Book Reviews of The Secret Pearl

The Secret Pearl
The Secret Pearl
Author: Mary Balogh
ISBN-13: 9780440242970
ISBN-10: 0440242975
Publication Date: 11/29/2005
Pages: 448
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 315

3.8 stars, based on 315 ratings
Publisher: Dell
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

54 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 503 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
A very unusual romance novel with atypical characters and situation. The hero is scarred and married to someone else and the heroine is a prostitute (sort of) and an accused murderer. If these ingredients don't sound very romantic, they aren't. However you have to read the story to find out why you should root for them and why nothing is as it seems.

The Secret Pearl is romantic and drawn out with carefully paced moments of tenderness and angst. It is a slow burning story. This is one of those books that sticks with you. The characters are two people who are really ruined in so many ways. They are victims of circumstance and perhaps their own desire to be upstanding (an adulterer doesn't sound upstanding, but read the story and it will all make sense).

As for steaminess, not so much. Balogh is more interested in telling the story of the falling in love not the making love.

The reviewer who said the hero rapes the heroine at the start of the book is exaggerating. This is NOT one of those books where the hero is a rapist and we're supposed to root for him. I'm not saying the heroine liked the situation, but she was there voluntarily and he certainly wasn't using force. Don't let that review mislead you.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on
Helpful Score: 7
This is the last book I needed to read to complete my Summer Reading Challenge. I AVOIDED this book and left if for last because it has adultery in it. I don't enjoy reading about adultery at all, but somehow, Mary Balogh makes it work. This book is very intense, it is a story about a hero and heroine that, have yet to catch a break, that is until an encounter with each other one night. The story starts off with a bang, and then moves a little slow. The story soon picks up and the writer does an excellent job of showing the spirit of the main characters. The journey for Adam and Fleur's love was a HARD road to go down, and I wondered how on earth Mary Balogh was going to give this story a Happy Ending. Despite that hard road, each brief encounter between the two proves to build up tension, and the realization that they were soulmates. As Jerry Maguire put it, They completed each other. I highly recommend this book. It's deep, but very well worth the time invested reading about this forbidden love.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Mary Balogh's The Secret Pearl starts off with an emotional wallop with the "brutal deflowering" of the destitute and starving heroine by the "hero." This is a book where the hero basically rapes the heroine and yet is NOT the villian of the story-- the villian is described as being worse. I could not fathom how these two could ever have anything like a HEA ending and it was that curiousity that kept me reading, but Balogh managed to pull it off, just barely. I think it's a testimony to her writing chops that I didn't throw the book even once, though there were countless in the plot where a lesser writer would have blown the whole thing to smithereens. This was not a happy book, despite the happy ending.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 143 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
What a beautiful story. My heart ached for Adam who is so noble and always trys to do the right thing.He is so often handed lemons in his life and still makes lemonade. The characters are well fleshed out and there is humor in this often heart-wrenching story. I esp liked the relationship between the duke and his valet. The irreverent retorts that only a long time employee/friend could get away with are very funny.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 265 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Another winner from Mary B.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved it so much I got my own copy! :)
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Oh so lovely!!! Hated to read the last page. Delicious, indeed!
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A cruel guardian has given Fleur no choice but to run and hide in the teeming mass of humanity that is London. When her money eventually runs out and no other employment can be found, she resorts to selling the only thing she has left to sell...herself.
Adam is the powerful Duke of Ridgeway. Disfigured in the war and scorned by his beautiful, selfish wife, he thinks to take his frustrations out on the ragamuffin inexpertly offering herself outside the theatre.

Their worlds collide violently, and soon intertwine. But to what end...?

I really enjoyed this book! The characters were likeable and the chemistry believable. Well worth a read, whether for the first time, or just the first time in a long time.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Balogh never fails to please and this time is no exception - a great book from one of the leaders in Regency historical romances.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 74 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the best historical Regency romances I've ever read! My sister loved it too.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A tale of temptation and seduction, of guarded hearts and raw emotion..and of a love so powerful it will take your breath away. This book features Fleur.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A woman down on her luck has one her desperate decisions come back to haunt her.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 8 more book reviews
very good book.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 29 more book reviews
Pretty good, although I dislike romances where one party is married. There's a semi-rape scene at the beginning, just as a caveat.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 171 more book reviews
One of Mary Balogh's best! Mesmerizing, heart-wrenching story that will stay with you long after you've read the last page. Absolutely a keeper.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 620 more book reviews
I loved this book by one of my very favorite authors!!!
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 20 more book reviews
Historical Romance.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 64 more book reviews
A difficult book with a rape scene, but the characters' motivations both before and after are within the realm of reason. I remember that rape scenes were treated as love scenes when I first started reading romances--it's refreshing to see one treated for what it is. And this is quite a compelling love story, to boot. Balogh doesn't fail to write intelligently and sympathetically. A favorite author of mine.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 48 more book reviews
Not my favorite of Balogh's work, but still very enjoyable to read.
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This is a complex novel and it is definitely thought-provoking. I didn't know what to expect since this is my first book by Mary Balogh. Well, I certainly didn't expect the opening salvo!

It took a time to work my mind around this storyline to say it was different is an understatement. Fleur is a young woman who has run out of options. She's a hunted woman who is hungry, without a place to sleep, friendless and doesn't know where to turn.

She takes the only choice she sees; I could understand her position. What I had a hard time with was what I saw as Adams brutality. Yet, Adam tries to make amends and shows himself to be a flawed human, trying to do the right thing.

After their first encounter, Fleur is afraid of Adam. Balogh takes her time; Fleurs opinion changes slowly and that is very realistic. This isn't a quick story it, takes time for things to change. After all, Adam is married to one of the most beautiful women in England.

The story moved rather slowly for awhile, until Adams brother, Thomas Kent arrived on the scene. The two lead characters have lots of layers and they are disclosed slowly. The secondary characters were also memorable. Balogh did a wonderful job of making them breathe, make mistakes and be human.

This isn't a book I can read once; Ive decided to wait several months and reread it. In the meantime, I plan to try some of Mary Baloghs other novels.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 68 more book reviews
This book has an amazing start.........within the first 10 pages you are in an encounter that defines the rest of the story. Mary Balogh always amazes me with her ability to round out these characters and make you care about their lives.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 14 more book reviews
True love after tragedy. Good read.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 8 more book reviews
As always, Mary Balogh provides a great read in this book. I loved it as I love all books by Ms. Balogh.
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One of my all-time favorites!
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 136 more book reviews
Very Good book. Can't not wait for more of her books to come out
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Mary Balogh is at her best with this one!
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To the woman known simply as Fleur, the well-dressed gentleman with the mesmerizing eyes is an unlikely saviour. And when she takes him into her bed, she never expects to hear from him again. But then Fleur accepts a position as governess to a young girl..and is stunned to discover that her midnight lover is a nobleman. As two wary hearts ignite-and the threat of scandal hovers over them - one question remains, will she be mistress or wife?
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Wonderful
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 27 more book reviews
Great book. I really enjoyed it
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 38 more book reviews
Well written. Characters both had unhappy pasts.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 285 more book reviews
This was one of those books that you hate to put down and want to just keep on reading. Fluer who was the daughter of a baron and whose father and mother had died was left in the hands of her cousin. Read and find out what happens to her and how her life is changed.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 1351 more book reviews
Very unique story. Highly recommended.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 47 more book reviews
LOVE LOVE LOVE this author and book!
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 83 more book reviews
He first spies her in the shadows outside a London theatre, a ravashing creature forced to barter her body to survive. To the woman know simply as Fleur, the well dresses gentleman with the mesmerizing eyes is an unlikely savior..
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 12 more book reviews
To the woman known simply as Fleur, the well-dressed gentleman with the mesmerizing eyes is an unlikely savior. And when she takes the stranger to her bed, she never expects to see him again. But then Fleur accepts a position as governess to a young girl...and is stunned to discover that her midnight lover is a powerful nobleman.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 96 more book reviews
Lady Isabella is forced to leave home and take to the streets because of an unfortunate inicent.What developes in her life makes for a very interesting and enjoyable book.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 24 more book reviews
Romantic bliss!
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 190 more book reviews
A classic Balogh; real heartbreaker. But with a happy ending, of course.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 46 more book reviews
One of the more difficult of her books to read. I had real trouble getting interested in this one and that is unusal for one of Mary Balogh's books. Keep trying.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 53 more book reviews
My wife enjoyed it!
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A favorite story.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 14 more book reviews
This is a great book. I just love the stories that Mary Balough tells. I was interested from beginning to end!
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 50 more book reviews
great read
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 518 more book reviews
can a woman forced to barter her body become the wife of a gentleman without scandal? or will she stand by as his mistress while he marries another?
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 8 more book reviews
I have heard so many good things about this book, I am so glad that I read this book now I know what I was missing the first time around when this book first came out.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 9 more book reviews
Great read.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 535 more book reviews
Wonderful story. eXcellent character development, believable H/H and sticky Brit legal traps. Balogh always comes thru!
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 29 more book reviews
I just found it. Good book.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 156 more book reviews
Flleur takes a stranger to her bed and never expects to see him again, but then Fleur accepts a position as a governess to a young girl... and is stunned to discover that her midnight lover is a powerful nobleman. As threat of scandal hovers over them... one question remains: will she be mistress or wife?
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 809 more book reviews
Loved the story. It really keeps you reading to find out how our heroine finds happiness.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 280 more book reviews
From the back cover...

He first spies her in the shadows outside a London theatre, a ravishing creature forced to barter her body to survive.

To the woman known simply as Fluer, the well dressed gentleman with the mesmerizing eyes is an unlikely savior. And when she takes the stranger to her bed, she never expects to see him again. But then Fluer accepts a position as governess to a young girl...and is stunned to discover that her midnight lover is a powerful nobleman. As two wary hearts ignite-and the threat of scandal hovers over them-one question remains: will she be mistress or wife?
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 48 more book reviews
very much enjoyed this book great read.
reviewed The Secret Pearl on + 10 more book reviews
Another good book by Mary Balough. It was a fast read because I became involved in the story quickly and couldn't put the book down.
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Great Book.