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Secrets of an Accidental Duchess (Donovan Sisters #2)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  523 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: se
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2012)
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Feb 10, 2012 Angelc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

4.5 Stars

The first third to half of this book was utterly amazing with an engrossing and over the top romantic love story. If the middle and last part of the book were like this as well, I would have definitely given this one 5 stars and more! However, the middle and later parts of the book were consumed with the villain and some less than believable kidnapping and murder plots. Which was really disappointing, because the main characters and romance were so fantastic! Still, since I loved the fi
You can also read this on Anachronist's blog.

This is the first time I've heard of Jennifer Haymore, and had I known what to expect I most likely would have passed the opportunity to read her work. This isn't going to be a positive review.

The title is misleading. There really weren't that many secrets this accidental duchess had and the ones there were, were revealed quite quickly and without in a timely fashion. His secrets too.

There really should be a series warning for all unsuspecting reader
Sha Mslvoe ♥♥♥
This was a great series. It swept me away, with emotion that jumps out of the pages. I couldn’t put this one down! The characters were all interesting. It has interesting twists I didn't expect. The romances described in the book are wonderful, and Max and Olivia are a perfectly matched pair.

Thanks to the publishers and the teams at Net Galley for making this advance copy available to me for review.
John Hennessy
The follow up to Confessions of an Improper Bride, Jennifer Haymore once again unites us with the Donovan sisters from book one. Olivia is unknowingly caught up in a vicious wager between the wild, young, and rather reckless soon-to-be duke, Max Wakefield.

It's a rather ungentlemanly wager that both he and the odious Lord Fenwicke become involved in. And this is only the start of the book! Fenwicke is a bad seed, that much is certain. It's not a spoiler to say just how bad he can get before the e
♡ Sassy ~ Amy ♡
Cheat: Before you read this book, know that Serena/Meg is Serena a surviving twin who has to live as Meg because she was caught with her husband having sex in the first book & banned from London. The only ones who know are her sisters, Johnathan (her husband) & Lord Langley her previous fiance, the real Meg's formally betrothed. It never says why she can't be called Serena, so if you read this one firs it will frustrate the hell out of you. It is NOT a spoiler, because that's what the wh ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Lisarenee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If she did not succumb to my charms, Halsley, then rest assured, there's no way in hell she'll succumb to yours." Fenwicke's voice was mild, but the cords in his neck bulged above his cravat.

Max shook his head, unable to prevent a sneer from forming on his lips, "You're wrong, Fenwicke."

Fenwicke's brows rose, his eyes glinted, and a sly expression came over his face. He leaned forward, greedily licking his lips.

"Would you care to place a wager on that?"

Two men rivals for years...

He thought
Olivia Donovan has resigned herself to a life without love and a husband. Quite depressing when you think about it. But after suffering an illness that has weakened her constitution, and has relapses. She feels her place will be with one of her sisters when they are married and have children. She can help and find fulfillment in that aspect of her life.

Fate intervenes and she meets Max Buchanan. As a reader it is not hard to like Max. He shows Olivia that there is more to life and she can do an
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Olivia Donovan expects nothing from life but to become a spinster and live among her sisters. A childhood bout of malaria has left her with frequent fevers and her sisters worry over her constantly. She doesn't expect any man to take a chance on a woman with poor health -- one that may not even be able to have children. But that doesn't mean she can't appreciate the looks of a handsome man when she sees it.

Max is certainly a handsome man. When he first noticed Olivia at a London ball, he was ins
I loved the first book in this series, Confessions of an Improper Bride and can happily say I think I enjoyed Secrets of an Accidental Duchess even more.

Max was one of the sweetest historical romance heros I’ve read and he certainly found his perfect match with Olivia.

The villain was one of the worst I’ve encountered in an historical romance. He was just vile and I couldn’t wait to see him get what he deserved.

(view spoiler)
Mary Gramlich
Feb 02, 2012 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SECRETS of an ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS by Jennifer Haymore
01/12 - Grand Central Publishing - Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages

What happens when you most unbelievable dreams come true?

Olivia Donovan grew up in a house full of sisters being viewed as the weak link. Having contracted malaria as a small child Olivia knows that every day she is susceptible to a recurrence of the fevers. Olivia does not want to be treated like a china doll on a shelf and the minute she meets Max, her wishes for adventure may
Feb 04, 2012 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty- one year old Olivia Donovan believes no gentleman would ever want her, after all men want someone who is healthy, not someone like her who could fall ill and perhaps die at anytime from a relapse of malaria that had struck her as a child. She figured her destiny would be to live alone, so she had stopped wishing for a husband and children.When she catches the eye of thirty year old Maxwell Buchanan, he becomes entranced by her and makes a wager that he can seduce her, never anticipating ...more
May 11, 2015 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty decent historical romance novel. There was a dashing rake turned hero, a beautiful heroine, and a brutal bad guy. All the ingredients one needs for a period romance.
Started out strong, but became very cliche toward the end. The villain is over the top mean and ridiculous and the reasons the H/H don't want to marry is weak. They're willing to have an affair but then if a child is created because of it, they'll marry. Seriously, been there, done that scenario we've seen time and again. It's old and stale.
"Absolutely loved this book, Olivia is constantly reminded that she is frail, but despite it all she has a bit of a rebellious nature that makes her want to step out of what is expected and give herself a chance to really experience life."

Full review on Single Titles
Mar 22, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most heroines in historical romance are like Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice: saucy, rebellious, lively, and assertive. While I enjoy stories featuring this type of heroine, it’s very refreshing and just as interesting to read about a shy, retiring wallflower who is singled out by a handsome and dashing gentleman. Jennifer Haymore has created the lovely and gentle Olivia Donovan, who finds love and happiness despite her modest family, her quiet reserve, and ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Claudine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jennifer-haymore
netgalley read

Let me begin by saying that I didn't read the first book in the Donovan Sisters Series which was very surprising to me when I discovered after the fact that I never got around yet to reading Confessions of an Improper Bride. Jennifer Haymore is one of my must read authors but with my switch from tangible books to the intangible eBooks I somehow overlooked her released of book 1 in the series.

Like most series book you can read them independently however I believe that if I had read
Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥
This review is also posted at Forever Book Lover.

The cover is the first thing that caught my eye, the coloring, the gown, all made me immediately think of romance. I received this books as an advance copy and I was not aware at the time that this was part of a series, A Donavan Novel. The author provided a background of what had transpired so I did not feel lost. I would have liked to see more on Serena (Meg) so I could understand her relationship with Langley, there I did feel like I was missin
***original review posted at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance***

Welcome to London, playground of the rich and titled. Gossip runs amok in the ballrooms, drawing rooms, carriages and theater of the ton. Wagers are a common thing among the peer whether it's horseflesh, cards or seducing a woman of her virtue.

Spotted: A certain Maxwell Buchanan, Lord Hasley, soon-to-be Duke of Wakefieldmaking a wager with nemesis Leonard Reece, Marquis of Fenwicke, future Duke of Southington, of whether a ce
Jan 25, 2012 Amyra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"A whisper of scandal is only the beginning..."

Con i capelli di un biondo pallido e la figura sottile, Olivia Donovan, sembra fragile e bellissima come una bambola di porcellana, ed è stata trattata come tale sin da quando, bambina, si ammalò di malaria. Ma sotto quella facciata di fragilità Olivia nasconde uno spirito indipendente e sfacciato e un desiderio per la passione che una giovane Lady di tutto rispetto non dovrebbe mai confessare...

La storia parte da una scommessa impudente a cui Max n
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: February 1, 2012 (Available Now!)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Imprint: Forever
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Donovan Sisters
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone
Steam Level: Steamy

Overall, this was an exciting yet sweet romance, with just the right touch of passion. While I did feel that the v
Dec 12, 2011 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Olivia Donovan contacted malaria as a child. She continues to suffer the effects of the disease as an adult. Olivia assumes she will remain a spinster. She does not think a man will consider her for marriage due to the illness. She is content to live with her sisters and their families - until she meets Max. He awakens feelings she never thought possible.
Max is soon to be a Duke, a station in life he does not relish. He enjoys life as a rake with no responsibilities. Max feels he will always re
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
Olivia Donovan has always been treated with caution by her family, due to an illness (malaria) that has plagued her since her childhood days in Antigua. Olivia is kind, gentle and an obedient daughter - but she also has a passion for life and wishes should could be treated like everyone else. Men want wives who are strong and can give them heirs, so Olivia expectes to never marry and as such makes no effort towards men at all. Until Max, the Marquis of Halsey, comes into her life and turns her v ...more
Feb 01, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I was so excited when I found out I was a part of this blog tour, but that was nothing compared to how I felt when I was actually reading this book! Everything about it was wonderful and I couldn't put it down! I had to know what was going to happen next and missed out on some very needed hours of sleep just so I could finish it!

Olivia is probably one of the best heroines ever! She is so weak because of her Malaria, but she never lets that stop her from doing what she wants. And she's so innoce
Sharon Tyler
Feb 07, 2012 Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Secrets of An Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore made me sad that I have yet to read the first book in the Donovan sister series, Confessions of an Improper Bride. Which is something I should rectify soon. Olivia Donovan is treated like a porcelain doll by her sister, like she might break at any moment. While this concern might be anchored in good intentions, since she can develop a serious fever at any time due to contracting malaria as a child. Her delicate appearance does not help her in ...more
Aug 20, 2012 Daisy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sometimes a book starts out and you find yourself annoyed and wondering if you should read on. That happened to me with this one and I am SO extremely glad that I did read on! Cause it got so much better after the first couple of chapters! Don't let yourself be put off by them if you find yourself annoyed like I was, because Secrets of an Accidental Duchess turned out to be a lovely story!

So the thing that annoyed me was that the hero had this instant-possessiveness going on and well, that just
May 14, 2012 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book on the Hanging With Bells blog and is the fist book by Jennifer that I've read. It is the third book in the Donovan Series. I WILL be on the hunt for her other books! This book grabbed me and didn't let go until I read the last paragraph. I knew that I would love Olivia and Max from the moment they lay eyes on each other at a ball. Having suffered a bout of malaria as a child, Olivia's family treat her as if she is delicate because of the fevers she still suffers from occasionall ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Nely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, e-book
Olivia Donovan has been brought up sheltered and protected by her family. While living on a small island in the West Indies she contracted Malaria as a child and has since been plagued by a recurrence of the fevers. Now at twenty-one, she knows that no man would fall for a frail woman and has therefore resigned herself to the fact that she will be the “spinster aunt”. But when Max Buchanan promises a no-strings attached romance, becoming the “disgraced spinster aunt” might not be so bad after al ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Review originally posted at Ramblings From This Chick

I just finished Secrets of an Accidental Duchess and I'm just all over the place. I'm feeling so many different emotions now that I've finished this book. I really enjoyed this book but there were a few times I had to put this book down because it became a little rough to get through. It wasn't bad at all but this book was definitely not a light read. In fact, the villain of this story is so heinous and brutal and some of his actions made me s
Lover of Romance
After living a life of being sick and being coddled way too much, Olivia has come to England to live a peaceful and contented life with her sisters. Olivia knows that her chances of finding a husband who would accept her history of bad health, is very rare. So she doesn't even expect to find a husband in London. When her family goes to their estate in the countryside, she does there to relax and spend some quality time with her family. But then she meets Max, who awakens her independent nature a ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 08, 2015 12:55PM  
  • The Price of Temptation
  • The Rogue Pirate's Bride (The Sons of the Revolution, #3)
  • Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight, #1)
  • How to Ravish a Rake (How To #3)
  • The Saint Who Stole My Heart (Regency Rogues, #4)
  • Loving Lady Marcia (House of Brady, #1)
  • Last Chance Beauty Queen (Last Chance, #3)
  • Temptation  & Twilight (The Brethren Guardians, #3)
  • The Duchess Diaries (Boscastle #12; The Bridal Pleasures, #3)
  • Sweet Enemy (Veiled Seduction, #1)
  • How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1)
  • Much Ado About Rogues (Blackthorn Brothers, #3)
  • Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, #3)
  • Touch of a Lady (Touch of Seduction #0.5)
  • All I Want is You
  • Forever a Lady (The Rumor, #2)
  • Desired (The Scandalous Women of the Ton, #5)
  • The Pleasure of Your Kiss (Burke Brothers, #1)

Other Books in the Series

Donovan Sisters (3 books)
  • Confessions of an Improper Bride (Donovan Sisters, #1)
  • Pleasures of a Tempted Lady (Donovan Sisters, #3)

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