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Her Secret Fantasy: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Spice Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gaelen Foley is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty historical romances set in the glittering world of Regency England. Her award-winning novels are available worldwide in sixteen languages. Gaelen holds a B.A. in English Literature and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and a ridiculously cute Bichon Frise named Bingley.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034549668X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345496683
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Noted for her "complex, subtly shaded characters, richly sensual love scenes, and elegantly fluid prose" (Booklist), NYT, PW, and USA Today Bestselling author Gaelen Foley has written twenty rich, bold historical romances set in Regency England and Napoleonic Europe. Her books are available in seventeen languages worldwide and have won numerous awards, including the National Readers' Choice Award, the Booksellers' Best, the Golden Leaf, the Award of Excellence, and the HOLT Medallion. Visit www.GaelenFoley.com for more info, or copy and paste this link to join her mailing list to receive an email alert when her new releases are available: http://tinyurl.com/nv6wusb

Gaelen also co-writes rollicking middle grade fantasy adventure novels with her husband under the penname E.G. Foley. Their current project is a Victorian fantasy series called The Gryphon Chronicles (and Book 1, The Lost Heir, has been optioned for a movie!) Visit www.EGFoley.com to learn more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
If this is your first Foley book, put it down and go back to any of her earlier books. This one was so disappointing. It started out promising, then just disintegrated. I caught myself in the middle realizing I was just skimming -- and I never skim! It takes until page 325ish before Foley realizes oops! no consumation scene so she squeezes one in during the most improbable circumstance. Derek starts out as a sizzling hero and ends up very wishy-washy. I found it disjointed and anticlimactic... where were her editors?? Oh, well ... all of her others have been grand, so I will forgive this one for now.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book two is miles better than one, however, not a GF keeper for me. I was not wholly convinced I could tolerate either Knight brother after reading the first in the 'Spice' trilogy, but Derek has changed personalities. Major Derek Knight was the best part of "HSF" although I felt strongly for Lily as well.

What was missing was the dialogue. The reader was in the heads of the characters more than they were actually communicating. Also, lacking was the taut sensual tension I have grown to anticipate from a GF read. The love scenes were warm but I was left cold. I kept waiting for the big Kama Sutra sex scene I've been expecting from all the teasers and was again disappointed.

Normally, I enjoy the plots where the heroine is already betrothed because it usually induces hero-jealousy. Not in this instance. GF merely glanced upon it. The last 50 pages should have been summed up in an epilogue after the final resolution. I found them completely unnecessary.

That said, would I recommend 'Her Secret Fantasy'? I'd say read everything else by Gaelen Foley first. This series just hasn't been my favorite.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lily Balfour is the consummate lady. She has grace, style, and manners, despite the fact that her family is nearly bankrupt after her father's death attempting to seek his fortune in India. With her house in shambles, and her grandfather's title passing to a distant relative, Lily has no other choice than to go to London and find a handsome--and preferably stupid--man who can dig her family out of debt while also benefiting from her good name.

Major Derek Knight returns to England from India to seek out aid that the government has promised to the British soldiers, and failed to send. He has no intentions of behaving like the typical cavalry officer, wiling away his time with drink and women. Instead, Derek only wants to get the money so that he can go back to the front lines and lead his men to victory.

When these two meet at a masked ball, Derek is captivated by Lily's beauty, but again he only has one reason to be in England. When he discovers that Lily is being courted by a man he suspects of treachery, Derek decides to protect the girl from her own fate. When Lily repudiates his efforts, and becomes even more determined to marry her rich, stupid beau, Derek is angered. After all, he has no shortage of women chasing him, and he cannot believe that anyone would turn him down. Together, they fight the love that we all know is coming, with a little bit of mystery and intrigue in the meantime.

I think I once wrote in a review (probably for The Duke, the first book in the Knight series, which I absolutely adored) that Gaelen Foley had never written a bad word in her life. Well, I'm recanting that statement. This book was just bad. I love Gaelen Foley.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Overall this was a great historical novel and one I recommend to fans of this genre, but I don't think it will be considered GF's best. (Considering all of her books are great, that isn't bad!) Derek was a great hero, maybe one of GF best ever, as he was full of charm and a wicked sense of humor. He meets Lily at a ball and becomes instantly smitten. Lily has been in London trying to find a 'rich but stupid' husband, one who can help pull her family out of hard times. Derek finds himself working with Lily's soon to be fiance, which keeps these two in close quarters. GF delivers a smart, fun and sexy historical where the sparks fly, the passion is deep, and the action makes you breathless! So, what is wrong with this book? For me, just two things kept it from the 5 stars. One, I found Lily simply forgetable. Didn't hate her, but didn't really like her either. She was smart and agreable, and thank God didn't do anything overly stupid, but she somehow lacked a personality. Her plight was hard to understand, but that is due to much being held until the end. Which brings me to my second problem: the ending. It dragged on too long and missed its mark. This books should have ended 30 pages earlier on a high note instead of the lingering note it finally ends on. For me a good ending can make or break a book. While this ending didn't break this book, it just felt overly long and a bit too depressing. Despite all, GF still remains on the top of my "must read" author list.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
England, 1818. Miss Lily Balfour and her family are on the brink of financial ruin. Rumors have gone around that the Balfour family is cursed after Lily's father dies while trying to find gold in India. It seems that everything after that has been one disaster after another. Now her godmother Mrs. Clearwell has suggested a London season. There she could meet wealthy suitors and have her pick of someone who will help save her financial problem. Lily and her mother agree that she must marry someone who is "rich and stupid," someone not only with financial means to rescue them from ridicule and ruin, but also someone who won't tell the difference between a maiden and, well, someone who isn't a maiden. He will also have to be someone in need of good family connections. Her father was going to be a viscount, and Lily's mother has an earl in her side of the family. So, when Mr. Edward Lundy, a social-climbing tradesman, begins to court Lily, she feels as though she's found the perfect husband.

But she hadn't envisaged meeting and falling for Major Derek Knight -- war hero and incorrigible rogue. Derek wants nothing more than to get the compensation promised to the soldiers so that he could go back into battle in India. Something is going on. The men in charge are hiding something; they're stalling, saying that the money will be available when it's available. But when Edward Lundy approaches Derek, asking him to help him out with an investigation for embezzlement, one of the men will no doubt try to pin on the lowly tradesman. His plans don't go so well, especially after meeting Lily Balfour. He had first laid eyes on her in a fancy-dress ball, where she hid her identity under a fairy mask.
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