A Devious Secret

Gentlemen of London Book 6

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
334 Pages
Reviewed on 02/03/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

Laura Beers’ A Devious Secret features Stephen Wycomb and Gemma Hawkinge. Both characters are deeply depressed, though for different reasons. Stephen is a commoner who served as a captain in the Royal Navy. France captured his ship, and the majority of his crew is killed. He thought it was his fault and felt the necessity to provide condolences to the loved ones of the dead. However, he discovers his best friend, Benjamin Heathcote, is alive despite the Royal Navy listing him as deceased. He begins his search for Benjamin. Meanwhile, his sister, Marielle, has insisted he attends several social events and accepts her husband, Lord Hugh, who is a childhood nemesis. Gemma is still mourning the supposed death of her husband, Benjamin. Her aunt has invited her to London, and intentionally going against the advice of Lord Henry, her brother-in-law, she accepts. Lord Henry follows Gemma without her knowledge.

Laura Beers depicted England in 1813 with incredible accuracy. Stephen was wealthy but wasn’t accepted by high society. Gemma was considered poor, but since she was a countess, she was accepted by high society. I could understand why both of them were depressed; losing people who are a large part of your life is a crushing feeling. Stephen’s feeling of guilt came with the saying that a captain goes down with his ship. However, being captured while unconscious would be tragic as well. His pursuit of Benjamin ended unpredictably; however, he learns a valuable lesson. Gemma’s meekness was infuriating when she didn't speak her mind. Her growth as a person is slower than Stephen’s but fits the plot well. I enjoyed seeing the alternating views between Gemma and Benjamin. Their emotions were portrayed realistically, which allowed for a natural feel to the romance. A Devious Secret has an air of mystery, romance, and personal growth in characters and I recommend it to all fans of this genre.