His Lordship's Secret (His Lordship’s Mysteries #1) by Samantha SoRelle

@Archaeolibrary, @samanthasorelle,

#MM, #Historical, #Mystery, #Romance,

London 1818

Alfred Pennington, the Earl of Crawford, knows someone wants him dead. An illicit boxing match seems the perfect opportunity to hire a champion fighter to watch his back, but Alfie is shocked to recognize the beaten and bloody challenger as his childhood friend, Dominick, one of the few people who knows the truth about Alfie’s past.

Life has been hard for Dominick, so he can’t believe his luck when Alfie—now with fine manners and a fancy title—offers him a chance to escape the slums in order to catch a potential killer. That’s difficult enough, but not falling in love with the refined, confident man his friend has become may prove trickier still.

The investigation draws the two men closer than ever, but it becomes clear that their years apart may prove too much to overcome. As the danger mounts, can they find their way through the past to a future together? Or will hidden secrets cost them their happiness… and their lives?

His Lordship's Secret is the first title in the His Lordship's Mysteries series.

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Dominick opened his eyes, and Alfie was struck suddenly at how close they were. Dominick sitting on the bed with Alfie leaning over him, just barely touching, the firelight casting a warm glow that didn’t reach into the corners of the room. It was like they were all alone in their little pocket of the world.

He whispered, “You took quite a beating. What kind of man takes a fight he knows he’ll lose?”

“The kind willing to take the risk.” Dominick smiled. This close the effect was devastating. “I got off lightly thanks to you. Only a few bruises and cracked ribs. I know the feel, I’ve had worse.”

“My doctor wouldn’t mind. He’s already seen me once today, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind doubling his fee.”

“Oh?” Dominick's hand brushed against Alfie's hip. “And why were you being examined by the good doctor anyway?”

Alfie swayed, closing his eyes. He murmured, “Because I was shot,” and leaned in.

4 out of 5 (very good)

HIS LORDSHIP'S SECRET is the first book in the His Lordship's Mysteries and we start off with a bang - quite literally! Alfie is shot and rushes home where his doctor attends him to sew him up. Alfie thinks back to the previous weeks and concludes someone is trying to kill him. But who and why?

What unfolds in a sweet story, full of love and caring amongst the harshness of London's streets in those times. You get a full and rounded description of workhouse conditions, plus what it was like for those not of the upper crust. Along with the bad, you also get the good. The compassion of their peers, the free pie "but don't tell anyone"... It's all here and helps to make this a brilliant, intriguing mystery romance.

The saddest point of all for me was how they had to hide their love due to the consequences if anyone found out. Unfortunately, it's not that far back in the past, and some places still hold the same views. I can't wait for the day when someone reads a story like this and cannot comprehend what it must have been like, simply because it is so widely accepted and normal.

This is the first book by this author I have read and it definitely won't be the last. I love her cadence as she draws you into the story, the lifelike characters, the situations. Absolutely recommended by me.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


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Samantha SoRelle grew up all over the world and finally settled in Southern California when she soaked up too much sunshine and got too lazy to move.

When she’s not writing, she’s doing everything possible to keep from writing. This has led to some unusual pastimes including but not limited to: perfecting fake blood recipes, designing her own cross-stitch patterns, and wrapping presents for tigers .

She also enjoys collecting paintings of tall ships and has lost count of the number of succulents she owns.

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