K. Lincoln's Reviews > The Secret Heart

The Secret Heart by Erin Satie
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it

4.5 stars, actually.

I very rarely review romance novels. Partially because I feel like people have very specific....er....tastes surrounding romances and one's reaction to a novel might be more based on one's particular tastes rather than the actual quality of the writing. Also because, for me, romance novels are like potato chips-- not exactly nutritious for brain or body, but definitely a crunchy-delicious feeling for the soul when you need a break.

I picked up the first in Erin Sartie's series based on a recommendation from the website Smart B**ches, Trashy Novels (who have never yet let me down) to balance out some non-fiction reading and boy am i glad I did.

The Secret Heart turned out to be one of those rare gems (and even rarer-- self-published!) of a romance novel-- one where the characters are expertly drawn, have realistic, believable emotional arcs, don't act too stupid to be true, and where there are true obstacles (instead of mocked-up, paper-thin problems easily solved by the hero or heroine just TALKING to each other for once) to the HEA.

Caro is the daughter of a Marquess-- but an impoverished one with loose morals. For example, this Marquess hired his own ballerina mistress as Cora's governess. The ballerina promptly taught Caro to dance-- and one of the most interesting and crunch-tastic parts of this book is the way Caro is constantly aware of her own stance, muscles, and body-language as well as that of the hero, Adam.

Adam is an English bulldog of a man. Despite being noble, he is into bare-knuckles boxing in an attempt to hide away a bruised heart (refreshingly bruised by a manipulative father and the loss of a beloved sister and a fall-out with his best friend, not, as per usual romance trope, bruised by a bad love affair) in the physical pain of his training.

The two meet one moonlit night, discover each other's secret and inappropriate hobbies, and hijinks ensue.

The icing on the cake (or should it be the garlic-parmesan on the kettle chip?) is that their relationship (both physical and emotional) is portrayed without unrealistic instant-physical bliss on the part of Caro, but also with the pragmatic understanding on both Adam and Caro's parts about how she really needs to seduce him in order to save herself and her beloved younger brother from their dissolute father. And there's also a scene where Caro puts her ballet flexibility to good use in a way I couldn't quite picture but that was certainly inventive.

There were less than a handful of a few minor typos, but certainly nothing to throw me out of the story for long. And I can't wait now to read the next in the series. Erin Sartie is now on my I'll-read-almost-anything-by-this-romance-author list as Sherry Thomas, Courtney Milan, and Lisa Kleypas.

If you're a romance fan, read this book.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Secret Heart.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 12, 2015 – Shelved

No comments have been added yet.