29 June 2011

Diana's Corner - Book Review by Diana Flowers


Secrets of the Heart, Ravensmoore Chronicles Series #1   -     
        By: Jillian Kent
    
Secrets of the Heart by Jillian Kent
 
























www.jilliankent.com Published by Realms, 2011

4 stars~
 
Not Your Typical Regency Novel! 

Jillian Kent has done a superb job with her debut regency era novel, Secrets of the Heart. This is not your typical regency era novel, full of balls, tea parties, and gowns, but rather one filled with suspense, romance, and intrigue. I was hooked from the first chapter, and although some of the subject matter was not so pretty, I still found myself having a hard time putting this one down!
 
The first chapter finds us in Yorkshire, England, in 1817, with Lady Madeline Whittington horseback riding in the dense forest of Richfield, her family home. In the woods she encounters a scared, filthy, half-starved girl in tattered clothes, who doesn't speak a word. Madeline hides the girl and seeks to restore her back to health, and find out where she is from. Lady Madeline is emerging from a period of mourning, but still can't get over the loss of her beloved father. On a hunting expedition, Madeline has a minor accident and is attended by the handsome Earl of Ravensmoore, whom she despises, believing he was responsible for her father's death.
 
Although of nobility, Devlin Ravensmoore, is studying to be a doctor, wishing to make a difference in the deplorable conditions he sees in the hospitals and mental institutions. As their lives become entertwined, what horrifying secrets do Madeline and Devlin unearth and who is this strange girl in the woods? Will Madeline ever learn to trust doctors, especially Devlin? Can Ravensmoore and Madeline make a difference in the horrible conditions at Ashcroft Mental Institution? And when Devlon goes to the asylum to treat an outbreak of smallpox, who does he find there that shocks him to the very core of his being?
 
This book was full of excitement from beginning to end...a real page-turner! Some of it was very difficult to read, however, because of the reality of how the mentally ill were treated in those days. Jillian Kent is one of the finest debut authors I've ever had the pleasure of reading her work, and has the ability to evoke powerful emotions from her readers. And that's what fine writing is all about...
 
* Warning-Not for the very squeamish...some graphic content.*

23 comments:

  1. So happy to see more suspenseful and realistic of the times Regencies than the Jane Austen type. Happy to see more Regencies in the CBA.

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  2. Thanks for the review Diana. Can't wait to read this one. tsmathews61@gmail.com

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  3. Hey, Laurie Alice and Teresa. You girls beat me here this morning, and its good to see you! Laurie Alice, I was pleasantly surprised by the turn this book took from the typical regency "Jane Austenish" style myself, but I love those as well. I can't believe this is Ms. Kent's first novel!

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  4. Oh, by the way, Jillian Kent has graciously offered a copy to give away! Thank you, Jillian!

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  5. This book really sounds great and original. And your review is very well done, Diana!

    Marian

    *grrr to Google account*

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  6. Thank you, Marian! Don't worry; you are not anonymous to us!:-) I know you said you don't have Google Chrome. Is there another browser you can click on to comment?

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  7. How odd, but now our comments are at the bottom again, where we had them after our webmaster fixed things up. Then they disappeared. Now back! Waving at Laurie Alice and across the ocean at Marian!

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  8. Hey Diana, Carrie, and all. Good afternoon.

    Fist of all Diana, I can't thank you enough for this awesome review. It knocked my socks off! :)

    Hi there Laurie Alice! Nice to see you here!

    I finally figured out how to find the blog after testing Diana's instructions. I couldn't see anything but pics without going through FB. But here I am. If anyone has any questions just ask. I'm just thrilled to have this book published. I've worked on it for a long time and am in the major revision stage for book two, Chameleon, which will hit the shelves in May of 2012.

    Terri and Marian, I hope you get a chance to read this book. Hey, maybe you'll win it!

    Carrie! How are you? I love the colors on this blog. Very elegant.

    I'll share this with you gals although I hate hearing my voice recorded. I was interviewed on blogradio by Cindy Rushton at Mom to Mom radio. She has a nice blog thing going. If you want to hear it you can follow this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mom-to-mom-radio-show/2011/06/28/mom-to-mom-book-nook-meet-jillian-kent

    I'll check in later to see if there are any questions. Have a great day!

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  9. Jillian, welcome! I'm so glad you were finally able to find us! It was my pleasure writing the review, and I'm so looking forward to Chameleon! And thank you for the link!

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  10. Would love to win! By the way, Aunt Diane...I'm out of books! Bring me some more on Monday!! LOL :) ncmom@att.net

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  11. Cathy, that is a terrible predicament to be in...out of books! Oh, my! I wish I would have known...your Aunt Judy was in the same fix and I sent her a boxful that I had finished or decided not to read. Let me see what I've got left. Oh, sorry everyone...got carried away knowing my niece is out of books! LOL

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  12. This comment is from my sis-in-law who can't see well enough to comment because of macular degeneration, but has a special computer from the School for the Blind that magnifies the book times twenty and she can see to read it. So cool!

    Please enter me in the giveaway. I enjoyed Diana's review and would LOVE to win this book! Thank you! ~Barbara Smith

    thatoldgal@gmail.com

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  13. @Diana, no I can't go to another browser as far as I know.
    Some days ago I could leave a comment on another blog using Google account, so I hoped the problem was over, but apparently it was only for once.

    Marian

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  14. Thank you, Barb, and Marian there are blogs that use a different format where the box pops up and you leave a comment...those I can sign into using google, but for some reason this format on blogs still isn't working. Thank you for coming over to visit with us here, anyway, in spite of the problem.:) Hopefully, it will be resolved soon, but it has been awhile.

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  15. Secrets of the Heart sounds like a great mystery suspense with romance and HEA?. I love a great romance that also has a mystery to solve. I look forward to reading this book.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  16. Hi, misskallie, so good to see you here on Overcoming Through Time. You are certain to enjoy this one! We'll throw your name in the hat!

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  17. Would love to win this one.

    Joan
    Goangaz@aol.com (2nd time to try to enter, last post from yesterday didn't show up.)

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  18. I'm sorry, Joan.:-( I'm glad you noticed and came back!

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  19. I had this happen on someones blog yesterday, too, where it did not take even though it looked like it would. DK if it is Google or Blogger or both.

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  20. Hey Gang,
    Hope you are all having a great July 4th weekend. I got another great review on Amazon today. I'm so grateful to blogs like this that help us get the word out about our books. It really helps. If any of you have a chance I'd appreciate it if you'd ask your local libraries to order my novel for their shelves. I don't see the economy improving all that much here in Cincinnati and I want those who can't buy it to have a chance to read it. Can't wait to see who wins the book! :)

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  21. And the winner is: NC Mom! Congrats! Cathy will win a copy sent by Jillian. Thanks for doing that Jillian! As far as libraries, ours has some weird policy here where it has to be reviewed by one of two reviewing bodies for libraries before they will consider ordering a book. And it seems that a number of Christian fiction books do not get reviewed by them. Need to investigate that further. Happy 4th and come by Colonial Quills for our celebration over there. http://colonialquills.com

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  22. Congrats, Cathy! Jillian, thank you for coming over and commenting and Carrie thanks for all your hard work in posting, doing cover image, etc. Thank you all for your great comments and like Carrie said, hop on over to Colonial Quills for the 4th of July celebration! Jillian, they are so nice here in SC and I think all it takes is a phone call to the library! lol That's not to say they aren't nice in VA, Carrie (lol) just sayin'...

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  23. May be, too, that our library has such a huge Christian fiction section and they are the first shelves you see when you walk in the fiction section, which is great!!

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