Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Book Review: The Secret Pearl

Basically what happens in this book is that the heroine has fallen on hard times and is forced to sell herself on the streets of London to survive. The hero is her client, and they conduct a "business transaction." But the hero feels guilt over what has happened afterwards, for his own reasons, and because the hero was a virgin at the time. So he tells his personal secretary to find her and offer her a job through an employment agency as his daughter's governess. The heroine is relieved to have a respectable job, but she doesn't know who her employer is until weeks after her arrival to the country home where both the hero's wife and daughter live.

A couple of years ago I would not have liked this book at all, solely because of the fact that the hero was married. But you know what? It didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, and I think that is mostly due to Balogh's skill at crafting a story. She could have made the hero's wife a total monster in order to make him more sympathetic, but she didn't. Everything seemed realistic to me, and I felt genuine sympathy for the marriage that he was essentially trapped in.

The romance could have been stronger, though. The heroine seemed to dislike the hero for so much of the book that I had a hard time believing that she felt as strongly for him as she claimed to. But I emphathized with the situation they were in because it made for a good story, so I just decided to buy the romance hook, line, and sinker. Once done, I was very satisfied.

Lindsey's Grade: B+

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