THE VALET’S SECRET, by Josi S Kilpack, Shadow Mountain, March 8, 2022, Softcover, $15.99 (young adult/ new adult/ adult fiction)
Josie S. Kilpack gives readers a Regency Cinderella story in her latest Proper Romance novel, The Valet’s Secret.
York, England, 1819
As a once happily married woman, Rebecca Parker had a good life, but now widowed, working for a living, and her only child grown, she feels invisible, tired, and lonely. That is until the day a valet speeding by on a horse nearly runs her off the road. Mr. Malcolm Henry is apologetic, gentle, and handsome. She’s instantly drawn to him, which is why, rather than stopping him from kissing her, she kisses him back, reigniting a nearly forgotten passion. But love at first sight only happens in fairy tales ― never to an ordinary woman like her.
She sees Mr. Henry again and feels the possibilities growing until, while working in the kitchens during a dinner party, she sees the valet she kissed sitting at the right hand of the baroness. Mr. Henry is not the earl’s valet; he is the heir to the earldom ― Kenneth Winterton.
Heartbroken, angry, and betrayed, Rebecca does not trust Lord Winterton and refuses to accept his apology. But when Lord Winterton proves he is as kind and gentle as “Mr. Henry” was, she finds herself willing to give him a second chance. But will he take a chance on her? He needs a wife to help him in his place in society, and nothing about Rebecca s life does that . . . except how he feels when she is with him.
Trust, love, loneliness, and passion collide in this story about a man who will risk it all to fight for the woman he loves and a woman who does not believe in fairy tales ― until she finds herself living in one. —Synopsis provided by Shadow Mountain
I picked up The Valet’s Secret needing a break from “reality.” And since I’ve read a lot of Josi S. Kilpack’s novels and most of the Proper Romance offerings, I knew this book would hit the spot.
I wasn’t wrong.
It’s not as deep as Kilpack’s All That Makes Life Bright (which remains my favorite of her novels), but I didn’t need it to be. The Valet’s Secret is smooth and quick paced with just the right amount of romance and charm.
Rebecca and Lord Winterton and likeable and engaging characters. They’re well developed and their story played out as expected — with a few twists and turns to give readers something worth turning the pages. It’s a great option for readers who enjoy gentle romances.
While The Valet’s Secret isn’t tailored for the YA market, Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance line, particularly its Regency Romances, evoke the sort of Jane Austen sensibilities that do appeal to young adults. Even though the protagonists here are older, fans of the line will enjoy it no matter their age.
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