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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cecily's Secret by Trinidad West

Cecily's Secret by Trinidad West
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Blush
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (110 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Cecily has no desire for a husband. Instead, she plans to follow the example of her spinster aunt—refusing to marry, supporting herself with a modest inheritance and entertaining herself with a stream of lovers and a collection of naughty books. She’s already acquired a taste for sex through her secret stock of books, and she can’t wait to make her vivid fantasies come true.

Forced into attending a house party, Cecily decides to make the best of it—which means taking up with a fop her parents are certain to disapprove of. Perry is no mere fop, though. He’s attending the house party to investigate rumors of espionage…and is definitely not there to find himself a wife.

Cecily and Perry seem like an unlikely pair, but together they’ll learn much about spying, exhilarating passion and true love.

Delightful humor, spying intrigue, breath-catching daydreams, voyeur scenes that sizzle, and a fair share of Regency parent manipulating keep Cecily's Secret racing along.

This well-written, short novel sparkles with young people trying to outmaneuver parents who are trying to manipulate their young into advantageous marriages. Everyone seems to know the name of the game and accepts the challenge with determination.

Cecily Bettencourt knows her parents are plotters and schemers. She plays along but has a plan of her own. Strongly influenced by her Great-Aunt Alice’s books, Cecily plans to live independently on her inheritance and have lots of lovers.

Her sensual, spicy daydreams heat up the story and keep it on simmer, while activities at the house party keep things moving with twists and turns in the matchmaking and in the spying. Everyone works hard to reach the goal he or she has set.

Pericles Munk (Perry), a late invitee is not one of “the prize-winning bulls” as he so indelicately tells Cecily on their first chance meeting in the garden. He hopes his posing as a fop will be over soon. If this spy job turns out well, he can meet his financial responsibilities and still go back to sheep farming.

The side story of Cecily’s cousin Amelia adds a special touch. As she and Cecily plan, the reader gets to share in the strategy.

Secondary characters like Wilfred, Amelia’s brother and Sebastian, Cecily’s brother, give the reader revealing tidbits of information that enrich the story. Franco Comestibili, the Prince of Persepoli, not really one of the house party guests, plays a unique role in Cecily and Amelia’s strategy.

Trinidad West weaves together an awesome amount of details in this short novel while creating characters that captivate. The smooth writing style slips the reader into the story to enjoy all the goings-on at a matchmaking house party where young women with decided views find true love.