Secrets of the Heart
Dedicated to “everyone who has battled the twin demons of depression and doubt,” the author uses her background as a counselor for nursing students in this inspirational debut novel of Regency England. On a fox hunt, spirited Lady Madeline Whittington falls off her horse, breaking her arm. Devlin, Lord Ravensmoore, rescues her, revealing he is the medical student who tended her ailing father, and Madeline blames his death on Devlin.
As the novel progresses, Lady Madeline’s mother, Grace, falls in love with Lord Vale, the conniving banker for Ashcroft Asylum. Failing to stop the marriage, Madeline returns to the family home only to find that Vale has drugged her mother with laudanum. Vale kidnaps Madeline and takes her to Ashcroft Asylum where he orders she be treated as an insane person – subject to near-drowning treatments, exposure, and beatings. At this point, the reader is fully engaged as the adventure takes a new turn with every page. Only with the help of Devlin and her belief in God is Lady Madeline able to overcome her past prejudices in order to forgive and live a fulfilling life. A quick and satisfying read – the first in a series entitled “The Ravensmoore Chronicles.”