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Product Details

  • Series: Huxtable Series (Book 5)
  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144188050X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441880505
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,538,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Balogh's final entry in the Huxtable family saga focuses on enigmatic cousin Constantine, long the most maligned of the Huxtables. Hannah, widowed duchess of Dunbarton, has set her sights on Constantine as the ideal lover—a handsome man of experience that she can seduce and set aside once she is done with him. Constantine, meanwhile, is thrilled by Hannah's beauty, but scornful of her reputation, and though the intention is just to have a little fun, they fall in love. Balogh has saved the best for last; Constantine—dark, wicked, and cryptic—has a perfect foil in Hannah, and their encounters are steamy, their romance believable. Though series fans will be disappointed to see it come to a close, they couldn't ask for a better way to go out. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* One year after her husband’s death, Hannah Reid, Duchess of Dunbarton, decides it’s time to take a lover. Of course, being Hannah, she has already chosen her paramour: tall, dark, and sinfully sexy Constantine Huxtable. Hannah may have already decided they were meant to be together, but Con is a man used to making up his own mind. At first Con is amused by Hannah’s blatant campaign of seduction. Then he becomes intrigued by the enigmatic beauty. Finally, because he always takes a lover during London’s social season, he begins to ask himself why shouldn’t it be Hannah? Although Hannah and Con might have agreed to become lovers, neither one expected to fall in love, which, of course, greatly complicates their secret affair. The exquisitely crafted chemistry that develops between Hannah and Con is pure passion deftly leavened with tart wit, which ensures that A Secret Affair, the concluding volume in Balogh’s Regency historical Huxtable series, is a sweetly romantic, deliciously sexy triumph. --John Charles --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Love, Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic, and Simply Perfect, her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin's School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 105 people found the following review helpful By C. Klaassen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the fifth book in the Huxtable Series and it is probably the most highly anticipated of the series. (See details below.) It is Constantine's story. We first met Constantine in book one when he was standing over the grave of his newly deceased younger brother, Jonathan (The Earl of Merton). Jonathan died young, being born with what we now refer to as Downs Syndrome. Through unfortunate circumstance (he was born two days before his parents married) Constantine was cut off from the line of succession and so with Jonathan's death the title and estates pass to a distant relation. Constantine is understandably bitter, the only person he truly loves has died and his unworthy successor is on the way to usurp his position. Constantine is directed to clear off the estate by his cousin Viscount Lyngate (who regards him as a blackguard, capable of stealing from his disabled brother). By all appearances, Constantine is the black sheep of the family. Ah, but then in the following books we began to get peeks behind the black mask. Constantine proves himself a ready friend to the future Earl and a constant support to his sisters. Hints are dropped that the villainous acts attributed to Constantine might not be as they seem.

"A Secret Affair" opens with the devastating Duchess of Dunbarton (Hannah) returning to town for the season. The Duchess has just cast off her blacks after a year of mourning her elderly husband. The Duke was 70 years old at the time of their marriage and for the entirety of their relationship (10 years) he openly indulged his beautiful young Duchess. Gowns, jewels, landed estates; nothing was too much for her. He instructed her in an attitude of entitlement and by all appearance she was an apt pupil.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Gold VINE VOICE on April 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Nearly a decade ago I finally "got" traditional Regency Romances, and fell in love with Mary Balogh. Not her single title historicals, but trad Regencies such as The Ideal Wife, The Obedient Bride, The Plumed Bonnet, and The Temporary Wife. Before "getting" trads, I'd tried one of her early single title historicals - it left a bad taste in my mouth. While I have bought the earlier entries in her Huxtable series because a good friend called them great examples of Regencies in Disguise, I've not yet read any of them. After being enthralled by A Secret Affair, I'll be moving them closer to the top of my massive TBR pile. It's the best book by far that I've read in nearly a year, and though it ends a series and reunites the reader with couples met in earlier books, the reunion is never saccharine and never overshadows the current story.

What I like best about Balogh is her writing's spare quality. No extra prose - or extra plot - mucks up her books so that every word and plot twist needs to be there, even those in her mild yet extremely effective love scenes. She does tend to write certain themes often, such as the prostitute heroine, but she tackles subjects other authors don't, and can convince readers to read things they normally might refuse to, such as infidelity in marriage.

A Secret Affair doesn't feature infidelity or a prostitute heroine, but it does feature a heroine rumored to have been unfaithful to the very old Duke she'd married 11 years earlier. A year after his death, now out of her widow's weeds, she is on the lookout for a lover for the Season. She has set her cap on Constantine Huxtable, whose parents failed to marry until after his birth.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By tachi1 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A Secret Affair is the conclusion and culmination of one of the most well-written series that Mary Balogh has crafted. The Huxtable series has been almost perfect in length, number of characters, publication sequence and timing, and in plot and story line. (Unlike the Bedwyn series, which was bogged down by too many characters, too many plots, and publications spread over too long a period). I have enjoyed the entire five-book series; I am sorry to see it end; but I am delighted that it ended with this endearing and thoroughly fulfilling book.

Con has been my favorite character from the very beginning of the very first book even though I really didn't get to know him well until now. Hannah, is his perfect soul mate. They are alike in what they need to share and different in what they need to compliment. They are two people who bring out the best in each other and fill the empty parts of each other's hearts. Is there a better definition of love? Their path to understanding and accepting this truth is mired by old hurts, past betrayals, and fear of letting go of the masks they each wear for protection. It is a joy to see the insecurities and vulnerabilities gradually recede and see them both embrace life fully.

As in all Balogh books, it is more character-driven than event-driven. The characters become people you know and can relate to (faults and all). They have virtues, but are not perfect. They have regrets, they make mistakes and they become better persons because of them. Through it all, there is love and family well-grounded in a sense of honor and simple human decency that is both uplifting and reassuring.
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