In the glittering world of Regency London, where gossip is exchanged—and reputations ruined—with the tilt of a fan, Mélanie Fraser is the perfect wife. Devoted to her husband, Charles, the grandson of a duke, she is acknowledged as society’s most charming hostess. But just as the elegant façade of Regency London hides a dark side, Mélanie is not what she seems. She has a secret: one that could destroy her perfect jewel-box life forever . . . and the cost to keep it is an exquisite heirloom ring surrounded by legend and power. The search for it will pull Mélanie and Charles into a gritty underworld of gin-soaked brothels, elegant gaming hells, and debtors’ prisons. In this maze of intrigue, deception is second nature and betrayal can come far too easily . . .
“It was the sort of night that cloaks a multitude of sins.” …begins the tale centered on Melanie and Charles Fraser; an upper-class 1810s London power couple. Charles is a member of parliament and the grandson of a duke. Melanie is a seemingly, flawless, coifed, socialite. But, their picture perfect world is turned upside down when their beloved son, Colin, is kidnapped by thugs in the employ of a sinister Spanish antiroyalist. Both Charles and Melanie frantically investigate Colin’s disappearance, they discover that the kidnappers are after the Carevalo Ring, a legendary object with Tolkienesque symbolic power, which may be in the possession of Helen Trevennen, a sly, lower class actress. The couple continue their search for the the elusive Helen Trevennen amid a barrage of revelations, most notably the shocking admission that Melanie is actually a former French spy who married her beloved Charles as she was ordered and we discover that the deception runs even deeper. The action peaks when they realize that time may be running out for their child when a package containing a finger is delivered to them. They must race to find the ring and put aside their personal feelings of betrayal, dishonor and make an attempt at forgiveness in order to rescue Colin.
SECRETS OF A LADY is in fact a re-release of the 2002’s “Daughter of the Game.” It is a great read for Historical Fiction fans that is filled with spiced up relationships (though it’s no bodice-ripper) and an element of mystery and espionage. Grant’s obvious knowledge of history was well used throughout the story. I was amazed to discover that this was her first novel. I look forward to reading future releases by this author.
Tracy Grant has been making up stories as long as she can remember and writing them down since third grade when she was assigned writing a story and realized she had a wealth of characters and plots inside her head. She studied British history at Stanford University and received the Firestone Award for Excellence in Research for her honors thesis on shifting conceptions of honor in late fifteenth century England. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is on the board of the Merola Opera Program, a training program for professional opera singers, coaches, and stage directors.
For more information about her books, please visit her website at: http://www.tracygrant.org.