Review – The Secrets He Keeps by Amy Sandas

About the Book:

Have Yourself a Merry Little… Secret!
From the seductive boudoirs and elite salons of London to the ancient castles of the snowy Scottish Highlands, our fearless heroines enter the Christmas season in pursuit of their heart’s desire.
But, the course of true love never did run smooth… especially when SECRETS abound.
Tales of intrigue, romantic adventure, sizzling passion, and heartwarming holiday romance.
Unwrap the pleasure…

Wedding Her Christmas Duke – by Collette Cameron
The Knot of a Knight – by Linda Rae Sande
The Marquess is Mine – by Tamara Gill
A Yuletide Miracle – by Laurel O’Donnell�
The Lady Who Stole Christmas – by Sydney Jane Baily
Christmas with a Czar – by Emily E.K. Murdoch
A Scot Most Wanted – by Angelique Armae
Secretly Marvellous – by Virginia Taylor
Yuletide Secrets – by S. Cinders
One Scandalous Christmas – by J. Burrelli
The Rogue’s Secret – by Stacy Reid and Giselle Marks
The Secrets He Keeps – by Amy Sandas

Click on the title for direct Amazon buy link: Have Yourself a Merry Little Secret : a Christmas collection of historical romance (Have Yourself a Merry Little… Book 2)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Callista Hale is the madam of London’s most successful brothel, Pendragon’s Pleasure House.  She has managed to stay on top of her game by being aware of her competition.  Many others have tried, but no one has been able to successfully compete.  There is a new club, however, called Maxwell’s, and it’s causing quite a stir.  Everyone seems to be secretive about what goes on there, so Callista decides to go right to the source and pay a call on the proprietor.

Erik Maxwell is intrigued to receive a call from Madam Pendragon, herself, and is completely bowled over upon meeting her.  The legendary madam is beautiful, self possessed, and definitely in control.  When she expresses her desire to know what his club is all about, she is shocked to learn the answer.  (You’ll have to read the story to learn what it is!)  Ever cynical, Callista can’t believe that Erik will succeed.  Yet, she allows herself to enter a wager with him.  He has twelve days to seduce her to his way of thinking.  If he fails, he packs up his club and leaves town.

What an unlikely pairing – a former prostitute and a former Lothario (perhaps, even a gigolo)!  She’s become jaded, hard, and only concerned with making money.  He’s somehow developed a strong belief in love and commitment.  There is no doubt that passionate sparks are flying between them, but can Erik seduce her senses to recognize tender emotions, not just physical satisfaction?

I really love that the lead characters in this story are mature, a refreshing change of pace.  It was also so unexpected to find them in a Christmas story, though, to me, it felt that the holiday was simply a backdrop rather than an integral part of the plot.  Erik is a true master of seduction, and while Callista can match him physically, will she be willing, or even able, to overcome her past to allow him around the walls she’s built to protect herself?  I admit that Callista was a bit hard to warm up to, even learning of her tragic childhood.  Erik is a man in a million, one who doesn’t want to change Callista, he just wants to be loved in return.  THE SECRETS HE KEEPS is steamy and surprisingly romantic, sure to appeal to readers who enjoy characters and situations which are beyond the typical.

2 comments

  1. Good review Rose. Erik Maxwell sounds like a swoony hero. With this review, your previous review of Anna Campbell’s story, and the authors whose names I’m familiar with, I’m convinced I’ll be buying the book.

    I agree with you regarding some of the descriptions of the stories in this collection, that the holiday season and Christmas in particular, is just a backdrop to the story. It’s got to be hard to come up with a Christmas story that doesn’t lean toward the shmaltzy in bringing people together because of the season alone, and ‘yay, a miracle happens.’ Too much of that and it’s just too much. I’m happy to read more stories from my favorite authors set around Christmas and let them do what they do best. Bring us great romantic stories.

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    • Hi, Michelle. There are actually TWO books. For a while I thought I just was getting confused with the names, but there’s HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE SCANDAL and HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE SECRET. I agree that it has to be difficult to come up with a new Christmas plot, but I have to confess that a sentimental, teary story does my heart good.

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