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Secrets of the Heart



Title:  Secrets of the Heart (The Chronicles of Ravensmoore #1)
Author:  Jillian Kent
Pages:  273
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Realms
                This book is a wonderful beginning to a new series for Jillian Kent.  The story is set in Yorkshire, England in the year 1817.  Lady Madeline Whittington is a young woman still grieving over the sudden death of her father and siblings.  Her best friend, Lady Hally Gilling, has invited her to a social outing to try to get her back into society.  While out riding during a fox hunt, Maddie is thrown from her horse and sustains an injury.  Her injury is tended by Doctor Devlin Grayson, the new Lord Ravensmoore.  Maddie is averse to his care as he was present when her father died in the hospital of a leg injury.  She thinks Devlin killed her father due to his lack of knowledge or inappropriate care as he was a student doctor in training at the time her father was brought in with his injury.  She wants him to stop “checking” on her so he won’t discover the girl she is protecting who has escaped from the nearby insane asylum.
                Devlin Grayson is Lord Ravensmoore now due to the unexpected death of his older brother.  As a member of the peerage it is just not done to work at a profession.  He is snubbed by the ton for the most part, but has been invited to attend the fox hunt.  It is a good think he is there as he is able to tend Maddie’s injury.  Devlin is instantly smitten with Maddie, but he knows she doesn’t feel the same about him as she is not shy about telling him!  Maddie is hiding something, but what?  Devlin is putting in what seems like endless hours at the hospital as he is due to complete his training soon.  He wants to pursue Maddie, but can she forgive him?  Will he give up his practice of medicine to which he feels God has called him for Maddie?
                Maddie is also struggling with her mother’s newfound love, Lord Vale.  Maddie suffers from bouts of melancholy and now her mother has found a new love so soon after her father’s death.  However, it has been over a year since her father’s death her mother points out and she is lonely.  There is something about Lord Vale that Maddie can’t put her finger on, but she doesn’t like him.  Lord Vale also says he financially supports Ashcroft, the local insane asylum.  However, Maddie soon discovers things are not as they appear at the asylum.  What is going on?  Devlin is called to the asylum to help treat patients for a smallpox outbreak.  He soon discovers chaos inside as well as something else…  Lord Vale has definite plans to get Maddie’s mother out of the way now that he has married her in a quick trip to Gretna Green.  He also plans to take care of Maddie as well.  What is his nefarious plan?
                I can hardly wait for the second novel in this series to arrive in the mail!  This is a quick and entertaining story with well-developed characters that I became quickly interested in.  I’ll let you know soon what I think of the second book.
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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