Review of “Georgana’s Secret” by Arlem Hawks

This Regency romance is endearingly adorable. Regency romances are so fun because they take place during a very small and somewhat bizarre period in history when so-called Mad King George III was deemed incapable of ruling the United Kingdom. His son and heir served as Regent in his place. Though the Napoleonic Wars with France were on everyone’s mind, even more important was a preoccupation among the privileged with high society, especially among those who aspired to the “bon ton” – French for “in the fashionable mode” – a tone set by the profligate Regent. There were a plethora of rules about how young men and ladies could behave, dress, and interact.

Georgana Woodall, 18, is flouting all the rules: in order to get away from her abusive grandmother, she disguised herself as a male named “George” and joined her father, a navy captain, on his ship as his cabin boy. She can’t hide her lack of toughness though, and the other boys on the ship harass her. First Lieutenant Dominic Peyton, compassionate and handsome (needless to add), is determined to mentor George to help him survive and gain the respect of the other boys.

Alas, Dominic is strangely drawn to George, and George can’t help but fall for Dominic.

It’s not at all as predictable as it sounds however; there are some surprising twists in store for readers, leading up to the delightful denouement.

Evaluation: I raced through this book; I loved the wonderful characters, warts and all, and watching them and their interrelationships evolve throughout the story.

Rating: 4/5

Published by Shadow Mountain, 2021

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