Friday, July 22, 2011

Secrets of the Heart by Jillian Kent

Madeline Whittington, daughter of the deceased Earl of Richfield, emerges from English society's prescribed period of mourning in the winter of 1817. Madeline believes she no longer belongs in a world of gossip and gowns after experiencing multiple losses. When she rescues a runaway from Ashcroft Insane Asylum, her life will be forever changed as she discovers the dark secrets within the asylum walls.

Because of his elder brother's unexpected death, Devlin Greyson becomes Earl of Ravensmoore and struggles between two worlds: one of affluence and privilege and one of poverty and disease. Torn between his desire to become a doctor and the numerous responsibilities of his title, he wrestles with God's calling for his future. Will he be able to honor this God-given gift and win the woman he falls in love with in a society that does not value gentlemen who work?

And will Lady Madeline be able to honor her father's memory when she is attracted to the man she holds responsible for her father's death?

The Review:
My Ranking: 8 out of 10
Ages: 14 & up

I received Secrets of the Heart a while back but am just getting to reviewing it. I've seen it on my shelf for the longest time -- it was nice to finally sit back and enjoy Jillian Kent's debut novel. :)

I am always excited to read a debut novel. While I've read so many first timers that just didn't have what it took to be an enjoyable read for me, there are those few that whisk me away and send me on a journey I won't forget. And that's exactly what Secrets of the Heart did for me.

Entering Madeline's life was a fun adventure that I immensly enjoyed. While it did take me a few chapters to really get into and begin liking, by the end of the book I was eager to read Kent's next novel. I loved the uniqueness of it's setting and story. I was carried through defeat and triumph, love and hate, and sadness and joy with the characters, feeling each hardship along with them as I soared through this novel.
Each character was well thought out, intereresting, and easy to cherish. I found myself really enjoying not only the main character's lives, but also the look into their friends, servants, and family's lives.

Kent's writing style was easy to read and comprhend. I did find that she could have done a bit better at showing what the character's were feeling/thinking rather than telling on occasion, but other than that I was completely happy. :)

The content was very minimal. All I have to mention is the retelling of a story where a woman finds her husband in their bed with another woman and a brief kiss at the end.
All in all, this was a great debut novel that is sure to please historical romance lovers acoss the globe.


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