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Her Secret Desire (A Novel of Lord Hawkesbury's Players Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

C.J. Archer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Previously available as A Secret Life.

Prepare for a romp through Elizabethan England, where finding love is written in the stars...

Comely, courageous Minerva “Min” Peabody, a poor but passionate playwright, is determined to make her mark. Ill-fated to live in Elizabethan England, when women—deemed the inferior sex—most assuredly did not write plays, Min will prevail. With her finished play in hand, she implores Roger Style, a local theatre manager in London, to read it. Though desperate in his own right—due to a string of commercial failures—all Style sees before him is a woman playwright, and refuses to even look at her work.

On impulse, Min changes her story, claiming the play was written by the man standing across the street, and secures the manager’s agreement to review it. But her choice of surrogate, Robert “Blake” Blakewell, promises to be a mixed blessing indeed. Blake, a handsome blue-eyed sea captain with his own agenda, is a man with a mysterious past, a pair of breathtaking shoulders, and an irresistible aura of intrigue. Though he agrees to her outlandish proposal, she has to wonder, as she gets lost in his eyes, what in the world she’s gotten herself into.

Blake’s own mission? To ferret out the cad in Roger Style’s theatre company responsible for getting his sister with child. And when that objective threatens to derail Min’s nascent career, his dilemma is a daunting one: protect either his family’s honor or the woman who’s slowly but surely softening his heart and winning his love.

Funny, fast-paced, and with a deliciously dark edge, Her Secret Desire speaks to any woman who’s ever had to fight for her dreams in a world that just won’t take her seriously.

Editorial Reviews


"A light, hot romance that will enchant readers." —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars (HOT)

"C.J. Archer brings Elizabethan London to vivid life with all its romance, danger and glamour. Take a walk on the wild side!" —Anna Campbell, author of Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed

About the Author

C. J. Archer feels lucky to have been able to combine two lifelong loves, history and books, into the crafting of her three historical romances set in Elizabethan England. They include Kiss of Ash, Her Secret Desire, and Honor Bound,the 2008 winner of the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award. Under the pen name of Carolyn Scott, she has published contemporary short stories in women’s magazines on two continents, including Take A Break, Woman’s Day, and That’s Life.

While she’s always been a novelist at heart and to her core, at different times in her career she’s assumed the roles of librarian, IT support person, and technical writer. Born in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, Archer grew up in a mining town in Queensland, steeped in the dramatic beauty of the Outback. She now lives in Melbourne, Victoria, with her husband and two children, and when not working on her next novel, she enjoys reading and gardening.

Product Details

  • File Size: 510 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612183158
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (April 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00702M9HS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,946 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical Theatre story May 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Reviewed at Another Look Book Reviews

I found that A Secret Life had a fairly interesting beginning, a slow middle and then it got super ramped up and exciting near the end of the book. If the entire book was a fast paced and as interesting as the end of the book, A Secret Life would have been amazing.

Ok let me start with the beginning. It's always interesting to me when I read historical books. I love them. It amuses me if not pisses me off how women were viewed and where their role in society was held. I surely don't know how I'd have ever survived in any other era than the current. Poor Min. She is a woman born in the wrong century for sure. Smart, well educated in the sciences of the day, knows various languages and she has a talent for writing poetry and play writing. Unfortunately all these gifts were used to serve her father's pursuits and no theatre company would even read her material simply based upon the fact of her gender.

On the fly she comes with an idea to have a man pose as the author for her play. That's where Robert "Blake" Blakewell comes into the story.

Up until that point, I thought the story was great and it was holding my interest. The middle of the book just seemed to drag for me. There were a whole bunch of scenes that could have been condensed or removed altogether. I would have loved more time between "Blake" and Min. Maybe more humour. Something that connected them more. Something that would have made me want to root for them or to have me feel a deeper chemistry between the pair. There is so much potential for the pair but it just fell short of drama or passion.

Then at about 80% on my Kindle, the story came alive. Blazingly alive.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs Work August 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
While the premise of this novel is intriguing--London Theatre during the Elizabethan age, and a woman who wants to write plays--the tale suffers from some glaring weaknesses that expose a lack of basic knowledge. For example: 1. The Epilogue comes in the right place, at the end of the story, but is startlingly titled 'Prologue.' 2. The writer apparently thinks that the past tense of 'sneak' is 'snuck'. 3. The characters use slang and idiomatic English that Elizabethans would never have employed, as many terms were not invented until the 20th century. 4. Someone chews of bites or nibbles at his or her lip on nearly every page, or so it seemed, long before the end. It grew more and more annoying, both as a nervous habit and a sylistic device. In short, the book needs some work.
That said, if you are not bothered by these problems, then perhaps this great romp of a bodice ripper is for you. Nothing wrong with the descriptions of this lusty couple's adventures in the bedroom. As for me, I hope the author takes my advice (see above) to heart and elminates such problems in future books. The writing shows promise.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creative Story Line Kept My Interest December 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great original storyline that kept me interested despite the plain vanilla male lead. The female lead is wonderfully written and easy to cheer for throughout the full length novel.

Minerva and Blake meet under unusual circumstances. Blake is trying to find the seducer/impregnator of his sister and Minerva is trying to get her play accepted and uses Blake at the last instant as the male who wrote the play because 'women can't write plays.'

Minerva is a great character sorely neglected by her father living on the edge of poverty. She struggles to find they way to write the 'passion' needed into her play and Blake 'helps' her. Blake seems a bit too shallow and doesn't have the depth of character I like to see in leading male characters. The sizzle level is a mild-medium with an overall raw sexiness about it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful August 8, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book! The plot was interesting - and more complex than I thought it would be. The climax of the story was superb! Much better than I had anticipated! Ned didn't seem to be much of a character throughout the book, but that changed near the end of the book. It was a unique and great story. It was unlike anything I've ever read before.
I do admit that the story dragged a bit in the middle. I think a bit more humor would have made a huge difference in the middle.
The characters (even the secondary characters) were well-done. They felt real. Min's relationship with her father was complicated and that made it even more interesting and real to me.
Overall, this was a great book. I highly recommend it to anyone. I will definitely be looking into more books by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Anachronistic February 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If an author wants to set a book in 16th-century England, then shouldn't she attempt to represent the customs, habits, and social structure of the period? In The Secret Desire CJ Archer writes a story that is superficially of the 16th century - with an Elizabethan privateer and William Shakespeare as main characters - but she really ignores how people would have talked or interacted at the time. So the 16th-century ends up being just window dressing for a fairly mundane plot with quite under-developed characters, who speak in 21st-century language and show no real awareness of class distinctions. What's the point?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Escape Life For A Moment
Sometimes you need to read a romance where it turns out happily ever after to convince yourself someday that you might get to live happily ever after in real life!
Published 1 month ago by Delana Bellah
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough but not great
For the most part I enjoyed this book. There was a point toward the end where I didn't think I could stand the stupidity of the heroine anymore. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
It was a good read had better but I also had worse it was not want I thought it would be
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect beach reading....
Recommended for a fun & relaxing read on a tropical beach. Looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.
Published 5 months ago by Candace Grant
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I liked the story, it was not what I expected.
Published 8 months ago by T.Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun quick read
this was a fun quick read. nice twist to regency novel. normally, it's an attempt to seduce and ruin the woman's family. appreciate the twist and strong female lead
Published 9 months ago by Sabrina M
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Loved it!
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
Love the series. There are some series that pull you in with that first read. This is one. I will purchase them until the series runs out of plots.
Published 10 months ago by O.R.
4.0 out of 5 stars Her secret desire
Very interesting and keeps you wondering on what's going to happen next. Going to start reading the next novel in the series right now!
Published 13 months ago by Lorraine Sniadajewski
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
Most of the time, period romances are a bit disappointing to me, largely because the authors don't fully realize their characters or do so using very tired stereotypes. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amanda C.
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More About the Author

C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two with her writing. Under her other name of Carolyn Scott, she has published contemporary short stories in women's magazines, and she also writes romantic mystery novels under this name.

She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. She has won and placed in romance writing contests including winning RWAustralia's Emerald Award in 2008 for the manuscript that went on to be released under the title HONOR BOUND. C.J. spent her early childhood in the dramatic beauty of outback Queensland, Australia, but now lives in suburban Melbourne with her husband and two children.

To be notified when C.J. releases a new book, subscribe to her newsletter from her website. She only sends out the newsletter when she releases a new book, and never spams.

Twitter: cj_archer
Facebook: CJArcherAuthorPage

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