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The Hidden Heart (Victorian Hearts #1)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  772 ratings  ·  53 reviews
When her eccentric naturalist father dies on the upper reaches of the Amazon, young Lady Tess Collier sets out to follow his last wishes: return to England and marry well. But Tess, who had accompanied her father on his expeditions since childhood, is as unconventional as she is beautiful.
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published April 1st 1986 by Avon Books (first published 1986)
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I found myself having a love/hate relationship with this book. I really wanted to like the story and the characters, but there were many things I disliked about both. I will admit that Laura Kinsale is a talented author who writes with intelligence, but I think perhaps her writing style is a bit too intense for my taste. I love tortured heroes, but in my opinion, Gryf's torment was overdone to the point of being depressing. I prefer to watch troubled souls change and grow throughout the course o ...more
Mary B.
Wow... so... wow.

The events of this book are so up and down, back and forth, and all over the place with improbabilities. It shifted around so much that after a while I stopped trying to surmise what strange new misery was going to befall these characters next. And - BOY O' Boy, there were miseries aplenty. Not that I mind angst. Actually, I LOVE angsty romances. But this angst felt contrived and the characters did not handle it in ways that I felt were appropriate, even when one considers all
The Shadow and the Star, which I read a few months ago, is the sequel to this. When her father dies, Lady Tess Collier must leave the wilds she's spent her life exploring with him and return to England, with the mysterious Captain Gryphon Meridon as her protector...but his secret past affects both their lives. I didn't like this quite as much as The Shadow and the Star, but I liked it a lot: the brave and adventurous Tess and the appealingly vulnerable Gryf are a memorable pair. And the plot mad ...more
*.Amaia.* Team Derry :)
Perfect way of popping my Kinsale-cherry :)
This could have been a 5 star read if the hero wasn't so incredibly infuriating.
Loved all the angst, though :) and the story was beautifully written *.* I cared and suffered for both characters deeply. Can't wait to read the second book in the series!
Angie (Mind Malfunction)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elisabeth Lane
Every time I finish one of Laura Kinsale's books, I love her a little more. The way she writes just works for me. One of the things every reader loves about romance is the guaranteed happy ending. No matter how bad things get for the hero and heroine, we know it's going to work out in the end. So when I find a writer like Kinsale, who keeps the hero and heroine from achieving any kind of hint at happiness for the majority of the book and does it with such intensity and macabre humor, I grab hold ...more
Regan Walker
An Exotic Locale, a Brooding Ship’s Captain, an Adventurous Heroine and a Complex Plot—Wonderful!

Set in 1863 in South America, the Pacific and England. Tess Collier has traveled the world with her natural scientist father, the Earl of Morrow. As he is dying in a jungle, she promises him she will sail home to England and marry. Her father’s trustee arranges passage for her on the clipper ship owned by Gryphon Meridon (aka Captain Frost) and hires the man to protect her from inappropriate suitors
I am sorry Ms. Kinsale ... I have worked my way through other highly emotional books of yours and felt the effort quite worth it. This one almost did me in, though. As much as I love a good tortured hero type, I could not warm up to this one, Gryphon, until the very end and then I was expected to forget the other 360 pages and lose my heart to him.

Even the intrpid heroine, Tess, rubbed me the wrong way with her occasional scheming and TSTL attitude that Gryf's problems with her were only about t
Zoe and the Edge
Kinsale knows how to write the beautiful just as she well as she knows how to write the ugly. Her books are so full on. I wanted to hate this book for the ugly – for the meaningless cruelty in tearing apart these innocent characters. Honestly, I didn't want to review this because I just don't want to ever have to look upon this book again and having it on my shelves will be a painful reminder of what I went through reading this. This book made me angry at the misunderstandings. If only I didn't ...more

One of the most frustrating, infuriating novels in a long time.

My unual gripe with genre fiction is that it is badly written; and if it's historical genre fiction, add to that sloppy historical research (or absence of same). Kinsale doesn't write badly, as such, and her historical contextualisation is ok (including the regrettable fact that a Victorian naturalist would have thought it perfectly unobjectionable to call people 'Negroes' and to catch and cage wild animals to ship them home to dear
Romance?? This is NOT a romance!! Romance novels don't have sex scenes with 6 year olds! They don't leave 6 year olds alone with sexually/physically abusive people and then think nothing of it once they themselves are free! Maybe I missed something?? Did she somehow free that kid? Because I didn't see anywhere where she saved that little guy. So, yeah, real fucking romantic. A little kid is being abused by her ex/husband and she goes off looking for the man she loves. umm.... ok.... NOT!

I mean,
Sheila Melo
Filled with Angst

THE HIDDEN HEART is the story of Tess Collier who is returning to England after traveling the world with her father, an earl, who has just died. She meets Gryphon who is the captain of the ship taking her to England. Of course, Tess ends up liking Gryphon better than the men she meets in England. There are many twists and secrets is this book that I don't want to give away.

I liked Tess and Gryphon, but they have many challenges to overcome. There is little happiness for these tw
Julia DeBarrioz
I loved the premise and the main characters of this book, and the writing is truly beautiful, but between the first fifty pages and the last it was just so freaking painful to read! The heroine starts out as the interesting and intrepid daughter of a naturalist, then does an about face and turns into a weepy weak boring female once she gets back to England, for no good reason really other than to add drama. The captain starts out as an interesting character too, a dashing rogue with a mysterious ...more
Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
After loving Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm I thought I'd try one of her earlier novels.

Published in 1986, The Hidden Heart nearly falls into the bodice ripper category with tortured children, angst riddled scenarios and terrible misunderstandings between the hero, Gryphon Meridon, Marquess of Ashland AKA as Captain G Frost and Lady Teresa (Tess) Collier. Fortunately, with no forced intimate scenes it didn't quite stray into that territory. Nevertheless, with the characters going from o
Dec 29, 2014 Crystal rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: dnf
I started reading this the 5th, got about halfway through it, put it down and CANNOT MAKE MYSELF pick it up again. Why?


H - displaced nobility - his uncle decided to secure the title for his cousin by getting his family wiped out. He's supposed to be dead but obviously isn't. He's living as a blockade runner. His last job for his patron is to see the h to England, and he's persuaded to stay there and make sure she doesn't marry a fortune hunter. Mmmkay.

h - only daughter of dingbat who, u
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yah, akhirnya selsai juga baca novel ini.
Aku bingung antara suka atau tidak dengan novel ini. Laura Kinsale berhasil membuatku merasa sebal dengan karyanya sendiri, dengan konflik-konflik yang tampak sudah selesai namun ternyata akan muncul lagi dan membuat hidup hero dan heroine-nya berubah. Secara keseluruhan cerita ini bagus, menarik, dan terlihat membuatku berpikir, "seandainya Historical Romance itu benar-benar ada di kehidupan nyata, pasti cerita ini sangat memungkinkan," "cerita ini yang

Another angsty, captivating read by Ms. Kinsale. It’s the third book of hers I’ve read this summer thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tess, our heroine, is a wealthy heiress and aristocrat who was raised primarily by her father. They traveled across the globe as he performed scientific research, primarily into plants. She developed important skills such as the ability to skin a snake, but never became a lady of the Ton (high society). Right before her father dies, she promises him that she will move back to
This book has its flaws. I think that the pacing is rather odd at times and you don't really get the sense of how the characters develop over the periods where they have little to no contact with one another. Gryphon also seems a little ... how to say it ... single-mindedly stubborn in a way that seems a little overblown at times, particularly towards the middle/end of the novel.

I also don't think the background was sufficiently developed in that we never really get to appreciate the secondary c
I found myself having a love/hate relationship with this book.I was incredibly annoyed with Gryf and Tess.I was exhausted by the on-again/off-again relationship of the hero and heroine, and this continued throughout the entire book. Soooo F***** frustrating! This is One of the most frustrating, infuriating novels in a long time.
Rame sih alur ceritanya tapi entah kenapa tata bahasanya agak susah dimengerti, mungkin krn buku ini dibuat thn 1986, jadi ada kalimat yang susah dipahami maksudnya.

Dari semua novel yang pernah gw baca selama ini, Gryphon satu2nya karakter cowo yang sangat pesimis dan negatif. Selalu nyerah dulu sebelum usaha, bawaannya ngikutin arus aja, krn mikirnya pasti gagal apapun yang dia lakukan. Untung dapet pasangan seperti Tess, walo ud ditolak berkali2 dan ditinggal berkali2 ttp berpikir positif dan
Teresa Stover
Hidden Heart was a great read

Hidden Heart was a great read

This is the precursor of Shadowheart. Laura Kinsley is a master at telling the stories of people that are mentally or physically imperfect as we all are in some way or another.

I have no words except that I couldn't put it down. It literally threw a wrench into my schedule today because I pulled it up on my phone every spare moment I had and two seconds turned into forty five minutes too quickly with this book. A gem!
Online Eccentric Librarian
Back in the 1980s, I read only historicals or science fiction/fantasy. I came across a used copy of this book and despite being a romance, I decided to give it a try for the historical aspects. And after that, i was hooked on the historical romance genre.

The story is a hard one (or melodramatic, depending on your leaning) and the characters will go through a lot. But Kinsale's writing is solid and I've read everything she wrote after this first book.

The two Heart books (The Hidden Heart and For
UGH. Why did I read this. The worst part about this book was the sinking feeling that I'd already read it before. I wish there were scores lower than 1 star for me to give.
Ilaria Goffredo
Un po' frettoloso in certi passaggi ma in definitiva un bel libro.
I started reading and was thoroughly enjoying it, then became frustrated because there were so many obstacles to overcome. Though it makes things so sweet in the end.
The Hero - I found him to be kind of weak and that can put me off reading a book but I got through it. You can sympathize with his dilemmas but you just want him to get over it already! He has strengths in some areas but it's what kept him back.
The Heroine - One strong, patient and forgiving women. I would've caved with the amount o
Sylvia Kelso
There are some whopping holes in the credibility of this plot, esp. toward the end, and some pretty improbable events in the South Seas, but for some reason the hero is so gormless and forlorn and has had such a horrific early life and the heroine is such a wonderful social misfit and the angst as they struggle to sort themselves out ("Goodness, they DO suffer!" as my English 2nd cousin once said while watching a BBCTV production of *Anthony and Cleopatra*) is so high and so protracted, that it' ...more
Elvira Madigan
A really cool paranormal with a twist.
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Laura Kinsale is a New York Times bestselling author and both winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America.

She become a romance writer after six years as a geologist--a career which consisted of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and driving hundreds of miles alone across west Texas to sit drilling rigs, wear a hard hat, and at
More about Laura Kinsale...

Other Books in the Series

Victorian Hearts (2 books)
  • The Shadow and the Star (Victorian Hearts, #2)
Flowers from the Storm The Shadow and the Star (Victorian Hearts, #2) Lessons in French For My Lady's Heart (Medieval Hearts, #1) The Prince of Midnight

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