The Spinster's Secret (Midnight Quill, #2)

The Spinster's Secret (Midnight Quill, #2)

by Emily Larkin

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"Straight up touched my heart. It's been a while since I laughed, cried, despaired, and felt one with a character to this extent."
~ Punya Reviews

Matilda Chapple is penniless, orphaned, and dependent on her uncle's meager charity—but she's found a way to escape: she'll write her way to financial freedom. 

When Mattie pens a series of titillating short stories, she starts earning money . . . and notoriety. Her secret is safe—until Waterloo veteran, Edward Kane, agrees to uncover the anonymous author's identity.

Can Mattie conceal the secret of her scandalous writings, or will Edward discover that the virginal spinster and the risqué authoress are one and the same person?

A Regency romance with a battle-scarred hero, an enterprising heroine, a gothic backdrop, and some of the worst food in England.

**The Spinster's Secret is the second book in the Midnight Quill Trio, but may be read as a standalone.**

Q & A with the author

How would you describe this book? 

Good question! Um . . . a gothic Regency romance with underlying humor? 

By gothic, I mean that the setting is gothic: an isolated and gloomy manor with dark, drafty corridors and a miserly uncle. There are nightly readings of 'improving texts' and some truly awful food! 

Your hero and heroine are a little unusual. Tell us a bit about them. 

The heroine, Mattie, is six foot tall—which is a little taller than your average heroine! Edward, the hero, is even taller, and badly scarred from injuries he received at Waterloo. And when I say badly scarred, I mean really badly scarred.

Did you do a lot of research for this book? 

I read two 'titillating' novels of the era, Fanny Hill and The Lustful Turk, which were quite ludicrous. The stories Mattie writes are just as silly!

How would you describe your writing? 

Several reviewers have likened my writing to Georgette Heyer, which is the hugest compliment ever. I adore Georgette Heyer! She's why I write historical romance, and I reread her books over and over. (If you've not read The Grand Sophy, please do so!) I've also had readers compare my writing to Courtney Milan and Mary Balogh, which are also massive compliments.

Who would like this book? 

This book would appeal to readers who like the historical backdrop and understated humor of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, the dark and sensual 'noir' feel of Anna Campbell, and the emotion of Mary Balogh or Courtney Milan.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940153570266
Publisher: Emily Larkin
Publication date: 11/22/2016
Series: Midnight Quill , #2
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 103,586
File size: 752 KB

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The Spinster's Secret 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
DesertJules More than 1 year ago
The Spinster's Secret by Emily Larkin The story takes place several months after the Battle of Waterloo.  Edward Kane arrives at Creed Hall, the dark and dreary childhood home of his friend, Toby. Wrapped in guilt, he has come to return his friend's effects. Where Edward had been horribly wounded in the battle and expected to die, it was Toby who had, in fact, never come home. Also in residence at Creed Hall is Matilda Chapple, niece to Sir Arthur Strickland and cousin to Edward's friend. Orphaned at nineteen, Mattie came to live with her uncle and, though she is grateful for his charity, she longs to escape the cold, uncaring manor house. To escape, Mattie needs money; to make money, she pens the scandalous, fictional, and immensely popular confessions of "Cherie", a worldly courtesan. But in the early 19th century, decent women do not read such things and they, certainly, don't write them. So if her uncle ever finds out, Mattie knows he'll disown her and throw her out. When circumstances reveal that "Cherie" lives nearby, Sir Arthur is determined to find her out and remove her from his village. And Edward agrees to help, not knowing that the woman he is coming to care for is the object of his search. ~*~*~ One gets a feel for the end of the Georgian era in The Spinster's Secret. Evocative of Austen, life is structured and behaviors are strictly controlled. Young women were constantly reminded of their place and the expectations of them. Mattie, as so many heroines of the era, flies in the face of these expectations - to a point. She is always dependent on the goodwill of her sternly religious uncle. Her blossoming physical relationship with Edward, not to mention her writings, were cause for removal from the family. This is simply a lovely story. A woman, believing herself plain and destined for spinsterhood, finds love and acceptance from - and for - a man so disfigured that he believes no one could ever look fondly on him again.  I marveled at Larkin's choice of main characters. These are not the 'beautiful people' one expects to find in a romance novel. They are physically and emotionally scarred, which only makes their story that much sweeter. ~*~*~ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from the publisher [...]. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE SPINSTER’S SECRET is a historical romance set at dreary and depressing Creed Hall in Soddy Morton. Matilda, or Mattie, is thankful for the generosity of her uncle, Arthur Strickland, but is looking forward to the day when she can live on her own. She writes a series of stories about the events of a courtesan and plans to use the money from her writing to secure her freedom. She’s not far away from achieving her dream when her uncle learns that the famous “courtesan” lives in Soddy Morton. Edward Kane, a Waterloo veteran, is visiting Creed Hall out of respect for his slain friend and fellow Waterloo soldier, Mattie’s cousin, Toby. Feeling guilt over Toby’s death, Edward agrees to help Arthur find the courtesan. As Edward spends time at Creed Hall trying to discover the identity of the courtesan, he finds he is drawn to Mattie. When Mattie makes a shocking proposal, Edward begins to find himself again. But can Edward and Mattie find their way to each other? Overall, I enjoyed reading Emily Larkin’s book. The characters of Edward and Mattie were well-developed and I liked that neither of the characters were pretentious or arrogant. The tone of the book; however, was rather dark and depressing. The descriptions of Creed Hall helped paint a clear image of just how depressing Creed Hall was for Mattie. Both Emily and Edward were rather sad characters trying overcome obstacles from their past. I liked the easy friendship between Mattie and Edward, but I caught myself wondering how Ms. Larkin was going to transform the friendship into something more. Both Mattie and Edward found pity for the other. Edward pities Mattie for having to live in dreary Creed Hall, and Mattie pities Edward for his battle scars and wounds. She made it work however, and I found myself happy for the two of them in the end. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that depicts more real life characters and who struggle with life events. I look forward to reading other books by Emily Larkin. Rating: 4 Heat Rating: Mild Reviewed By: AprilP, My Book Addiction Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very amazing love story. An poor woman living with her strict and penny conscious uncle. An disfigured soldier from the war comes for a visit. The friendship between Mattie and Edward blossoms. But a secret causes problems for them. I enjoyed the book thoroughly.
ChristinaS4 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars!! Great historical romance involving a lonely, aspiring author young girl-type whose uncle can't find out what she's doing. Well the uncle comes upon some of her writing but doesn't know it's from her! Edward is a war veteran who comes in and is supposed to find out where the writings came from. I liked the connection between the characters but thought it could have been a little hotter! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I struggled to finish this book. I skipped so many pages so I can finally finish is book. Nothing about this book grabbed my attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An injured Waterloo vet meets a woman without a dowry who is secretly writing scandalous "confessions" to earn a living. Both main characters are likeable and believable. The secondary characters add to the fun. Will the vet discover the secret identity of the writer? This angle wasnt forced and drawn out artificially. Period research into clothing, households, war injuries, transportation and food made this novel come alive. I will definitely read more from this author.