A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh

Huxtable Quintet, Book 5

Delacourte Press


ISBN: 978-0385343305

Reviewed by Talia Ricci




Constantine is the Huxtable family wild child.  He loves women and is somewhat of a playboy.  His family enjoys talking about him and Constantine is getting tired of being the front for gossip.  Figuring changes should be made to his life, Constantine concentrates on being an upstanding citizen.  No more affairs for him.  Or so he thinks.  The Duchess of Dunbarton, a widow, has naughty and illicit plans for Constantine and they don’t include talking about the weather!  Hannah was once a maiden, but life got in the way and now she has the reputation of being able to court and win over any man she wants.  And she wants Constantine.

I adored the characterization of Constantine.  I knew why he was reacting and trying to put his best foot forward and change his life.  I did NOT like Hannah. She was not soft and more than once I found her sexuality to be on the trashy side.  Now mind you, I read erotic romance, but what her character made me feel was not romantic or erotic.  It made me think of easy and ‘whorish’.  When I read a historical romance I want my female character to be a certain way and Hannah was not.  In fact, she was so hard and jaded that I pretty much felt sorry for Constantine because never would I have placed him with a woman like Hannah.

The title, A Secret Affair, is exactly what it implies.  Constantine and Hannah’s affair was dirty and illicit and definitely needed some emotion.  These two strong main characters just didn’t click or seem like someone I would want to read about.  The love scenes to me were contrived and almost non existent.  Flowery words and prose are not something I enjoy.  I would skip A Secret Affair unless you are a die hard Mary Balogh fan.


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