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Secret Desires of a Gentleman

(Girl Bachelors #3)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,855 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Once Upon a Time . . .

Maria Martingale was going to elope. But Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne, put a stop to those plans when he learned his younger brother intended to marry a cook's daughter. Now, twelve years later, Maria discovers that the man who holds her fate in his hands is none other than the haughty gentleman who sent her packing—and he's as handsome and ar
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published September 30th 2008)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,855 ratings  ·  285 reviews

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Rachel (BAVR)
WARNING: GIFs, spoilers and a grumpy BAVR!

I'm confident that Sarah will agree that this Guhrke Buddy Read was as inspiring as a root canal.

You guys. This story is fucking boring. Who are the assholes in this again? Right. Phillip the snobby marquess and Maria the pastry chef. Their love does not move mountains. It may be able to move ant hills, but that's only because the ants would be annoyed by their incessant yammering and leave.

If I had to choose one thing that I found interesting about t
I love romances with the "I've always loved you" trope. I love enemies to lovers. I love stuffy heroes. A book that combined these three things should have been PERFECT for me, if only the author hadn't forced some P&P aspects that messed everything up.

Like in P&P,Mr. Darcy, the Marquess proposes while telling Miss Bennett Maria that she's beneath him socially and how he's proposing against his will. Like Miss Bennett, Maria tells him there's no force in the world that would compel her to marry
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Pastry Chef Maria Martingale is searching for a shop to open her own bakery when she runs into Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne. Maria and Phillip, along with his brother Lawrence, grew up together. Her father was the cook at his father's manor house. Years ago, Maria and Lawrence planned to elope, but Phillip found out and put a quick stop to it. Phillip is not happy to see Maria at all. Since Lawrence is back from America and they’re living in the same building as the shop that Maria is re
Oh boy Philip Hawthorne you are confusing the crap out of me. This guy takes the cake for the most arrogant haughty uptight judgmental hero I've read about so far. Plus wishy washy thrown in there too. I just don't understand him. He loves to remind the heroine every two seconds how she's beneath him in class "Your position is far below mine" yet turns around telling her he's never treated her like a servant. Uh huh. How does that work now? She grew up as part of the working class, you PAYED HER ...more
Coucher de soleil
Review deleted because I deleted my profile.
the author is on the roll..
this book's hero is also an asshole like the second book's hero...
how about that?

I was sort of okay with everything. This was a 3,5-4 star read. I liked it until we get the proof of his love. He stole her ribbon. That was the only memory she had of her dead mother. She searched and cried about it. He never said the word about it and kept it for 12 years, so that means he loves her, right?! That negates all the shit he did and we get redemption.

4 ½ stars – Victorian/Historical Romance
Jan 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-regency, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3 Stars...It was ok

Although "Secret Desires" didn't have the "umph" "Guilty Pleasures" had I still enjoyed it. There seemed to be a lot of filler in this one...and the chemistry I loved in the other didn't come through for me as it did before. But I'm in no way giving up on this author...instead I'll buy a couple more before I go and get all in every series by her.

I had few suggestions on my last review and I still plan on reading them.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksfree-com
This was a delightful book to read. It was different from most historicals, as it takes place in the 1890's, and the heroine is a pastry chef. The heroine is ambitious and likeable. The hero is very proper, dutiful, and intensely aware of his station in life and the responibilities that accompany his high position. The enchanting descriptions of the pastry shop and the delectable pastries were very engaging. Laura Lee Guhrke has been on my must read list for some while, and this book is a good i ...more
29 year old Maria Martingale is looking for the right place to set up her very own patisserie, when she runs smack-dab into none other than Phillip Hawthorne, the Marquess of Kayne, the man who takes her back on the memory lane from 12 years back.

Maria had been at Phillip’s mercy when he had interfered with the relationship that had blossomed between her and Phillip’s younger brother. Phillip who had always been the proper one, nary a button nor hair out of place, the man who had always taken hi
Julie (jjmachshev)
Reviewed for; book release Oct08

The end of the Victorian era brought about many changes in public and private life. Women were becoming more visible as other than wives and Laura Lee Guhrke’s latest historical romance gives us a closer look at one woman’s struggle. “Secret Desires of a Gentleman” is Guhrke’s salute to pastries and working women…and what a delicious story it is!

Maria is finally ready to open her patisserie with the help of a sponsor. All that’s left is to find t
Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-romance
I really enjoyed the time period and setting of this story. I could just picture the little patisserie on the fashionable London street with its warm interior, yummy smells and filled with all sorts of baked goodies. However, the characters were way too Pride & Prejudice-ish. So much so that I half expected the hero to blurt out 'In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.' The pride on the part of ...more
I know it's a huge trope, but I really do not enjoy the whole "Please, we have to get married otherwise I can't control myself and will probably ravish you mercilessly" trope. Maybe that's supposed to be sexy but it just sounds terrifying. Why the eff do I want to marry a man who admittedly has thought about sexing me against my will? Hell to the nope.

Also, you know that first time Mr Darcy proposes to Lizzy? Yeah. That same scene happened here, almost word for word. Unoriginal.

I liked the sex s
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Victorian Age Romance fans
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the whole Mr. Darcy feel to it. His pining for her and her not realizing. And then the Sabrina feel as well. Definately a keeper!
Shuhada Ramli
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Spoiler alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]

Rating : 5 stars

Review : In the Girl Bachelor 3, Laura Lee Guhrke has locked my attention and making me focus more on character's emotion. I could say that the book is brilliant and amazing. The transition of the plot has been well planned and character's emotion is amazing. I think in this siri, she was focusing on bringing up the antagonist character where Monsieur Bouchard and Phillip Hawthorne were being evil. I could not even guess at first about the feelings Ph
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency-romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Secret Desires of a Gentleman" is the first Laura Lee Guhrke novel I've read. I was looking for new historical romance authors and I'm glad I stumbled across Laura! What would we do without goodreads, right?
Anyways, this novel was fantastic. I have a thing for couples who start out with a bit of hostility or weariness. Is that weird? I find when they start to grow or admit their feelings towards each other, it's like a flower blossoming. It was nice enough at first, but when it blossoms, it's
The story of Maria Martingale, daughter of the chef of an aristocratic family and talented pastry chef herself, and Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne and her erstwhile childhood friend.

After many years apart and a lot of history between them, the two unexpectedly meet again and once again get in each other's way, causing their buried feelings to re-emerge stronger.

Mr. Darcy - my rank and circumstances

An insulting proposal a la Pride and Prejudice, Maria's stubborn independence and their very different points of view cause separa
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love this series, but I had a few problems with this one. They are as follows:

1) For the first half of the book, the hero is a total jerk. We don't find out why until about the halfway point, and it just didn't seem to be such a good reason to me.
2) Much of the hero's appeal is his money and title - and we needed every other person from the series to tell us this. When you need that much help, there's a problem.
3) This girl Bachelor sort of chooses the guy over the career she loves at the end.
Dec 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
I think Guhrke definitely knows how to ratchet the romantic tension and paints a clear picture of atmosphere and setting with her words, but the situation in this story was pretty unconvincing. Yes, I believed the hero had been suffering secret, unrequited passion for years and yes, the heroine had genuinely cared for him her whole life...that much felt true; but I could not believe that her best friends were commoners who married aristocrats and were accepted into haut society just like that, w ...more
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-own-read
I skimmed the last half of this one, and I liked Lawrence better than Phillip.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought maybe I would like it, but as it went on, I realized I wouldn't. This book was a mess. The hero was a pretentious ass, and treated the female mc like crap because he was attracted to her but couldn't have her because of their different society status. He went from being one of her best friends to give her the cold shoulder because of that. And then on the course of this novel he kept treating her like shit and lusting for her and acting all high and mighty. ...more
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars but rounding up because it's Christmas time :)
This has my all time favourite trope! Secret pining! I liked Maria and Phillip almost from the start and I enjoyed how they fought themselves and each other. I have only realized how much I love the 'starchy hero' trope since I began reading Laura Lee Guhrke, but I really do! They might be my favorite type of hero! I really enjoyed this story but I felt the ending was rushed and it took away from the story. I had an issue with the lack of e
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, series
4.5 Stars

That ending... Ugh. I really don't like the endings of this series, I need epilogues!

Phillips has an air of Mr Darcy, he's a total snob.

María is a very hard-working woman and totally ahead of her time.

But what I liked the most about this couple was their chemistry, the tension between these two was so palpable that it burned 🔥🔥🔥
Jan 29, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Jan 2021:

It's been almost 5-6 years (or more) since I've picked up anything my Ms. Lee Guhrke who I've read a few books by. I think I'm going to try finishing this series since I actually remember the first two book in the series despite having read them close to 10 years ago.
Satakhi Halder
The book started out okay, kind of had a bit of Pride and Prejudice undertones in the dialogues and sentiments. Still, it was going okay but the ending was a disappointment. Somewhat anticlimactic.
Maria Martingale has found the perfect premises for her new shop and her dream of owning the best patisserie in London is finally about to come true - the only problem is that it's right next door to the home of Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne. Maria, the daughter of the Hawthorne family's old chef, grew up alongside proud, snobby Phillip and his younger, happy-go-lucky brother Lawrence, but when she and Lawrence attempted to elope at seventeen, Phillip - the new head of the family at ninet ...more
―Why are you smiling like that?‖
―You have a smear of chocolate on your face.‖
―I do?‖ She reached for a damp rag from the worktable and looked up at him. ―Where?‖
―Right there.‖ He lifted one hand, lightly touching the tip of his finger to one corner of her mouth to indicate the appropriate spot. But then, his smile vanished, and his palm cupped her cheek.
 photo SimplyIrresistible3_zps840c71bd.jpeg

His fingers curled around the nape of her neck and his thumb pressed the underside of her jaw, lifting her face. His free arm wrapped around
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From the publication of her very first historical romance, Laura Lee Guhrke has received numerous honors and critical acclaim for her novels and her writing style. She has been honored with the most prestigious award of romance fiction, the Romance Writers of America Rita Award, and she has received additional awards from Romantic Times and All About Romance. Romantic Times has proclaimed her, “On ...more

Other books in the series

Girl Bachelors (4 books)
  • And Then He Kissed Her (Girl Bachelors, #1)
  • The Wicked Ways of a Duke (Girl Bachelors, #2)
  • With Seduction in Mind (Girl Bachelors, #4)

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74 likes · 13 comments
“He tilted her face upward as if he meant to kiss her. Shocked, Maria resisted, glancing toward the people at the table, some of them are smiling, some disapproving, some thoroughly appalled.
She looked back at him, doubtful.
"Does a gentleman kiss a woman in front of other people?"

He tilted her head back.
"This one does," he said and captured her lips with his.”
“Marriage is a partnership Phillip, not a feudal kingdom. Until you can accept that I have the right to dictate the course of my on life, I will not marry you. Until you can accept my wishes and my opinions are just worthy of consideration as yours, I will not marry you. Until you can accept that what I would give up to be your wife is just as important as what you offer in exchange, I will not marry you.” 2 likes
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