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Secrets of the Heart

(The Ravensmoore Chronicles #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Madeline Whittington, daughter of the deceased Earl of Richfield, emerges from English society's prescribed period of mourning in the winter of 1815. Madeline believes that she no longer belongs in a world of gossip and gowns; instead she wants to help the orphans living within the walls of Ashcroft Insane Asylum. Once there, she discovers a dark secret within the asylum w ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Realms (first published May 2011)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  291 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the description of this book, I figured I was about to enjoy another wonderful historical novel with a dashing hero and a lovely lady. What I didn't count on was that it was a much better novel than I ever expected to read! Seriously, how many books about insane people have you read? Me, next to none.

I applaud the author for going outside the box and writing such a novel. For years, our society has looked down on people who have mental illnesses, depression, and a whole host of other medic
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really engaging romance that felt a little like a suspense mystery at times! I loved the characters and what a powerhouse both of the main characters were. How they complimented each other, were stronger together but were strong individually on their own. If you like inspirational romance with strong characters, horses, dr. or mental health story lines- this is the book for you!
Bette Bentzel
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good book. When I brought this book I wasn't so sure if I would like it. But when I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Wonderful Wonderful read 😃 ...more
Lisa Johnson
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: Secrets of the Heart (The Chronicles of Ravensmoore #1)
Author: Jillian Kent
Pages: 273
Year: 2011
Publisher: Realms
This book is a wonderful beginning to a new series for Jillian Kent. The story is set in Yorkshire, England in the year 1817. Lady Madeline Whittington is a young woman still grieving over the sudden death of her father and siblings. Her best friend, Lady Hally Gilling, has invited her to a social outing to try to get her back into society. While out riding during a fox hunt, M
Tammy G.
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secrets of the Heart, Ravensmoore Chronicles Series 1 is Jillian Kent's debut novel. I love a good regency novel! Reading about days gone by, beautiful flowing dresses, gentlemen with impeccable manners and huge beautiful mansions where tea is served as an everyday event not just on special occasions is a refreshing read.
I was hooked from page one as Madeline, sometimes quite headstrong, is riding her horse and takes a spill. A handsome man comes along and tries to take care of her but she reco
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It isn't often when I come across a romance that stands out from the pack. When it comes down to characters, plot, setting etc. it can all get rather "cookie cutter" to seasoned romance readers. Jillian Kent's debut, Secrets of the Heart, the first book in the Ravensmoore Chronicles pleasantly surprised me not only with its unpredicability but the setting itself. You might be saying, "Regency England, what's so different about that?" Well that in and of itself is a "been there, done that" kind o ...more
Margaret Metz
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grief is one of those things that takes us all on a journey that nobody else can totally understand. Madeline has been so caught up in her grief that she has decided to let life take a back seat. She isn't satisfied with the circumstances of her father's death - and certainly doesn't trust doctors. She's totally convinced the inexperienced student doctor is responsible for his death.

Devlin is caught between two worlds. He feels called to help people by practicing medicine - and seems gifted at i
Tamara Tilley
SECRETS OF THE HEART is a compelling story, with unique plot twists.

Lady Madeline is sure she will never get over her father’s death. Even though her prescribed time of mourning is over, she can’t seem to break out of her melancholy. Her world is distorted even more when her mother decides to marry Lord Vale, a man Madeline is sure has ulterior motives. When a riding accident has Madeline come face-to-face with the Earl of Ravensmoore–the man she holds responsible for her father’s death–her ange
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency
3 1/2 star rating. There was nothing wrong with this book warrant a lower rating than I usually give- I did like it, I enjoyed it, and I read over half the book in one day. When I finished it, however, I didn't have the wonderful & satisfied feeling I like to have when finishing a good book. It was good. Just not amazing. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

The era got me confused a little, because I'm SO used to regencies being comedies, that this more intense and serious novel was ki
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I only read 1/2 of this book so this review may not accurately reflect the whole picture.
I was intrigued with the setting of this book: Regency England. Devlin was a second born son who felt God called him to be a doctor. That's fine if you're a second son but when his father and brother perish on the ocean, Devlin becomes Lord Ravensmore and subject to the censure of the Ton for choosing to work in such a disdainful field as medicine. While still a student, he looses one of his pati
Apr 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A regency romance, this book covers topics I wouldn’t have expected from the genre, but I think that is what will make it stand apart.

Through the story you have the romantic interaction between Devlin and Madeline and in that way, you have a great deal of the regency “flair” expected. A chaste romance because of the culture, but defying the odds with characters that stand against the status quo. Devlin and Madeline didn’t immediately “hit it off” and I found some of their interactions amusing.

Michelle Griep
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, if I could give this a 3 1/2 stars, I would. It's not as bad as a 3 (which for me is not so good) but because I'm a regency fan, I'm giving it a 4.

Early 19th century medicine, both physical and mental, has always interested me. Author Jillian Kent includes lots of detail about the medical practices of Regency England in Secrets of the Heart. Her hero, Devlin Grayson, is a unique combination of doctor and member of the peerage, quite the humble nobleman.

Historically speaking, Kent did
Fictional Bookshelf
I’m going to tell on myself here but the book just arrived in the mail yesterday. After everyone settled into bed, I plopped down onto my big comfy chair and opened it to read one chapter (that’s what I told myself). It was 11 p.m. when I began the book and before I knew what happened I read the whole thing. Sad part about it - 6.30 a.m. (today) came way too early.

This tale has a little bit of everything. It’s an inspirational romance with suspense / mystery / medical drama - set back in the ear
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was probably 2.5 stars for me, which is partly my own fault. I was looking for a clean romance, which is apparently difficult to find without it being Christian romance, which this is. There was a lot of "Why, God, why me? What is Your plan for me?!" for my taste. Anytime any character was troubled or in difficulty, what should have simply been inner dialogue was turned into an anguished prayer. Obviously this happens a lot in life, but in a novel format, it just made me roll my eyes and gr ...more
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book an interesting and quick read. The Regency time period was depicted in a believable and detailed manner. I was impressed with the author's representation of just exactly who was sent to the 'mad houses" and the asylum's physical conditions and manner of management. I was impressed that Ms Kent made Ravensmoore a doctor and surgeon, that was most unusual for a nobleman of that period. Madeline's utter and total dislike of doctors was so understandable, especially considering the ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
I received this book as a FirstRead.

Lady Madeline Whittington is still grieving the loss of her father, months after the end of her prescribed period of mourning. When she meets the Earn of Ravensmoore, she recognizes him as the doctor she blames for her father's death and fights the attraction she feels for him.

Based on the description of the book, I expected more of the story to focus on Maddie's desire to help others. Instead, she mostly acts like a lady of that time would be expected, wherea
Jill Williamson
Madeline Whittington is still mourning the death of her father, even though the prescribed period of mourning has passed. She meets the Earl of Ravensmoore by chance, and recognizes him as one of the doctors responsible for her father’s death. He tried to tell her how it happened, but she will not hear him. Still, their friendship grows. Madeline’s mother remarries Lord Vale, a man Madeline does not trust. Madeline goes to Ravensmoore for assistance, which leads them both into great danger.

If yo
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New author for me Jillian Kent and series Ravensmoore chronicles, book #1 "Secrets of the Heart"....

Great story that delves into mental health and the problems in the early years when folks were sometimes put away for minor problems just to get them out of the family...
Madeline Whittington's story is from 1817 and she has lost her father and mistrust the medical profession, blaming a young dr for the death of her father.
When she meets the new Earl of Ravensmoore and feels attraction she is all
The Overweight Bookshelf
First reviewed here:

Secrets of the Heart is a charming and introspective debut novel by Jillian Kent. A heroine who is socially incapacitated by grief and a nobleman defying the odds to pursue his dream of being a doctor must contend with personal obstacles and villainous schemes. Lady Madeline's mourning does not bend to the constraints dictated by society and her heart is unprepared for the changes taking place around her. In addition to the romantic storyline, Jillian gives a startling and hi
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love victorian era English books. This on takes place in the early 1800's. Lady Madeline is a young woman grieving the death of her father & siblings. She and her mother live a life of luxury, until her mother remarries and the mystery begins. Lady Madeline spends time at Ashcroft home for the insane tryiong to help the victims who mostly are placed there for convience of family members whether they need to be there or not. Devlin Ravensmoore is the heir to his family estate, but instead pursu ...more
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Double swoon!!! A Regency with Gothic tendencies and more than a dash of sinister. Be. Still. My. Heart. I couldn't put this book down. There's something so thrilling about that delectable combination. From elite drawing rooms to the grim underbelly of society's cast-offs -- I shivered with delight and despair. Madeline -- so wounded and brave and utterly confused. Devlin caught between two worlds as he struggles with his calling towards healing and his obligations as a duke. A romance between t ...more
Amber French
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I liked this book. There were times when I felt a little lost or it seemed slow but for the most part, I enjoyed it. At times the story was heavy when focusing on those with mental illness. The description of the asylum and those in it was heartbreaking. I liked the twists Kent threw in, especially when some of the patients in the asylum assisted Devlin in finding Madeline. The way she refused to listen to Devlin annoyed me at times because it required him to have to rescue her but overa ...more
Kristine Morgan
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Madeline still mourns the death of her father and siblings. She does not in any way trust doctors , as they have always failed her. Lord Ravensmoore is a Dr in a time when the aristocracy frowned upon their own working in such professions, Lord Ravensmoore feels called by G-d to complete his training. He was unfortunately present at the death of Madeline's father. Now he is attracted to can he gain her trust?
I really enjoyed this, Jillian Kent's first novel, and look forward to he
Diane Sallans
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This was an unusual Regency as it was not set in London. Since there was a lot of mention of praying and God, I assume that is why the Romance was G-Rated. The hero is an Earl (unexpected since he was the second son) and also finishing his study to be a doctor (very unusual for the time). Description of the medical aspects was also very unusual. I would actually have liked to give this a 3.5 stars.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this first book in the Ravensmoore Chronicles. The storyline is exciting. There are many twists and turns. The characters are interesting and have varied personalities. The villains are definitely diabolical and the hero is worth rooting for! If you enjoy Regency romantic suspense, I highly recommend Secrets of the Heart by Jillian Kent.
Carol McClain
Apr 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first half was a cliched melodrama. The second half became a suspense/action. It felt like a non-sequitur. I could follow everything by reading only first lines. If you like gothic romance, it was well written. It is not my genre.
Kiera Beddes
Super intense plotline including insane asylums in the Victorian period. They were NOT pretty and it was partially terrifying at how little could get you put away. It was an interesting setting for the kind of story that it was.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Book 1 of 3
May 03, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I received my copy of Secrets of the Heart after having won it in a contest. :D
I haven't yet begun to read it, but I am very excited to do so.
Thank you so much!
This was a wonderful story.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 21, 2014 10:50AM  

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