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The Lady's Secret

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  491 ratings  ·  78 reviews

London, 1810

Former actress Georgiana Knight always believed she and her brother were illegitimate until they learn their parents were married, making them heirs to a great estate. To prove their claim, Georgy needs to find evidence of their union by infiltrating a ton house party as valet to Lord Nathaniel Harland. Though masquerading as a boy is a challenge, it pales in c

ebook, 272 pages
Published November 7th 2011 by Carina Press
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  491 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of character driven historical romance
4 1/2 stars. You know those romance tropes that make you internally go, “oh God no” whenever you see them in a blurb? Everyone has different ones, of course, but chicks in pants is one of mine. Strangely enough, in the right hands those tropes sometimes make the best books -- Heyer’s The Masqueraders is a long time favorite of mine, and now there’s The Lady’s Secret, which also makes a chick in pants utterly sublime.

Like her actress mother, Georgiana works in a theatre, but is too prone to stage
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't realise this author usually write MM romance.
No wonder the part where the hero thought his valet is a guy and he attracted to him and terrifying with his feeling had written so good:)

If you love traditional HR, you probably won't love this book much because the way of our heroine thinking is too modern for her time. I don't mind in this case, no unnecessary angst to trick your emotion in this book and the girl is no fool, she knew exactly what she was doing.

Simply a very entertaining st
K.J. Charles
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh my God this was so much fun. Unconventional heroine who enjoys sex, lovely hero who's strong, flawed and communicates, nice twisty lost-heir plot. And very well written, too, nice minor charactera. Absolutely delicious.
Pro bono advice: when you're going to reference the theatre and Twelfth Night (especially if you fancy Viola/Cesario as the source of your inspiration) you simply must come up with something that justifies the noble ambition. Similarly, when you include a side story of homosexual love (and the writer seems to specialise in same sex HRs, so you'd expect her to know better) in Britain circa 1810, do take the trouble to spend 10 minutes trying to imagine what it would have been like to be threatene ...more
Vanessa North
Oh gosh, I finished this book days and days ago, but launched immediately into a proofreading job and just resurfaced from that. SO, it really DIDN'T take me five days to read, it took me less than one, because it was DELIGHTFUL.

I adore Joanna Chambers's writing, and I adored this crossdressing valet story, from the sex-positive heroine to the queer subplots I just... *happy sighs* this was just great fun from one of my favorite historical romance writers.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
It's a cute and funny book about a girl who dresses like a man and gets employed as a valet to go sleuthing for proof of hers and her brothers legitimacy.
The best part was when the hero felt attraction for his valet without knwoing that said valet is a girl! It was hilarious to read his reactions and his fear of being gay! LOL
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Andrea by: Ira
This was my first book by this author, and definitely not the last!
Unfortunately, while this book was intriguing and had some truly wonderful characters, there was way too much drama for my taste, which, to be fair, isn't hard, because I absolutely loathe drama if any kind. This had a few too many murders, attempted murders, crazy, gun-toting peers and their henchmen for me. I guess that was to be expected when the plot is about two siblings trying to prove their legitimate and an earldom is at
Nathan the aristocrat and Georgie the 'boy'.
I do like a gal in trousers historical. Usually they require a lot of 'suspension of disbelief', but in this case the author obviously thought about it a lot. What the pit falls would be in making it believable and how you could surmount them.
Before this, the only book I've read by this author was Unforgivable, and it is a super angst fest. But this book is much more even handed, and less stressful to read, with a lovely little epilogue.
Georgie and he
Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
An amazing premise with a very promising first 10 chapters or so that show the h masquerading as the H’s valet and the H’s bewilderment at being attracted to the young man was particularly amusing and fun to read. And so many mm/ff references!
But then after the ‘un-masking’, it became a routine story about a nobleman H and a h wth a decidedly un-tonnish heritage who can be good to bed but not to wed perhaps – interspersed by a simple whodunit and secrets that are right there in full view all the
Karen Wellsbury
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Most enjoyable romp.
Shades of real old style regency romance here, as well as nice bit of cross dressing.
While not as polished as Enlightenment the talent shines through.
Plot good, characters lovely, moderate sex.

Liked it !
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, m-f
Love love loved this! I really enjoy gender bending stories I had hoped that Georgy's secret would stay secret a bit longer and we would get some major internal reflections from our hero on his sexual preferences but alas I'll take what we got.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love when an author shows me something new in a genre I know very well.

I have read over 200 historical romance books and I confess I didn't completely understand what being a valet entailed. Well, I learned with this book and let me tell you, I didn't realize it was so much freaking work! Just to put it in perspective, being a valet of a stylish Regency gentleman was like being in charge of wardrobe, makeup and styling of a celebrity who needs to be immaculately dressed twice a day, 7-days a w
I loved Chambers's m/m trilogy (Provoked). And off the back of that, picked this up, despite it containing everyone's least favourite trope: girls dressing up as boys [not a political statement: you do you, Lily Savage. It just never works as a romance plot, except when Pam Rosenthal does it].

I don't remember much about this book, which perhaps speaks volumes. But I remember it being clumsily written, with strange dynamics between the H/h. Their liking or disliking of one another chopped and ch
Dec 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Estara by:
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
AWESOME!!!!!!! Love the storyline & characters!!!! Towards the end the language and intimate scenes are more bold then any true regency era novel would of been I.e. Jane Austen & Georgette Heyer as the leading authors of that glorious era!!!!! GREAT NOVEL none the less!!!! Love that the in-depth research and use of items & daily lifestyles of both the aristocracy & servants were portrayed!!!!!!! Such a fun adventure of a read!!!!! :)
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
What a fantastic book! It had me hooked from the start; I couldn't put it down and ended up reading into the early hours to finish it. Although the book was hot, it was appropriate to the storyline and not excessive. 'The Lady's Secret' has a brilliant story and excellent, loveable characters. I have added the book to my 'all time favourites' list, and I look forward to more books by Joanna Chambers.

Historical romance at its best!
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Very fun read -- I was worried the girl-masquerading-as-boy charade was going to go on for too long, but it didn't. Some angst, the plot kept moving, definitely a great read. I knocked off a star only because I like my angst a little more gut-wrenching. Overall though, I enjoyed this a lot.
Annika Martin
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This was such a delightful historical! With fun reveals and a wonderful hero. Yum!
Zoe T
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An extremely delightful romance novel that took obvious inspiration from Twelfth Night, which is like catnip for me anyway. Very charming with a decent non-romance plot and background queer characters! very cool.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfection. I kinda feel like being naughty and leaving this review with just this single word. Frankly, there is little to add. I can tell you how amazing the story was, how much I enjoyed the characters and mostly the relationship buildup. How great the whole "time and place" was for me even though I don't read Historical that often. Yeah, I could also tell you how intrigued I was by the whole plot line and everything that happened and how I imagined it would play and the fact it didn't play a ...more
Dec 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
this started a little slow for me, but picked up very quickly (by chapter 4) and then it was so good, I didn’t want it to end!

it made me cry and I love it when books do that! :)

what an interesting story of siblings trying to reclaim their birthright. by the end, I wanted to read their parents’ love story! (view spoiler)

I liked that the book fast-forwarded through time, we didn’t have to read about the day-by-day activities an
miss american pie
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
oh, i simply adored this book. it hit all the right spots for me. it's been literal ages since i enjoyed an mf historical this much. the lady's secret is all about sensuality, quiet appreciation, companionship, and the subtle beauty that's to be found in the extraordinary. i will admit it felt more contemporary, so in that sense it's perhaps not a great historical, per se. there were also a few awkward lines and more than a few editing mistakes. but the whole of it, the totality, was gracefully ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019booksread
It's rare to find m/f romance I'll take a chance on. In this case it's because I've read the author's m/m romance. I wasn't disappointed. This has the rather delightful setup of having a woman dressing as a man to become a valet to an aristocrat in order to uncover secrets from one of his friends. So it's a romance between a man and his valet, who he isn't at first aware is actually a woman. Fun, not overly heavy.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I remain torn on this one. Lots of it works - especially Georgie, who is a great, layered character. Woman-dressing-as-a-man is a trope I love that can go very wrong and Joanna Chambers pulls it off with great aplomb. The scenes where Georgie contemplates the new freedom of her role are among the best of the book. It’s also great that Nathan does act terribly betrayed, just intrigued by finding out her secret and I also like that he has no desire to see her behave like a ~proper woman~. The sexu ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've adored the other books I've read by this author, and this one is still pretty good, but for her standards it's more like a 3. I am guessing this was pretty early in her career, as it's a bit more bogged down in the tropes and the characters have less of the authenticity and originality that make her more recent ones sparkle.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming and interesting read. Liked how the story was so different from typical historical romances. And how their relationship developed. But one thing that I remember the most - that feeling of happiness of being in love. Something so pure and real and light. Loved how it was shown.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute little story with a HEA, epilogue. Predictable villain.
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Lovely Historical Romance Debut
As a little girl, Georgiana Knight didn't give a thought to whether or not her parents were married. They were her mama and papa and they loved her and her twin brother Harry. They loved each other. Then her father died, and her mother, an actress in London, raised her and her brother in the theatre she loved so much. But her mother died as well, bleeding out in the street after being attacked by a mugger.

Or so the story goes. Georgy and Harry have other suspicio
Rosalyn Payne
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable

Sweet and interesting. Likeable characters and a good mystery. A clever plot and not too flabby either. I recommend it
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Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. In between studying, finding a proper grown up job, getting married and having kids, she spent many hours staring at blank sheets of paper and chewing pens. That changed when she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna's muse likes red wine, coffee and won't let Joanna clean the house or watch television