Review: S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline

s.e.c.r.e.t.Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is written in the first person.

Cassie Robichaud is a waitress and appears to be very observant about the customers at the establishment she works at. It seems to be a place where they all care about each other but as you read the story you may question this first assumption. Cassie is a very visual person and is great at describing what we can only imagine.

She is also a very caring person. She lives in apartment and seems to go above and beyond to care about one of her neighbors – which in this day and age can be very rare. But then she’ll surprise you by taking a walk on the wild side. Cassie meets a woman named Matilda Greene who may be able to answer the questions that she has.

L. Marie has Cassie filling out a questionnaire in one scene. You may find that you want to answer the questions yourself. The more that I get into this story, the more I feel that I need to have a little ambiance – something to help set the mood. She also has me very jealous of Cassie – I want to be in her shoes.

L. Marie has left me wondering if there are any clubs/societies like she describes here. I also wonder about the amount of research involved because this group is just so believable. It shows that women can be strong and go out of their way to help other women become empowered.

I enjoyed watching Cassie grow sexually and as a woman. She also finally realizes that sometimes what we want has been in front of us all along. But then L. Marie puts in a surprise. She’s also left me wondering if the stories of this club/society continue. Then I did some internet research and found her web site, http://www.secretnovels.com/, and found that they just might. If you liked this first book as much as I did, you will be happy to hear that there is going to be another book.

You always want to make sure to read all the way to the end. It will not give you any hints into book two but she has posted some book discussion questions at the end. You, and/or your book club, may want to answer and discuss. And if you sign up for the newsletter at the web site, you will be able to get notification when book two is coming out. You can also find out why she picked the setting/city for the story.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: S.E.C.R.E.T.

How Well Do You Know Your Almack’s?

Almack’s full name is Almack’s Assembly Rooms. Holding a voucher to attend their balls was the difference between high society and low society. The purpose of these vouchers was to exclude the newly rich and the déclassé from attending.

10 Interesting Facts about Almack’s

  1. Almack’s was one of the first social clubs to admit both genders inside its doors.
  2. The ladies who ran the club were known as the Lady Patronesses of Almack’s.
  3. There were no more than six or seven Patronesses at any time.
  4. The balls were held only on Wednesday nights. (Does this make hump day more or less appropriate?)
  5. The cost of the non-transferable annual vouchers that got you inside the doors was ten guineas.
  6. Almack’s did not have feasts. They served: thinly sliced day old bread, fresh butter, pound cake without frosting, lemonade and tea.
  7. Every Monday night for the duration of the London Season, The Lady Patronesses got together and examined the behavior of all the members. This was also when new people would be recommended for membership.
  8. You did not have to be wealthy to have your membership accepted and while having an aristocratic title would be in your favor, membership wasn’t guaranteed.
  9. About a quarter of the British aristocracy (that applied) was denied membership.
  10. Dances were limited to country dances in order to avoid any suggestion of impropriety.

There were three types of dancing opportunities in the Regency period. Almack’s is considered to be a public assembly, even though it was exclusive, because one could purchase vouchers. What other fun facts can you add?

Photo Credits: Jane Austen’s World

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