The Secret of Flirting
(Book #5 of The Sinful Suitors)
By Sabrina Jeffries
Narrated by: Justine Eyre
Series: Sinful Suitors, Book 5
Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
Release date: 03-27-18
Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Simon & Schuster Audio
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
“Quick pacing, witty dialogue, and charmingly original characters set Jeffries’ books apart” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), and The Secret of Flirting is the next thrilling romance in the bestselling Sinful Suitors series!
The moment spymaster Baron Fulkham meets the stunning Princess Aurore of Chanay, he’s positive her royal persona is a ruse and that she’s actually Monique Servais, the mysterious actress he met three years before in Dieppe. But as he pursues his suspicions, he uncovers a plot of attempted assassination and betrayal that could very well destroy his career, expose his own secrets…and ruin the woman he’s rapidly coming to love.
The Secret of Flirting is a sizzling historical romance filled with fast-paced storytelling, an enchanting heroine, and a sexy hero, perfect for fans of Regency romance. http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Secret-of-Flirting/Sabrina-Jeffries/The-Sinful-Suitors/9781501144486
My original feeling about this novel was of it being about a rich and stuffy English lord who doesn’t believe he will ever marry for love. And a woman who doesn’t believe she will ever marry without it. But a lot of Regencies are about that. This one happens late in the Regency period.
There are though. some interesting twists to the plot although the “princess and the pauper” trope has been a little over done in my reading this past year. But there’s a double twist, and even a third twist regarding which character constitutes an appropriate spouse, with the locus flipping back and forth.
The historical context was interesting, with the Belgians needing a king or queen and the rest of Europe deciding who might be a good choice. Anyone who watches the TV series VICTORIA knows who ends up as the king, but Jeffries creates an interesting, if not entirely believable story imagining how it happened.
In the story Monique is driven to care for her aging grandmother who is a disowned princess of the principality of Chanay (surprisingly a real place) living in chaste poverty. Why she hasn’t called on the family to assist in caring for the princess is ludicrous. The prince who disowned her is dead and surely the family would has become more lenient. So, the premise is one I felt based in ignorance and the sin of just not asking for help.
This irritated me as had Monique just tried to get an assist from the family, the entire fiasco would have been much easier. Aside from the family issue a popular trope in my reading this year was how homosexuals were regarding in the past. In some places it was considered an offense punishable by death and since the percentage of gay people, in or out of the closet, is probably constant, it is interesting to think about the tragedy of how many people throughout history were forced to suffer through having to live outside their true-selves.
Eyre does a great job with the characters – she has a lovely voice, with a nice effervescence. I thought her male lead started out terribly stuffy but got friendlier over time. There are a great many characters an as usual that can be an issue with audiobooks.
I would say this was interesting from an historical, albeit fictitious, angle. But the relationships developed from a dislike physical attraction, to like with logistical issues. I didn’t believe the relationship change, nor did I believe the nonchalance with which the dangers to the “princess,” pivotal to the change in affections, were treated. I just wanted to slap several of the characters and tell them to be sensible.