Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet #5)” as Want to Read:
A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet #5)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  3,938 ratings  ·  329 reviews
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, but the most dangerous and delicious man in all of upper-class England: Con ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Dell (first published February 12th 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Aug 17, 2014 willaful rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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....
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
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
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
Suad Shamma
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
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
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
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
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.
Lynn Calvin
Amazon preorder

I wasn't as fond of some of "girls school" books although they were still very good.

This is the last of the Huxtable books (and in Balogh's way it has all sorts of minor echoing back to previous books.)

If Balogh didn't do it so well, I could be very irritated that both of them have noble secret projects that are far ahead of their time, and less than completely likely to say the least.

But this is Balogh and she makes it work and as the hero and heroine make their way from being se
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
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.
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
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
ponderous and boring. what happened to the Mary Balogh who turned the romance genre on its ear? she is gone, gone. at least for the entire "Huxtable quintet" she is. and I have to admit that I started cringing every time I saw another careless use of italics. the dialog was uninspired, the characterization was irritating and predictable, the conclusion was melodramatic, blah. The only thing redeeming about it was that it was about Constantine.
Finally, Constantine Huxtable gets his story told. A delightful melding of two strong, misunderstood and misjudged characters, the Duchess of Dunbarton (a beauty married to a man old enough to be her grandfather) and Constantine (illegitimate eldest son of the Earl of Merton). Glimpses of the lives of the rest of the Huxtables enrich the story which vividly depicts the era and is told with Balogh's usual flair and dexterity.
Tram N.
A good conclusion to the series. A bit slow at times but an enjoyable read where we got some good interaction with characters from the previous books. I loved Con and Hannah. it was good to see bits of their carefully guarded masks slip now and then. Misjudged characters that were bothhurt and betrayed by loved ones. Constantine was a great character in the other books and did not disappoint in this one.
Amy Johnston
This may be my favorite Mary Balogh book ever - and I was not expecting that. In fact, I originally thought it pointless to do a book on Constantine, since he was not one of the Huxtable siblings. I was terribly wrong. I was so moved by this book, so many times. My words are inadequate. I am going to reread this series this Summer, just so I can have this book to look forward to again.
2. Doing my first re-read: I hope that my rating will change -- 2 is awfully love (even with all the extra 1/4 and 1/2 stars) for a Balogh.

1. Two and 3/4 stars. I'm not sure if my shelves make sense :D I found the h/h to be almost too similar -- regarded one way by the world and doing the same phenomenally gracious and charitable activities behind the scenes.
Well, I liked it! I was eagerly awaiting Constantine's story since he was introduced in the first book of the Huxtable series. This did not disappoint. Mary Balogh has a talent for making multi-layered characters and revealing their different aspects over the course of the book until you feel that you know them.
Pamela Su
A nice enough book with a lot of talking.

I haven't read the previous books in the series but I had no trouble keeping up. For the most part, it can easily be a standalone book. There are some references to previous events but it's easy to figure out what had happened.

Did I mention there is a LOT of talking in this book? There is. Lots. Hannah and Constantine have long, convoluted and occasionally boring discussions about life, philosophies and feelings. For some of the conversations, I believe t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: Historical romance title [s] 5 40 Nov 27, 2013 09:52AM  
  • Dangerous in Diamonds (The Rarest Blooms, #4)
  • The Bargain (Regency #1)
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • Shameless (Banning Sisters Trilogy #3)
  • A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses, #6)
  • A Gentleman Always Remembers (Willowmere, #2)
  • The Accidental Wedding (Devil Riders, #4)
  • Confessions of a Little Black Gown (Bachelor Chronicles, #4)
  • It Happened One Night
  • His Christmas Pleasure (Scandals and Seductions, #4)
  • Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, #3)
  • Never Romance a Rake (Neville Family #3)
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)
Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga, #6) Slightly Married (Bedwyn Saga, #1) A Summer to Remember (Bedwyn Prequels, #2) First Comes Marriage (Huxtable Quintet #1) Slightly Scandalous (Bedwyn Saga, #3)

Share This Book

“I prefer to believe the opposite - that there is always an indestructible beauty at the heart of darkness.” 22 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.”
More quotes…