Saturday, August 24, 2019

Review - Marry in Secret

Title:   Marry in Secret
Author:  Anne Gracie
Series:  Marriage of Convenience #3
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:  Berkley
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   336
Date of Publication:  July 30, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars


A rugged and ruined naval officer comes to claim his bride in an unforgettable tale of love, revenge and redemption from the national bestselling author of Marry in Scandal. 

Lady Rose Rutherford—rebel, heiress, and exasperated target of the town's hungry bachelors—has a plan to gain the freedom she so desperately desires: she will enter into a marriage of convenience with the biggest prize on the London marriage mart.

There's just one problem: the fierce-looking man who crashes her wedding to the Duke of Everingham — Thomas Beresford, the young naval officer she fell in love with and secretly married when she was still a schoolgirl. Thought to have died four years ago he's returned, a cold, hard stranger with one driving purpose—revenge.

Embittered by betrayal and hungry for vengeance, Thomas will stop at nothing to reclaim his rightful place, even if that means using Rose—and her fortune—to do it. But Rose never did follow the rules, and as she takes matters into her own unpredictable hands, Thomas finds himself in an unexpected and infuriating predicament: he's falling in love with his wife....


Lady Rose Rutherford is a rebel. She has seen her brother and sister find love, and now it seems that she is next on the marriage market. Having turned down an inordinate number of proposals, Rose decides to forge her own path by entering a marriage of convenience. She has given up of finding love, but she does want children of her own, so she agrees to marry the Duke of Everingham. 

However, right in the middle of the ceremony, everyone is shocked to hear: STOP THE WEDDING. Who is the man suddenly standing before her? Unkempt and unclean, yet he bears an unsettling resemblance. The man proves to be Thomas Beresford, a naval officer who Rose secretly married four years previously. How can this be? He was said to have died. 

Not only is Rose forced to end her almost-wedding, Thomas immediately has plans of his own. These plans include a path towards vengeance. He lost everything when he almost died and has suffered a terrible fate. Now he is back and will stop at nothing, including using Rose and he fortune to get back everything he lost.

Rose is baffled. She never stopped loving Thomas, but she was sure he was lost to her forever. Who is this man before her now? He is not the gentle and passionate man she fell in love with. Instead, he is cold, hard and angry. 

Rose and Thomas are about to have a second chance in life. Things will not come easy, especially when considering the horrid things that Thomas experienced. I was so very sad for Thomas and felt for him. It was heartwarming to see Rose's compassion and love shine through, while watching Thomas begin to heal.

Marriage in Secret is the third book in the Marriage of Convenience series. We have had Emm and Lily's stories, and they were a delight. Rose's story is my favorite. In part, because she is so young, just twenty years old, but her capacity for love is incredibly overwhelming. As this is her story, it could serve as a standalone. But the family ties are powerful, so reading this series in order just might be very enjoyable for lovers of this genre. I do look forward to Georgiana's story next.


Me, very early in my story-telling career

I’ve always loved stories. Family legend has it that I used to spend hours playing in the sand pit, with a dog on either side of me and Rocka the horse leaning over me, his head just touching my shoulder, while I told them stories. I have to say, dogs and horses are great audiences, apart from their tendency to drool occasionally. But people are even nicer.

In case you imagine we were a filthy rich horse-owning family, let me assure you we weren’t. The horse period was a time when my parents entered a “let’s-be-self-sufficient” phase, so we had a horse, but no electricity and all our water came from the rain tank.

As well as the horse and dogs, we had 2 cows (Buttercup and Daisy and one of them always had a calf), a sheep (Woolly,) goats (Billy and Nanny) dozens of ducks, chooks, and a couple of geese, a pet bluetongue lizard and a huge vegie patch. I don’t know how my mother managed, really, because both she and Dad taught full time, but she came home and cooked on a wood stove and did all the laundry by hand, boiling the clothes and sheets in a big copper kettle. Somehow, we were always warm, clean, well fed and happy. She’s pretty amazing, my mum.

Once I learned to read, I spent my days outside playing with the animals (I include my brother and 2 sisters here) and when inside I read. For most of my childhood we didn’t have TV, so books have always been a big part of my life. Luckily our house was always full of them. Travel was also a big part of my childhood. My parents had itchy feet. We spent a lot of time driving from one part of Australia to another, visiting relatives or friends or simply to see what was there. I’ve lived in Scotland, Malaysia and Greece. We travelled through Europe in a caravan and I’d swum most of the famous rivers in Europe by the time I was eight.

This is me and my classmates in Scotland. I am in the second front row, in the middle, to the right of the girl in the dark tunic.

Sounds like I was raised by gypsies, doesn’t it? I was even almost born in a tent –Mum, Dad and 3 children were camping and one day mum left the tent and went to hospital to have me. But in fact we are a family of chalkies (Australian slang for teachers)- and Dad was a school principal during most of my life. And I am an expert in being “the new girl” having been to 6 different schools in 12 years.The last 4 years, however, were in the same high school and I still have my 2 best friends from that time.

On the left is me in Greece with my good friend, Fay, in our village outfits. The film went a funny colour, but you get the idea. I’m the one in the pink apron. On the right, is me posing shamelessly on a glacier in New Zealand.

No matter where I lived, I read. I devoured whatever I could get my hands on — old Enid Blyton and Mary Grant Bruce books, old schoolboys annuals. I learned history by reading Rosemary Sutcliffe, Henry Treece and Georgette Heyer. I loved animal books — Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby books and Mary Patchett and Finn the Wolf Hound. And then I read Jane Austen and Dickens and Mary Stewart and Richard Llewellyn and Virginia Woolf and EF Benson and Dick Francis and David Malouf and Patrick White and Doris Lessing and PD James and…the list is never ending.

I escaped from my parents, settled down and went to university.To my amazement I became a chalkie myself and found a lot of pleasure in working with teenagers and later, adults. I taught English and worked as a counsellor and helped put on plays and concerts and supervised camps and encouraged other people to write but never did much myself. It took a year of backpacking around the world to find that my early desire to write hadn’t left me, it had just got buried under a busy and demanding job.

I wrote my first novel on notebooks bought in Quebec, Spain, Greece and Indonesia. That story never made it out of the notebooks, but I’d been bitten by the writing bug.

And then I discovered Romance and … the rest is…. historicals…


  1. I envy your reviewing skills - you are always so thoughtful and thorough in her analysis

  2. Great review, not my kind of book but enjoyed reading your review.

  3. Glad you enjoyed it but Historical Romance isn't my cup of tea.

  4. Great review Robin I also love HR books as well and this one looks and sounds absolutely fantastic, I am really glad you fully enjoyed reading this book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.