The Secret Pearl

Written by Mary Balogh
Review by Sue Asher

Isabella Fleur Bradshaw is a gentlewoman driven by circumstance to wait outside London’s Drury Theatre one night to sell the only thing she has left. The man who buys her, the Duke of Ridgeway, was left hideously scarred by the Battle of Waterloo and wounded even more deeply by a wife he once loved but who never loved him. He realizes too late that he has taken the prostitute’s virginity. Filled with remorse, the duke sends his secretary to find the woman he knew only as “Fleur” and hire her as a governess for his young daughter. This is a romance. The two will fall in love. Yet as the plot unfolds, this prostitute and this adulterer prove to be the most honorable people in their sphere. The reader is treated to a very moving story of two people learning to love and trust in a world that has given them very little cause to believe in either. The Secret Pearl is a fan favorite reissued by popular demand after fourteen years. I can understand why.