The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh

I think this is a great example of a traditional well-done historical romance. Not the silly overdone stuff – but a genuine book. There was an undertone of drama and angst literally from the first page til the last. There was a good villain, a few swoony moments, and an angsty misunderstood hero.

Fleur and Adam meet in terrible awkward circumstances. Each is painted in a bad light. Then they’re placed in a situation that forces them to interact – thus giving them time to grow and learn about the other and deal with their rocky past.

Adam was a fantastic hero – if perhaps a bit too noble. Fleur was strong (to the point of being a little overboard) and kind and likable. The book had the opportunity to run away with the drama but never did – which made me like it a ton. i stayed on the edge of my seat but never rolled my eyes in exasperation.

I’m generally drawn to perkier books, but this was an enjoyable read through and through.

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