Pages: 320 pages
Published: January 12, 2021
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
Georgana’s Secret is a calming, short Regency romance that fans of the genre will enjoy and be glad to be wrapped up in a historical world that will take their minds off the world they’re currently living in. Georgana may be a female character not that different from other Regency romances (fierce determination, strong will but empathy and pain that makes her human). Still, she has a personality that readers will identify with and form an emotional connection. The obstacles that Georgana endures felt through every turn of the page, and you can’t help but feel for her. The male protagonist, Dominic, is also a fresh take on the regency hero. For readers who are tired of the rakes, then Dominic is your cup of tea. He’s sincere, caring, especially with how he cares for his mother and protects Georgana from the bullies on the ship. He is more interested in his profession than settling down, but that does not mean he lacks compassion and is not pompous. These two characters combined make an excellent recipe for a budding romance.
However, my only complaint is the story is that the story felt a little bland to me. I had a hard time deciding whether this book was either character-driven or plot-driven, but in the end, it felt neither to me. It has a calming and soothing story, but it just didn’t have the drive to be a compelling and engaging story that, not being invested in the story but not interested in the outcome, should be an essential aspect of reading a romance book. Hawks’ writing is not bad at all. It is coherent and articulate. But maybe Hawks writing style does not do it for me, but other readers might enjoy it. Austen fans will like the naval connection within the story. However, you will not meet the same witty conversation style, and insightful statements like you encounter in Austen’s novels, which is fine if you are looking to read.
Calling all Bridgerton fans, if you are looking for a regency romance to calm yourself from the intense heat, Georgana’s Secret is the right book for you. A story, suitable for all ages, may not be as action-packed or enthralling as other high profile regency dramas. Still, it is engaging enough for romantics to entertain themselves for some time.
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.