"The Secret Pearl" opens with Adam, Duke of Raybourne, emerging from the Drury Lane Theatre, parting from his friends, and seeing a sad-looking prostitute standing in the shadows. Something makes him approach her; despite the fact that she isn't throwing out any lures to him at all, he hires her and takes her to a room in a run-down inn. This, we find, is Fleur's first night as a prostitute. Having gone two days without food and unable to get a job, she has decided to sell the only remaining asset she has: herself. Only when it's too late does Adam discover that she is actually a gentlewoman fallen on hard times, and a virgin. Afterwards, Adam does feel some guilt, and he feeds Fleur as well as giving her three times as much money as she asked for. And then he sends his secretary to ensure that she is offered a job - as governess to his daughter. His motives, he assumes, are simply philanthropic: he hates the thought of a gentlewoman having to survive on the streets in such a fashion. So Fleur takes up residence in the Duke of Raybourne's estate, delighted to have found a refuge both from her life in London and from the horrors from which she ran in the first place.
Until the Duke of Raybourne comes home, and she discovers that he is the same man to whom she sold herself as a prostitute. And yet, as the days go by, he is also the man who comforts her, who protects her and who offers her a safe refuge. "The Secret Pearl" is a classic, one of Mary Balogh's very best. It's poignant; heart wrenching and utterly romantic, and her fans will be overjoyed to find it back on the market.
Buy The Secret Pearl book by Mary Balogh from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(175mm x 108mm x 31mm)
Bantam Doubleday Dell
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
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Author Biography - Mary Balogh
Best-selling, multi-award-winning author Mary Balogh grew up in Wales. There are over four million copies of her Regency romances and historical romances in print. She is the author of five previous novels in the Slightly series: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, and Slightly Sinful, as well as the acclaimed romances No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love, all available in paperback from Dell.