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A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet #5)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  4,782 Ratings  ·  380 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.

Born a commoner, Hannah Reid has been Duchess of Dunbarton since she was nineteen years old. Now her husband is dead and, more beautiful than ever at thirty, Hannah has her freedom at last. To the shock of a conventional friend, she announces her intention to take a lover—and not just any lover,
ebook, 402 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Delacorte Press, Random House (first published February 12th 2010)
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Brittany Legal I accidentally read this book not realizing it was a series and was fine. There were a few parts where you can tell she's reminding readers about…moreI accidentally read this book not realizing it was a series and was fine. There were a few parts where you can tell she's reminding readers about about the previous books and it makes you want to read those story lines but it is not crucial to the enjoyment of this book.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 17, 2014 willaful rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: die-hard fans
How to fill 340 pages with almost nothing: Have a character think a thought, significant or banal. Then modify it. Question or contradict it. Reiterate it. Ad nauseum.

Despite not caring much for the Huxtable series, I had hopes for this final book. The set-up for Constantine was the most interesting part of the previous books. And since this one had a much longer publishing schedule than the other books, I hoped it would be less repetitive and more original.

Instead it may be the most tedious boo
Oct 09, 2010 KarenH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series or Balogh fans who hold a special place in their heart for "A Summer to Remember"
If you have been following the Huxtable series by Mary Balogh then you will definitely want to read A Secret Affair. It is the long-awaited story of Con Huxtable, and the final installment in the series...tying up all the loose ends from the other four books.

It stands to reason that the dark, brooding mysterious Con.. nicknamed The Devil by the ton...would have a somewhat unconventional premise for his story. The heroine is the widowed Duchess of Dunbarton, an unrivaled beauty who was married fo
This was another audiobook for me (which is in keeping with this series for me -- I've only listened to the books for this series). It's been an up and down ride, and with the book prior to this one, "Seducing an Angel" being a 2-star book for me, I was hoping MB had recaptured a bit more of her "MB" magic for this one. She'd written this series starting out with Constantine ("Con"), our hero, as one of the "anchors" to the family and series. Then she carried his character throughout the books, ...more
Miranda Davis
Aug 14, 2013 Miranda Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper, hot-hot-hot
Guess what? A Lady Awakened has a precedent. This novel predates ALA but the seemingly cold, widowed duchess thinks in tight, "one must' constructions and guards her self-control. But I really like this gal. The battle of wills commences at H/h's first meeting, before which she'd determined he would be her lover. He hopes to peel away her layers. Oh yeah, baby. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

She's known to be a cold, grasping female, now widowed, who managed to marry an aging duke and take him for all h
Lisa Kay
Apr 29, 2011 Lisa Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: die-hard Balogh fans
Really more toward stars, but I conceded the point for one of my favorite “auto-buy” authors. I eagerly anticipated the telling of wicked bad-boy, Constantine Huxtable, and yet Ms. Balogh went for the punt to safely gain a second-base run instead of the “out-of-the-park” home-run she is more than capable of. She is such a talented author, I can’t help believing she could have pulled all this off while leaving some of Con’s deliciously devious side intact. Somehow, he was a changed man by the en ...more
Un final perfecto para esta gran saga, que me ha encantado, este pasa a ser después de Cásate conmigo mi favorito, me encangan los diáglogos chispeantes de los protagonistas y sus tira y afloja....y cómo poco a poco van dejando caer su disfraz....
☮ mary
Balogh's craft at drawing a world where Love and Family values coexist is rather famous in the Romance writing world, She can master the Art of falling in love like no one else ... Her stories are often a slow burn that takes the reader by surprise and leaves a smile on his face ... but some of her novels can indeed become somawhat dull and predictable I'm afraid A SECRET AFFAIR falls into this category ... The main characters lacked a true emotional impact and were too pitiful to provoke any st ...more
From the moment I started the first book in the Huxtable Series I was intrigued by the character Constantine Huxtable. Dark, dangerous, devil, blackguard- these are just some of the words used to describe Con. But in his story, A Secret Affair, a much different side of him was revealed and we find that how people perceive him to be was just a disguise. I was very disappointed to find that we did not see any of these characteristics in his story. Con did not even seem like the same person we've b ...more
Rosario (
A Secret Affair is the closing book for the Huxtable quintet, and tells the story of one of the most intriguing characters in the series. These books came out a long time ago, and even those of you who read them might not remember the setup that well, so a bit of a summary. The previous books have told the stories of the four Huxtable siblings, an impoverished but genteel country family. They know they're distantly related to the titled branch of the family, but when the holder of the title dies ...more
This has been a great series. I received the first book, First Comes Marriage as a Goodreads Giveaway and I was hooked. Books two through four I was able to get with ILL through the public library, but this book was too new. There was no way I could wait to find out Con's story, so I purchased it myself.

This final book was thoroughly satisfying. It tied up several questions that were introduced in the first book and brought all of the major and not so major characters back together. I thought I
May 23, 2010 Janga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been waiting for Con's story since I read the first Huxtable book, and Balogh did not disappoint me. She rarely does. The motif of appearances vs. reality has run through this series, and it receives the fullest treatment in this final book. Both Con and Hannah have suffered from the actions of those close to them making judgments based on appearance, and both have firmly established images within the ton that are distortions of the people they truly are. I liked Balogh's handling of this c ...more
Suad Shamma
Nov 23, 2012 Suad Shamma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2011
I'm going to make this short: I did not like it.

There is something about the way that Mary Balogh writes that just bores me immensely. The reason I bought this book was because I had already started the series and figured I should finish what I started, but from Chapter 1, I could already feel myself wanting to skip to the end already.

I do admit that some of her books have an appeal to them, I enjoyed to a certain extent reading the Simply series and the Slightly (Bedwyn) series, however I still
Jun 22, 2010 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surely this is the last of Balogh's Huxtable books--of which I have enjoyed every one. This is the story of Con Huxtable, the bastard cousin of the other heroes and heroines. Finally we learn what happened to all that jewelry that's gone missing.

The heroine is a widowed duchess who decides to take a lover, now that her elderly husband has died--in that way, it's similar to SEDUCING AN ANGEL, the previous book in the series. However, the duchess isn't in desperate straits. She has plenty of money
Andrea Jackson
I enjoyed reading Constantine Huxtable's story. He's probably the most romantic of the heroes in the 5 books in the series, to me.

One negative--he wasn't nearly as bad as he appeared to be in the other 4 books of the series. Of course, suspected that he hadn't committed the crime he was accused of. But in this book he's a do-gooder of the most passionate sort.

Second negative--the hero and heroine's lives were almost too perfect. They didn't have a lot of outer conflict to overcome, such as som
Jan 19, 2014 LaFleurBleue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-histo, e-book
Mary Balogh has built strong expectations for Constantine's (Con) story from the 1st book in the Huxtable series onward. And considering how poor was the previous book, I was weary of this one and the potential extent of satanic references - Con used to be referred to the Devil next to the angel Stephen and those references irritated me to no end.
I really liked it that the chosen heroine was "normal" and that there was no mention of beaten wives in this book.
The beginning of the book was really
Got up to page 160. Realized that it's all the same-ole, same-ole and that it didnt matter whether i finished it or not.
Apr 30, 2016 Ms_prue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a few moments, especially early on, where I thought I might die of worthiness overload. But despite it I became more and more fond of the H&H and fell right over the edge into unironic enjoyment when the story started to make clear how genuine both Hannah and Con were in what they were doing with their secret projects. Con's large family were given a substantial supporting role in the story too, and Hannah's friend from the village was a beautiful foil to her grand duchess persona ...more
Hannah, the Duchess of Dunbarton, has recently completed her year of mourning for the Duke of Dunbarton and has decided to take a lover for the season. Hannah was very young when she married the Duke who was decades older than she. She had loved him deeply and he had taught her well, but now it was her time to live. She had her eyes set on a specific lover, Constantine Huxtable. He was handsome and enigmatic and everyone knew that he took one lover every season...and only for the season. That is ...more
Lori McD
I love, love, love this book! I'm so happy that the "social issues" in this book weren't heavy and depressing. After getting through the last 2 books, I didn't think I take another horrid 1st marriage or a truly evil person!

And I'm so glad that it was CON's book! I loved both Con and Hannah... I loved Hannah's Duke, who loved her dearly and taught her the most valuable lessons of her life -- how to love herself, how to like herself, and how to be herself regardless of what anyone else thought of
Aug 10, 2010 Jc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh is the fifth book in the Huxtables series, so if you haven’t read any before, start with First Comes Marriage. In A Secret Affair we get to find out about all the secrets that Balogh has hinted at in the previous books as the story follows Constantine, the cousin who missed out on the Huxtable inheritance by being born two days before his parents’ marriage.

In my opinion, all of the books in this series are good, but the first and last are the best. Constantine is
Review by Catherine Fitzmaurice for

To the ton, Hannah Reid, Duchess of Dunbarton, is brazen, bold and rumored to have a bevy of men at her disposal. She flaunts her beauty with striking gowns, expensive jewels and commands attention wherever she goes.

A widow at 30, Hannah completes the customary one-year mourning period and looks forward to her freedom, and to take a lover. She chooses the devil himself: Constantine Huxtable. She is determined to have him and uncover his sec
Ana T.
Aug 05, 2010 Ana T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When authors start writing a series there's always one character that stands out and that is usually left for the last books. In the Huxtable series it is Constantine, the illegitimate son whose parents married 2 days too late thus costing him his inheritance. Con has never been bitter about that and the previous books have proven that not only does he not resent Stephen for being the current Earl but he quite likes the whole family and in turn is considered a friend. However we know from book 1 ...more
Apr 06, 2010 Terra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this book but not love it. It has all the seduction and romance one could possibly hope for to tantalize the senses.

Our heroine The Dutchess of Dunbarton (Hannah) is the most beautiful creature to walk through London. Finally out of mourning for her Duke, Hannah has decided that she is going to be her own person and enjoy the frivolities that come with the life of the rich. Her dearly departed husband has left her a very, very rich widow and at the ripe old age of thirty she is bound and
I just read some of the reviews and am really surprised that more readers didn't love this book. From the first book in the series where we meet Constantine I have been waiting patiently for his story.

There were tedious times where the auther said over and over the same things but the story moved so beautifully that it really didn't sway my opinion against it. As stated by the author in the story, People have many layers. This story held true to that statement.

First we meet the Duchess of Dunba
Amarilli Settantatre
Da ultimo, ma non ultimo... Con.
Direi che questo quinto volume rivaleggia con il terzo nel mio gradimento generale. Forse non una delle serie migliori della Balogh, però qualche guizzo c'è. Questo volume conclusivo, ad esempio, è davvero bello: dalla vedova misteriosa che ha amato il "suo" duca e che decide a tavolino di prendersi un amante, a Con, che tra tutti i membri della famiglia è quello che mi aveva preso il cuore sin dal prologo del primo volume. E avevo ragione: insieme sono perfetti.
Con's story. Finally, in fact I couldn't wait for it to come out in paper back. With so much anticipation there is always the possibility of being disappointed or let down. This was not the case in A Secret Affair.

I loved Constantine and Hannah's love story. It is a beautiful story full of tenderness, romance, love, and forgiveness. My favorite book of all the Huxtable books. Probably one of my very favorite romance books. A Secret Affair is full of many splendid suprises and a lot of joy and ha
3 to 4 stars

Constantine "Con" Huxtable is the "bad boy" of the family. The illegitimate child of the previous Earl and Countess of Merton, the estate passed to his second cousin after his brother's death. For the first four books, Con was an enigma. At first he seemed to befriend the new earl only out of spite, but then became embroiled in the loveliness of the new family and became good friends with all of them. Con's mysteriousness were intriguing in the previous installments, and he was alway
Juletta Gilge
Dec 14, 2015 Juletta Gilge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that this is my favorite in the series, just because it was Con's book. I have been waiting for his story ever since the first book. I am glad that it lived up to what I thought it was going to be.
Jul 31, 2015 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muito bonito. Ai este Con que delicia!
Nadine Jones
This started strong. The characters were interesting, the love story was passionate, the woman (Hannah - was Hannah a name back then? And Dawn? and Barbara?) was nicely independent and prickly. I loved how Hannah, the Duchess (widow of a Duke, whom she loved very much, though he was quite elderly), was beautiful and cranky but insecure and completely different than her presentation, and I loved how Constantine (not quite an Earl, due to illegitimate birth, that he sorta cares about but sort of d ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Dangerous in Diamonds (The Rarest Blooms, #4)
  • Rules of an Engagement (Adventurers’ Club, #3)
  • One Perfect Rose (Fallen Angels #7)
  • A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses, #6)
  • Shameless (Banning Sisters, #3)
  • The Courtship Dance (The Matchmaker #4)
  • The Accidental Wedding (Devil Riders, #4)
  • A Courtesan's Scandal (The Scandalous Series, #3)
  • One Night in London (The Truth About the Duke, #1)
  • One Touch of Scandal (Fraternitas Aureae Crucis, #1)
  • It Happened One Season
  • The Sergeant's Lady (The Arringtons and Wright-Gordons, #2)
  • Don't Tempt Me (Fallen Women, #2)
  • Devilish (Malloren, #5)
  • His Christmas Pleasure (Scandals and Seductions, #4)
Mary Jenkins was born on 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high-school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curl ...more
More about Mary Balogh...

Other Books in the Series

Huxtable Quintet (5 books)
  • First Comes Marriage (Huxtable Quintet #1)
  • Then Comes Seduction (Huxtable Quintet, #2)
  • At Last Comes Love (Huxtable Quintet, #3)
  • Seducing an Angel (Huxtable Quintet, #4)

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“I prefer to believe the opposite - that there is always an indestructible beauty at the heart of darkness.” 31 likes
“Everyone was a rose but even more complex than a mere flower. Everyone was made up of infinitely layered petals. And everyone had something indescribably precious at the heart of their being.
No one was shallow. Not really.”
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