I have to say that I was completely surprised by Julia London's The Secret Lover...in a good way! Reading the synopsis kind of left me feeling ho-hum, but it definitely didn't do the story justice. I'll admit, the beginning of the book was rather slow, but it really picked up and I thoroughly liked the characters and how things played out. Good deal!
Lover follows Sophie Dane and her journey and re-entrance into London Society (which she adamantly wanted to avoid) after eight years of absence. For reasons that are explained fairly early on, Sophie has been ostracized from her family and high society and has been living as a companion to an older, wealthy woman, Honorine, in France (among other places). Soon Honorine decides that she wants to travel to London and that Sophie must accompany her. Thus begins to harrowing journey and Sophie's not so seamless appearance back in London. However, she soon finds herself on the receiving end of one of the most eligible bachelor's affections (Trevor Hamilton); who her family fully endorses while Sophie abhors. To escape the confines of such pressure, Sophie takes to spending time picnicing alone in Regent Park. It is there she meets Caleb, Trevor's illegitimate younger brother. What ensues is Sophie's struggle with familial obligations, societal expectations, and personal fulfillment.
The Rogues of Regent Street series into my To-Read pile...the ever increasing pile. This is my first read by Julia London and all I have to say is: well done, London. Well done.