plantation in Jamaica, but Nora thinks he left because he doesn't care for her as she cares for him. His unexpected return during the ball throws her off balance and leads her to come up with a foolhardy plan to attract someone to offer for her so she doesn't have to marry Mr. Weston. Through it all James is there for her, but will Nora let him back in to her life? I loved this story. All the secrets of the characters that guided their actions had me wondering what would happen next and I was surprised a couple of times. I liked Nora but there were a few times I wanted to Gibbs slap her to shake some sense into her. I loved James and can see why Nora couldn't seem to forget about him. These two were perfect for each other. I'm so glad I didn't live in Regency times. I love to dance but all the strict rules would've had me hiding behind a potted plant too. This is a clean romance. Thanks to NetGalley and Covenant Communications for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in my review are my own. Note: I loved the story so much I bought my own personal copy.
TheCompulsiveReader7 15 days ago
(4.5 stars) - the truth shall set you free What a lovely story! Nora is so shy and down on herself, but she comes into her own here. I loved how she found healthy support that encouraged her & she learned to advocate for herself. James is a wonderful hero who loves Nora so much that he wants what's best for her more than anything else. There were quite a few surprises as unexpected secrets were revealed. Nora learns in several different shocking lessons that people aren't always what they seem. ***SPOILER ALERT*** The main reason for not giving it a perfect 5 was because the resolution was a little too quick to fully buy (not full out unbelievable, but triggered my inner skeptic to start mumbling to me, and I couldn't reassure it back into silence) Weston's almost instant acceptance of the situation following Nora's explanation & apology seemed unlikely. I think it would have helped, & would have liked, to have a better understanding of what he was thinking in all this. And the dad's capitulation to accept James as Nora's suitor based on his willingness to duel for her, and even his general change of behavior towards his family, seemed a tad bit fast. ***END SPOILER*** I love stories of broken families that begin to find healing, & this one is very uplifting while also having a delightful romance! *Clean romance level: sweet kisses
AE2 16 days ago
Big sigh! This was lovely (particularly the last couple of chapters! Swoon!). Timid Nora and charming James were just terrific. I loved the moments when Nora actually pushed through her shyness and let her true self show. I enjoyed the plot; there was more going on than just a romance and the elements all fit together well. The story flowed really well, and it was just a delight to read. I read a lot of Regency romances, but this one stands out--and I've already reread the last couple chapters because they were so perfect! I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous 16 days ago
Nora Hamilton, age 21, and the eldest daughter of Baron and Baroness Denford, is attending a ball but wishing she could hide. Nora is shy and feels uncomfortable in these situations. Mr. Weston, who is in line to inherit a barony, is quite taken by Nora, but she just wants to be away from him. The only man who interests Nora is James Allen, her neighbor and good friend. He has just returned from his family’s sugar plantation in Jamaica. They have been friends from the time she was a little girl and promised to never have any secrets from one another. Nora loves James but fears that he does not feel the same. Unfortunately, her father does not approve of her friendship with James. Nora’s younger sister, Susanna, is looking forward to her debut and loves to hear all about the soirees that Nora attends. Nora’s father tells her that Mr. Weston wants to marry her and he insists that she accept. She finally agrees, but only after she and Susanna have a season together in London. In addition, her younger brother, Ralph, gets to go to London too so she can show him the London sights he wants to see. When Nora falls ill, her family is very worried about her and it takes quite awhile for her to recover as it left her very weak. Then she learns a family secret that her parents have been hiding from her that is very sad. But opening up about it brings healing and family unity. What about James? Will Nora still be forced to marry Mr. Weston and leave behind the man she truly loves? Yet another totally delightful book by Joanna Barker. I love her stories. They are complex and bring in several plots that tie together perfectly. I know readers will love this story! Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
lovingthebooks 17 days ago
I adore Regency period romance novels. They are fun and full of things from times gone by. They speak of love in a whole different way than it is today--which captures my heart. I loved that Nora was willing to do her parent's wishes, yet in the end, she was strong enough to "decide what true love is worth." I completely recommend this book!
TimelessNovels 17 days ago
Nora always wanted to be in the background at social events and after two seasons in London she still hadn’t had a serious suitor. After receiving pressure from her father, she makes a bargain with him that she will marry Mr. Weston (a man she barely knows) if her two younger siblings are allowed to join her for the season in London. She also makes her father agree that she can continue being friends with her childhood neighbor James. After years away at his family plantation, James is suddenly back in Nora’s life. He wants to still be her friend, but there is often a seriousness about him. “A fancy could be forgotten, and I was determined to forget it.” While back for a third season, Nora is torn between her feelings for James, a new acquaintanceship forming with Lord Worthington, and a commitment to Mr. Weston. “James was my best friend, yes, but my heart yearned for so much more. He was the one who understood me best, who made me laugh, who listened to me.” Nora has a completely different relationship with each of her three suitors. She and Mr. Weston are practically engaged, and she doesn’t even know his first name. “He had run halfway across the world the last time I had given signs of having feelings for him. What would he do now if I were to give the slightest hint that he still held a piece of my heart?” When Nora and James are together it feels like the air in the room changes. They are comfortable with each other because of being best friends growing up, but now there is tension and secrets between them. “I would pay dearly for such a skill right now, to peer into his mind and discover all his tightly held opinions and secrets.” This book is told in the first person, so we only know Nora’s point of view. When I first started reading it, I wished it also told James’ point of view. I was often wondering what was going on in his head. As it turns out, I loved that there were things I didn’t see coming. I was truly surprised by some of the secrets, and I liked that I didn’t know what would happen next. I liked that it was not just about the romance, it was also about a broken family trying to find their way. Besides the strong main characters, there were some lovable side characters like Ralph. He was absolutely adorable. Ralph’s relationship with Nora reminds us that we have to be careful with the promises we make, and his relationship with James made them both even more endearing. Secrets and Suitors is a sweet story that also has a lot of deeper meaning. This book earns a well deserved five stars.
Crazyfunbookworm 18 days ago
Secrets and Suitors is a beautifully written regency romance with a fresh plot, strong characters, and all the "feels" moments of a well done clean romance. Nora has long been in love with her best friend James, but due to her family situation and personal doubts she determines to find herself a suitor who isn't her true love. Only problem with this plan is James continually pops up everywhere leading into some great comedic moments as well as some deeply touching moments. I found Nora's character to be so relevant for women today and believe she will quickly be a favorite heroine in the regency romance genre. Author Joanna Barker has a talent when it comes to her novel Secrets and Suitors that not only takes you to another time and place, but moves you in the present. I highly recommend Secrets and Suitors!
booksaresanity 18 days ago
Nora's story is one that I will not soon forget. I was pulled into her story and held captive until it reached its end, I could not stop reading. I needed to know what was going on with Nora and James. Was there some misunderstanding or what had happened? And then in waltzes Mr. Weston whom her father wants her to marry but can she possibly find another she would love or can she love him? What of James? This story is not just another regency romance, it is so much more. It is a story of friendship, love, deceit, secrets, and redemption. There are so many layers and watching the story unfold is one of the most beautiful things I have read in a long time. Hands down this is one of the best books of 2019. A story full of depth and masterfully woven, Barker has written a stellar novel. I received a copy of this book for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous 18 days ago
About to enter her third season, Nora Hamilton finds no joy in society or their expectations. While she would prefer to be reading a book of poetry or enjoying time with her younger siblings, her father, Lord Hamilton, has other ideas. When her father threatens to separate her from her dear siblings unless she agrees to marry Mr. Weston, Nora complies with his wishes on two conditions. One, her siblings are allowed to come to London during the season and two, she is allowed to keep her friendship with long-time friend James Allen. Arriving in London brings all the thrills and dances you would expect in a regency romance. What differs in 'Secrets and Suitors' is the compelling way author Joanna Barker weaves her characters together. Each character has a thought-out history filled with secrets and lets those secrets dictate their actions, which creates a natural flow in the story. Right from the start, this story grabs your attention. Filled with rich emotions and diverse emotions from the characters, this has you crying, laughing, and everything in-between.
KaileyBechtel 18 days ago
This book was so good! It didn’t seem like your typical Regency romance. I loved James and Nora! It was so easy to get hooked into the story. I just didn’t want to put it down! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
swissgranny 19 days ago
Secrets and Suitors is another delicious story by talented writer Joanna Barker. I’ve read some of her other books and loved them. She is quickly becoming a favorite author. With a setting in Regency era England and characters that came alive on the page, this tale delighted me and kept me turning the pages. James Allen is a perfectly swoon-worthy hero with his devotion and care for Nora Hamilton. Their past friendship added a special touch to their relationship. Nora is a shy, introverted heroine who wants to marry for love and has feelings for James but is being pressured into a match with another man. The chemistry between James and Nora is sure to set your heart fluttering. With a variety of secrets and a few suitors, this story kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I liked the threads of forgiveness and the importance of family and friendship that were woven through it and all the multi-layered and colorful characters. I’m looking forward to more stories from this author. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications. All opinions are my own.