This is the conclusion of the Huxtable quintet—Constantine's story.
Constantine is in London for the spring Season, as he usually is despite the fact that he loves spending the rest of the year on his estate in Gloucestershire. He is enjoying the company of his male friends and of his cousins, the Huxtables, now all married. But as usual he is looking about him for a mistress, some lady of class and refinement, probably a widow, with whom to enjoy some time until summer sends them their separate ways.
Hannah Reid, Duchess of Dunbarton, is free after a year of mourning for her elderly husband and has come to London for the Season. She is extraordinarily beautiful, and the whole of the ton, including Constantine, knows of the legion of lovers she enjoyed for years while her husband was still living. When she sets out to choose a new lover for the spring and fixes her choice upon Constantine, he is not flattered and is quite determined to resist her considerable charms. She is not at all his type.
But Hannah does not accept rejection easily, and Constantine can sometimes be persuaded to change his mind. What begins as a fairly lighthearted romp between two attractive, strong-willed protagonists, however, quickly develops into something far deeper and more serious as Hannah and Constantine begin to probe the dark secrets and vulnerabilities of each other's lives.
Dell Historical, ISBN 0-440-24297-5
Mary Balogh has masterfully woven a romantic tale of the importance of family, of compassion, and of love and forgiveness in this fifth book in her series about the Huxtable family. A Secret Affair will not disappoint, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the "secrets."
Viki Ferrell, Fresh Fiction
Naturally, nothing goes as either had planned in this neatly choreographed romance that will fascinate readers as Balogh gradually peels away the layers of this complex, secrets-laden story with tantalizing skill and sympathetic care. VERDICT Poignant, thought-provoking, deliciously sensual, and completely enthralling, this polished gem is the last in the Huxtable quintet and one that Balogh's fans have been anxiously awaiting.
Balogh has saved the best for last; Constantine-dark, wicked, and cryptic-has a perfect foil in Hannah, and their encounters are steamy, their romance believable. Though series fans will be disappointed to see it come to a close, they couldn't ask for a better way to go out.