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The Secret Pearl by [Balogh, Mary]
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The Secret Pearl Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Length: 432 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this Regency tale of two tortured souls who find joy together, Fleur, on the verge of starvation after fleeing a lascivious guardian and murder charges, turns to prostitution on the streets of London. Her first customer is a scarred gentleman who pays her triple after discovering that he has taken her virginity. Then, to her great surprise, Fleur finds employment as the governess to Lady Pamela. How? Her sole customer was Adam Kent, the Duke of Ridgeway. Grievously wounded in war years ago and believed dead, Adam lost his estate and his fiancee to his brother. Finally, he was able to reclaim his position as duke and Sybil as his bride, but he never could regain Sybil's affection. Balogh puts two highly honorable characters into a seemingly impossible situation and keeps the reader guessing the entire time as she manages to finally create a -happily-ever-after ending. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

New York Times bestselling, multi-award-winning author Mary Balogh grew up in Wales, land of sea and mountains, song and legend. She brought music and a vivid imagination with her when she came to Canada to teach. There she began a second career as a writer of books that always end happily and always celebrate the power of love. There are over four million copies of her Regency romances and historical romances in print.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3501 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0440242975
  • Publisher: Dell (November 29, 2005)
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2005
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,585 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr W. Richards on August 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There aren't many writers of historical romances - especially set in the English Regency period - who can make their heroine a prostitute, have the reader know about it right from the start of the book, and not only get away with it, but have the readers on the heroine's side from the beginning. But Balogh's done it, and more than once too. The Secret Pearl opens with Adam, Duke of Raybourne, emerging from the Drury Lane Theatre, parting from his friends, and seeing a sad-looking prostitute standing in the shadows. Something makes him approach her; despite the fact that she isn't throwing out any lures to him at all, he hires her. And, despite the fact that sleeping with prostitutes isn't something he makes a habit of, he takes her to a room in a run-down inn to use her.
This, we find, is Fleur's first night as a prostitute; having gone two days without food and unable to get a job, she has decided to sell the only remaining asset she has: herself. Her client, though, makes the experience almost as bad as it could possibly be: he is clinical and direct about what he wants, and - not knowing that Fleur is a virgin - he hurts her.
Afterwards, Adam does feel some guilt, and he feeds Fleur as well as giving her three times as much money as she asked for. And then he sends his secretary to ensure that she is offered a job - as governess to his daughter. His motives, he assumes, are simply philanthropic: he hates the thought of a gentlewoman down on her luck having to survive on the streets, and he feels guilty for not having realised before it was too late that she wasn't accustomed to her trade.
So Fleur takes up residence in the Duke of Raybourne's estate, delighted to have found a refuge both from her life in London and from the horrors from which she ran in the first place.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Secret Pearl is Mary Balogh at her best. The Secret Pearl is romance at it's best! I finished this book last night hours after I should have been asleep. When I can't put the book down like this, I know it's a 5 star read.
Adam is scarred from his battle in Waterloo but he is scarred on the inside too. When this Duke sees a quiet unassuming prostitute standing in the shadows of a theatre, he is drawn to her although he has remained faithful to his marriage vows since he married the current duchess 5 years before. He doesn't know why the prostitute stays on his mind after their fateful night but we find out as he eventually does that he was meant for her and she for him. The prostitute is Fleur, a lady down on her luck or so it would seem. Fate, it seems had let Adam and Fleur down for many years but smiles on Adam and Fleur on this fateful night. Of course Adam and Fleur would disagree then that fate was smiling on them. For that is the night that Fleur decided she was not going to go without food for the 3rd day in a row. She can live or die and she makes her choice to live knowing that the only thing she had to sell at that point was her body. The employment agency had all but laughed in her face when she sought employment without references. She tells Adam that she had been standing there for a day or so but noone else had wanted her. Adam doesn't wonder why as he looks Fleur over and notices her dull scraggly hair, her thin and drawn body, and her dried cracked lips.
Adam and Fleur are complex characters, much more than the usual two dimensional characters we get from your average romance that is churned out every month. Even the villians aren't just evil for the sake of being evil. They are also complex and most have their reasons for their weaknesses.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Last spring, I read Mary Balogh's More Than a Mistress and loved it, but was disappointed with No Man's Mistress and decided not to bother with Balogh again. However, someone told me about The Secret Pearl and how I should read it because it is a beautiful story that is also quite historically accurate to boot. I couldn't find this so-called gem for a while and gave up. But I bought it the second I heard that the book had been reprinted. My friend had been right! This is one beautiful, tragic, heartbreaking love story of star-crossed lovers and unrequited love with an amazing eye on historical detail. Isabella Fleur Bradshaw has reached her last resort. Having escaped from her home after tragedy strikes, she is starving and penniless and has resorted to the last and most unwanted option: to become a whore. She meets a dark, brooding, scarred gentleman one evening outside a theater. She sells her body for the first and only time. The experience is dark and sordid and one she doesn't wish to repeat again. She especially doesn't want to see the scary scarred man again. But when she accepts the position as a five-year-old girl's governess one week later, she discovers that not only is the scarred man her new employer, but that he is also Adam Kent, the Duke of Ridgeway, husband and father. Seeing him awakens her nightmares from that terrible night and she fears him and is repulsed by him. Slowly, however, she discovers a different side of the duke. Reluctant, these two tortured souls find themselves becoming closer to one another, but they both have secrets, secrets that are worse than breaking the rules of propriety. There are many twists throughout the novel.Read more ›
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