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Secrets and Suitors

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  720 ratings  ·  222 reviews
Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora's father pressuring her to marr ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications, Inc.
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  720 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well written and engaging Regency romance

21 year old Nora Hamilton is under pressure by her father to find a husband during the season in London. But Nora wants to marry for love, not status and money. Furthermore, she already loves James, a childhood friend whose feelings towards her appear to be purely brotherly.
But time is running out. Nora’s sister can’t go out into society until her older sister is married.

Should she marry for money and position or defy her father, fight the conventions
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was much more interesting then a plain regency romance. The Characters were complex and had a history. I loved how the author revealed the secrets and as they came out things were able to go forward in a good way. I hate secrets, they never are a good idea and I liked how the story showed that. Sweet Nora was so caught up in everyone's ideas of who she was, she was stiffed and hurting. I love that this book showed that love can help another find themselves and their truth. This book was ver ...more
Deanne Patterson
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Deanne by:
A delightful read detailing being presented for the Season in high society.
The rules are rigid and I could definitely understand the anxiety young women faced. Way too many rules, how about just acting like yourself and not putting on airs?
I know I could not act this way, it's just not me but this is what's fascinating about reading this as it's so different from our daily lives now a days.
Secrets roam the halls of the great house and sadness has touched lives in a way the main character doesn't
Melissa Tagg
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book! Really, really loved it. It was written in such a charming was humorous and sweet with just enough romantic angst to make it the perfect page turner. I happily read it in less than a day...and the only unhappy moment was when I realized it was over. :)
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
Poor Nora! I really struggled with the first part of the book because Nora feels hopeless and resigned, and the author did a great job of connecting the reader to her emotions- so I was feeling sad and frustrated as I read. Things picked up when the setting moves to London and Nora begins to develop hope for another plan for her future. I found the evolving dynamics of her family interesting and I appreciated that we got to see the more complex layers of her parents and especially her father, wh ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a lot of romance novels, but now and then, I enjoy a Regency. I had the opportunity to receive a review copy of Secrets and Suitors from the publisher, and the book came highly recommended, so I decided to give it a try. My assessment: the high recommendation was accurate; Secrets and Suitors is a very well-written and worthwhile read. Joanna Barker weaves a multilayered story centered around a likable main character, Nora, who has a realistic combination of strengths and flaws. Tho ...more
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
SECRETS AND SUITORS is a story that is a delight to read from the first page to the last. Readers won't be able to resist falling in love with the heroine, Nora, with all her insecurities, shyness, and bravery, and wish for her to find happiness. With an endearing family dynamic, friendship, and a sweet romance, this is the perfect read for sweet historical romance fans!

I'm a big fan of friends-to-romance stories and this one did not disappoint. Nora was such a reserved character who lacked conf
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, what a lovely Regency friends-to-lovers romance the author has written. When a young woman hides behind large ferns at balls, it's never a good sign although there's usually a good reason for her doing so. Nora Hamilton has several reasons--she's shy, hates socializes at balls, and her father's determined to marry her off to the ever socially correct, but dull Mr. Weston. I think the main reason she was hiding is she missed her best friend James, whom she can't seem to admit that she love ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a time and place where young men and women were supposed to marry someone who could give a better social standing or had a large dowry.

Nora is faced with this dilemma. Her father has picked out her suitor and she is to fall in line and obey. Her head cannot reconcile this with her heart. She tries to look at Mr. Weston objectively, but he doesn't compare to her childhood friend. In order to buy time with her father, she strikes a bargain. Now, she
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading Secrets and Suitors! I could feel all the warm fuzzies and the sorrow, disappointment, family bonds and healing! I felt urgency with the characters and was drawn to keep reading to find out what would happen next! There was a question from the very beginning that I knew the answer to but wanted to find out what had happened that formed that question! There were so many secrets. I am ever so grateful I did not live in those times! Just putting that out there!

Nora and Jame
Julie Carpenter
I felt so many different emotions while reading this book. The greatest of which was joy. I was completely immersed in this story and really found myself enjoying every moment of it. There were plenty of emotions that tugged on my heartstrings. Especially emotions that had me feeling resigned and sorrowful for Nora, our heroine.

Then there were emotions that had me wanting to tell her to wake up and shake off her doldrums and see what was right in front of her eyes.

Then I had emotions of anger
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another delightful read from Joanna Barker, with characters that will entice you to their plight and your heart almost immediately. It is enlightening to get a glimpse at how hard society would have been for someone who had anxiety & struggled in social settings when for those of the higher set depended upon it entirely to make their match.

This story written solely from the point of view of Nora, is a tender look inside her thoughts, experiences & expectations as the oldest daughter, out now fo
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, regency
One of the things I love most about Ms. Barker's novels is how her words have the power to completely transport me into the story!

Poor Nora Hamilton has been in love with her best friend James since childhood, but unfortunately, he doesn't return her feelings. Though I rooted for the pair to end up together, I also enjoyed reading about her adventures with the other suitors. There were times I wished the secrets would be revealed, I will admit that this only added to the story's tension and had
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just as in her previous novels, Joanna Barker weaves romance thread by thread until the whole stunning tapestry is revealed. Nora is an unlikely heroine; she is shy, reserved and uncomfortable in the many social situations her parents have thrown her. Truly the only person other than her siblings she can be herself with is her childhood friend James. But his rapid departure to Jamaica leaves her floundering in a society she never fit in. She is determined to find the best life for herself and he ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book and absolutely fell in love with the story. This sweet and clean Regency romance will have you aching for what the protagonist Nora experiences, and cheering her on as she grows and learns the confidence she needs to make her own happily-ever-after.

The title, “Secrets and Suitors” is such a good description for this book. There were so many secrets throughout, both with suitors and with those closest to Nora, and ones Nora had to keep herself. I really came to love and admire
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is a magical quality to Joanna Barker’s writing. It goes far beyond her excellent historical research or her beautiful descriptive prose; it pulls upon our emotions, drawing us in until we finish the last page with a happy sigh. Secrets and Suitors is a masterfully written story of hurt and healing, of families and forgiveness, and of finding lasting happiness.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed Joanna Barker's books before and I was excited to see that she had a friends-to-something-more romance coming out. I was not disappointed with Secrets and Suitors! It was the perfect, swoony, historical romance read.

Nora is entering her third season and her parents are pressuring her to marry. She has some prospects, but none of them measure up to the man she's always loved---her childhood friend, James. But James is in Jamaica and doesn't return her feelings anyway. Nora is trying
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
How sweet was this book?! I really fell in love with both Nora and James (through Nora's eyes). Nora's family is so important to her and that is the motivating factor for most of her decisions and filled the majority of this story line. Difficult circumstances and bring out the best and the worst in people and this book does an excellent job of highlighting that. Nora finds herself on a bumpy road, trying to navigate her family's expectations and desires, her third London season and her conflict ...more
Johanna Barker is one of my favorite Regency authors and I adored her newest book, Secrets and Suitors; after The Truth About Miss Ashbourne, it’s my favorite by her. This was such a beautiful romance between Nora and her dear childhood friend, James.

Nora was such a wonderful character with an incredibly tender heart, whose worth and remarkable traits are easily overlooked by others, including herself. I really connected with her character, as well as her struggles with her insecurities and shy
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Secrets and Suitors is another standout regency read for me this year. I have always had a weak spot for romances that begin as best friends and this story was so well done that I had a hard time putting it down. Nora is shy and dreads society parties and social groups but the ease of her friendship with James pulls out her wit and bravery. James as a best friend is exactly as he should be: kind, supportive and a bit dashing, but not quite in the same social standing as Nora. An unknown source s ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joanna Barker has a way with writing Regency romance. I love the way she writes her characters, and her plots are amazing!

I loved Nora. She’s the character that the reader gets to know in this one. The reader sees everything through her eyes. Nora is the type of girl who has always done what her parents want her to do. But she doesn’t want to anymore. Her parents want her to marry Mr. Weston, but she doesn’t want to. Nora is the type of girl to make a plan, and she plans to sacrifice herself on
From page one, this sweet regency romance will charm readers. The story is about high society, London, and the Season and feeling pressured to get married. But it’s also about family, friends, and finding true love amid heartbreaking and trying secrets. This novel is sweet and captivating as readers fall in love with the characters and watch their relationships develop and change throughout the story. This is the type of story that keeps readers engaged and not wanting to set the book down with ...more
shaira ✨
this one was really underwhelming. i did enjoy some bits but they alone cannot supersede my frustration about the other problematic elements in this book. the main character, nora, was as basic and plain as white bread.

the reasonings behind why certain things played out the way they did and particular events that happened prior (to the story) were so damn predictable and cliche. they reminded me of those old 90’s low budget movies with the macho overly possessive fathers who would offer large su
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was so good! It didn’t seem like your typical Regency romance. I loved James and Nora! It was so easy to get hooked into the story. I just didn’t want to put it down!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just love books in this era. This is another winner by Joanna Barker. This is a sweet love story between Nora and James. I love Nora’s attempt to find happiness elsewhere when she doesn’t think James returns her feelings. Nora had two other men that could potentially bring happiness to her. But the heart wants what the heart wants.
Excellent and well written book. What a great romance book. I really enjoyed reading the plot and looking forward to how it turned out. Look forward to reading her other books.
I highly recommend it. Will read again and have.
Kara Vaterlaus
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars. Cute, easy read, though a little repetitive. Cheesy, but sometimes that’s just what you need 😉
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read

Nora always wanted to be in the background at social events and after two seasons in London she still hadn’t had a serious suitor. After receiving pressure from her father, she makes a bargain with him that she will marry Mr. Weston (a man she barely knows) if her two younger siblings are allowed to join her for the season in London. She also makes her father agree that she can continue being friends with her childhood neighbor James.

After time away at his family plantation, James is suddenly ba
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Susie by: NetGalley

Booked By Random

*I received a free ARC via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*


Typical me, I’m behind on my reviewing again! Yet this one sticks in the mind plenty enough for me to still be able to give my thoughts and opinions on it.

I will start by saying that I usually avoid Regency romances as, quite like contemporary billionaire romances, they can be unrelatable, reading more like a fantasy world. The description and the cover sucked me in on this one and, I am r
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a story of friends who develop and eventually admit feelings for one another.

I always feel like 1st person novels are incomplete as they tell the story from one character only. I felt the same with this one, even though Nora is candid in her feelings and hopes.

Although the main story is between Nora and James, the parents and sister also play an important role in the events. There's also secrets, and how they affect everyone.

Nora is adrift and wondering where her life is going, especi
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Goodreads Librari...: Typo in my book blurb 2 21 Sep 07, 2019 01:53PM  

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Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everythin ...more

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