Title: His Lordship’s Secret
Series: His Lordship’s Mysteries: Book One
Author: Samantha SoRelle
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 329 Pages
Category: Historical Romance, Mystery
At a Glance: A great twist to the mystery at the end of His Lordship’s Secret drives the story to its dangerous climax. I’m counting this one a win, a lucky find, and am looking forward to more of Alfie and Nick’s adventures, hopefully sooner than later.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: London 1818
Alfred Pennington, the Earl of Crawford, knows someone wants him dead. An illicit boxing match seems the perfect opportunity to hire a champion fighter to watch his back, but Alfie is shocked to recognize the beaten and bloody challenger as his childhood friend, Dominick, one of the few people who knows the truth about Alfie’s past.
Life has been hard for Dominick, so he can’t believe his luck when Alfie—now with fine manners and a fancy title—offers him a chance to escape the slums in order to catch a potential killer. That’s difficult enough, but not falling in love with the refined, confident man his friend has become may prove trickier still.
The investigation draws the two men closer than ever, but it becomes clear that their years apart may prove too much to overcome. As the danger mounts, can they find their way through the past to a future together? Or will hidden secrets cost them their happiness… and their lives?
Review: Never one to miss the opportunity to sink my reading chops into a historical romance—and bonus, it’s a mystery too—I couldn’t have enjoyed His Lordship’s Secret more if I tried. Samantha SoRelle is the enabler of our escape to the Regency Era for a bit, and gives us character backstories designed to capitalize on the emotional engagement of the childhood hardships our intrepid heroes, Alfie and Dominick, both endured. SoRelle weaves in those details in a way that their meaner origin stories become integral to the mystery itself.
Someone is trying to murder Lord Alfred Pennington, and while there’s a compelling incentive for that person, or persons, to see him dead, there is also more than one connotation that can be inferred from the blackmail letters he’s been receiving. Reunited after more than a decade, by the strictest definition of synchronicity, when Alfie is in need of a bodyguard and finds his protector in the form of a man he hasn’t seen since they were both children, the slow burn romantic arc begins, as does the delineation of all the ways Alfie’s and Nick’s lives have diverged and how diametrically opposed their lives should be. It’s the memories of how much they meant to each other all those years before that covers the spread, though, and shows readers that their hearts could not be closer.
Working together to unveil Alfie’s blackmailer and would-be killer, while he and Nick get to know each other again, isn’t a simple matter of them falling back into an easy friendship. This book doesn’t ignore the various strikes against the possibility of them becoming socially and romantically entangled. A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge, but those enduring memories of their time together and the bonds formed in childhood, along with the regret of how much time was lost when they were separated, plays into the romantic elements of their story. As they work together, regain their friendship, and recall the ardency of their connection, they take a leap of faith, and of course love, to be together.
There was a great twist to the mystery at the end that drives this story to its dangerous climax. Through bodily harm and sheer force of will, and with a little help from Nick’s connections and Alfie’s no-nonsense housekeeper, Mrs. Hirkins, along the way, the men commence to planning a future together that promises more mysteries to solve in the coming books. I’m counting His Lordship’s Secret a win, a lucky find, and am looking forward to this couple’s further adventures, hopefully sooner than later.
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