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The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell

(McBride Family #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,749 ratings  ·  127 reviews
A cruel twist of fate changed Simon Blackwell's life irreparably. A man of intense passions, he resolved to deny his emotions and desires forever, taking refuge in the wilds of the moorlands and shutting himself off from the world. But on one extraordinary night, on a rare trip to London, the unthinkable occurs. An intoxicatingly beautiful stranger stirs the sensuous hunge ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published March 2007)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,749 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Simon was a very tortured hero. He lost his wife and two kids and he is filled with guilt and pain. Annabel his forced wife wants to seduce him and even though he is trying hard to resist her sweet Annabel is determined to fight for his love and heal him. Emotional and romantic read. I recommend! Safe: virgin heroine and long celibate hero!
Jan 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one. Not even my worst enemy.
My Take:

This book caused me physical pain. I wasn’t even through the first page when I severely regretted the purchase of this novel. I spent the few hours it took me to read it alternately crying from the headache and laughing from just how bad it could get. She managed to use parallel structure in every... single... paragraph.

It’s difficult to call Simon Blackwell the hero of the story, because in no way does he act like a hero throughout the 300-pages of this drivel. His biggest accomplishm
Chitra *CJ*
“I am! Say whatever you wish. Ask whatever you wish!” Leaning back in his chair, he reached for his cup.

“Very well then…Do you pleasure yourself?”

Simon nearly choked. “I beg your pardon?”

Her mouth pursed. “I believe you heard me".

"The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell" is the story of Anne and Simon.

Spinster heroine meets brooding hero. There is resentment from both sides, until a clandestine kiss in the moonlight, thanks to a catty OW leads to a scandal and a forced wedding. Coming to his h
Jul 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell can be an entertaining read for people who like heavy drama, and extremely sad, brooding heroes.

But sadly, I don't belong in that category.

The angst in this book was just too much. At times, I felt like I was being smothered by its intensity--I just couldn't breathe. My frustration mounted every time Simon pushed Anne away for some cowardly reason and another. Oh, I don't want to feel alive. Oh, I don't want to love again. Oh, I don't want to get hurt.

Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really struggle with this review. This is a very ordinary romance, predictable, and somewhat unbelievable. I winced quite a few times reading the conversations, mostly at what the heroine, Anne, said. The internal dialogues from the hero, Simon, are sometimes....., I don't take much pride in saying this, womanly. This book is like an itch that is just barely out of your reach. It had its moments, where my heart tightened reading the passages. For that I almost gave 4 stars. Those passages wher ...more
Sara ♥
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
WOW. Like I said before, Simon has ISSUES with a CAPITAL I. Seriously. But of course, it all works out in the end--Annie wins him over with her undying devotion... or it may possibly have been her undying attempts to seduce him.... *hmmmm* I can't QUITE remember... hahaha! Men can be SO STUBBORN, can't they? All-in-all, a good read. I'll have to try Samantha's other books... minus the Scottish ones. I don't do skirts....

Excuse me ladies, my husband is trying to seduce ME.... *laughs at the sad a
lily waheed
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First time author and definitely not last !
What a wonderful story and what great characters, the H was tortured and in great pain God my heart broke for him, the h was strong and sweet at the same time I loved her , I love details and this author writes beautiful details 😍
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lover of Romance
Annabel McBride has always longed for the love and passion that she has seen within in her own family, and children of her own. When a almost accident puts Simon Blackwell in her path, she doesn't know if she should run away or draw closer. After sharing a passionate embrace and then having to be married when caught, Annabel hopes that she will be loved in this marriage, however all her hopes are dashed when it is more than obvious that Simon has no intention of sharing a bed with her let alone ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-rom, romance
As a whole, I liked the story. Still, I felt like it seemed to be missing ... something. Something bogged the novel down. Some have suggested that Simon's secret took too long to reveal. My feeling was more that it took too long for him to give in to his lust for Anne. Believe me I love sexual tension being drawn out as much as the next person, but it didn't work for this one. I know too that after a couple gets together you need another conflict to keep the reader interested, so it could be the ...more
Hart's Reader Group
This is another annual re-read for me. I love the depth of emotion in this book, the depth of characters and plot, and the sensuality that jumps from the pages. I am addicted to Samantha James's Regency romances. ...more
the first historical romance book that i read and this one is one of my favorites!
Rose Maria
Loved it.....
One of the historical romance where I love h>H
Heroine Anne was beautiful, passionate, funny,fierce and will slap Hero if he disrespects favorite kind :D
But she was also vulnerable and wishing for someone to love her for who she is!
And our hero Simon....what to say...he is tooo scared to love and then lose her...but his body doesn't have those confusions :D
3 Stars

The tragedy in Simon Blackwell’s life is well known to everyone in London. A gossipy city, Simon prefers to live alone in his home and visit London only when forced to do so. When his aunt coerces him to visit her for her birthday, there’s no polite way to decline and he’s resigned to a boring trip to London.

Annabel McBride might be the only woman in London who doesn’t know about Simon’s life and the pain he’s been through. But what she does know is that he’s a rude, crude man she’s force
Jane Stewart
Ordinary, somewhat predictable romance. Nothing too special.

Ok, but not worth buying. This was a typical regency-style romance novel. A couple meets, they kiss once. Her family forces them to marry due to the kiss. They grow to love each other, have a fight and separate and then get back together at the end. This is an ok formula. Sometimes it works well. Sometimes the conversations and characters make it interesting and entertaining. But this story wasn’t one of those. There were no major probl
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cruel twist of fate changed Simon Blackwell's life irreparably. A man of intense passions, he resolved to deny his emotions and desires forever, taking refuge in the wilds of the moorlands and shutting himself off from the world. But on one extraordinary night, on a rare trip to London, the unthinkable occurs. An intoxicatingly beautiful stranger stirs the sensuous hunger he has sworn to resist. Simon Blackwell believed that no woman could tempt him.

No woman . . . save Annabel McBride.

A highly emotional story. No murder plots or the like, just a straight forward romance with two unlikely people. The first time that Simon and Anna met he yelled at her, the second she was rather rude to him, the third both of them parted angry with the other. The fourth time they met they kissed and then there fate was sealed. However after there marriage Simon has no intentions of ever touching his young wife again, he plans to remain married for a respectable amount of time and then have ther ...more
I just couldn't get past page 75 or whatever the page number was after the kiss and they were discovered. ...more
Michelle Connolly
I have mixed feelings about this book. While in some aspects the story and characters were very deep and engaging, in others they just fell flat. I felt like Simon's sadness and depression was so well done that it was very hard for me to believe in his recuperation when and how it happened in the book. The ending didn't feel right to me and it felt a little bit rushed.

As I read the first few chapters, I thought I was really going to like The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell. The heroine, Anne,
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, chickadees, this is regency romance. Basic escapist fare for those who want to be swept up into a different time/place for a while.

That said, I did not find this so very basic. Was Simon the typical alpha, insanely jealous of everyone, busting in and ripping up bodices? NO. And I was glad of it. He's suffering not only from loss and grief (which is a pretty complicated process for those of you who haven't actually had to deal with that reality yet), he is laboring under a huge dollop of gui
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, it was really quite cliché : the instant dislike and attraction is so over used. But then, the book managed to get better and better. It hasn't made me cry or get up and roam around (which I sometimes do when the suspense is too much and I need to Move) but that's just a matter of taste. I found this book fantastic : there was no unnecessary drama (the subject was enough in and of itself) and the people are decent and thoughtful. It's heart warming and sad at times but this was a reall ...more
#1 in the series, copyright 2007. This is Annie's story. She's the youngest of the 3 McBride siblings & her story is the most boring, inane waste of time I've read in I can't even remember when!

Simon has a terrible secret & he's not going to share it with Annie until about chapter 12. They were forced into marriage after they're caught kissing at a party. Annie has no idea what she's getting into. Simon's first wife & 2 kids were killed in a fire under strange circumstances. In fact, it defies
Janine Matsko-Bolacker
I really enjoyed the 2 main characters; Simon Blackwell and Anne McBride. They started out not quite liking each other but eventually....well you know the rest! The road they travel to get to their ultimate destination is fraught with misunderstanding and trial, but it is paved with passion and caring. This is my first book by the author and I like her style of writing. I would definitely like to read more books by her.
Sherly Nyo
This is my third book by Samantha James. All read within the same week! Love all three so far, although Gabriel's Bride is my favorite.
Guilt-stricken, tortured and a bit of a recluse hero meets vivacious, beautiful, bold and resilient heroine. One kiss is all it takes to force them into a marriage neither of them wants.
They found passion. And later on, they found love.
Would have loved to see the hero grovel more.
Monique Peterson
As of late I've really been into books in which one or both of the characters is either physically or mentally/emotionally scarred. I think it makes them more relatable, as they aren't paragons of perfection. Overall I enjoyed the story and hopefully they make significant appearances in the latter books of the series. ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too predictable. Simon is a character full of angst, and it wasn't difficult to guess why. Anne was not entirely likeable so it was difficult to connect with her. I did continue to read because I liked other characters, as well as the setting, and will read the next two books which are about Anne's brothers. ...more
A good illustration of how silly this was: the author used 77 exclamation points in the first 95 pages.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not the book where they agree to the relationship rules in a carraige
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Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, Samantha James had many childhood aspirations--being a writer was never one of them. When she was ten, she was certain she was destined to be an astronomer. That soon changed (happened a lot during those pre-teen years!) when she decided archaeology was in her future. Detective work was her next goal, thanks to the Trixie Belden mysteries she was reading, and before ...more

Other books in the series

McBride Family (3 books)
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