Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jillian Kent's Secrets of the Heart ~ Reviewed

Secrets of the Heart
Book 1 of The Ravensmoore Chronicles
By Jillian Kent
Realms 2011
ISBN 978-1-61638-185-1

Review by Michelle Griep

Madeline Whittington emerges from English society’s prescribed period of mourning in late winter 1817. A string of heartbreaking losses has convinced her that she no longer belongs in a world of gossip and gowns—instead she discovers a passion for helping others.

When she confronts the new Earl of Ravensmoore for his part in her father’s death, she finds her rage slowly turning into respect…and then something more—an attraction that catapults them into unexpected danger, incredible love, and ultimate forgiveness.

Early 19th century medicine, both physical and mental, has always interested me. Author Jillian Kent includes lots of detail about the medical practices of Regency England in Secrets of the Heart. Her hero, Devlin Grayson, is a unique combination of doctor and member of the peerage, quite the humble nobleman.

Historically speaking, Kent did her homework before penning this story. She mentions William Tuke, an early reformer of mental institutions, and accurately portrays the plight of those sent to an asylum. It’s not pretty, but she manages to describe the horrendous situation with tact.

Main character Madeline Whittington is sometimes ridiculously headstrong and unthinking in her actions. The romance between her and Lord Ravensmoore is at times a bit contrived, but for the most part sweet. I’d rate this an adequate summer read, something to toss in your beach bag along with your sun block.

This is the first book in The Ravensmoore Chronicles put out by Realms, a division of the Charisma House Book Group.

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