Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Review: "Miss Serena's Secret" by Carolyn Miller

Whenever I hear that Carolyn Miller has a new book releasing, I add it to my TBR. She has swiftly become one of my favorite writers of regency romance!

With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not men like the far-too-smooth Viscount Charmichael. His reputation as a charmer and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an Earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms to the women of the ton. He's gambled with plenty of their hearts as easily as he does their husband's money—it's all in good fun to him. But lately he's been wondering if there's more to life—and confronting the idea that his actions might not prove worthy of the admirable wives his friends have found.

When Serena's brother-in-law asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character. Then the lady's art leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the Earl apparent, and the love of his life. And Serena's secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

The second in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the same rich historical detail and evocative writing that readers enjoyed, and familiar characters make appearances here. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

As often happens to me with a Carolyn Miller book, as I read Miss Serena's Secret, I swiftly became immersed in Serena's world.

I loved both Serena and Henry as characters, and their romance was both sweet and frustrating ... but ultimately satisfying, of course!

Henry and Serena were both flawed characters who spurred each other to be better and to rely on God. One thing I absolutely loved about this book was the way that Henry's renewed relationship with God did not make him perfect. He still struggled with one particular sin ... which led Lord Hawkesbury (Nicholas Stamford, hero of The Elusive Miss Ellison) to offer the following advice:
If London has the means to ensnare, then why stay? Return north, and remember who you are. And who you are no longer.
I know I'd do well to remember that advice in my own life!

I did find a couple of things confusing: I wasn't quite sure what the art master had done to Serena (and apparently I was imagining something much worse than what actually happened), and her mystery illness was ... well ... quite mysterious. Though both of these were somewhat explained near the end of the novel, the way the reader was kept in the dark didn't add anything to the novel and really just pulled my focus from the main story.

Overall, though, I loved this book! It's romantic, entertaining, and challenging—a wonderful read! 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Miller's Winning Miss Winthrop (5 stars), The Elusive Miss Ellison (4 stars), The Captivating Lady Charlotte (4-1/2 stars), and The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (5 stars).

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. thanks - always on the lookout for a good Regency. Although it's pretty hard to beat Georgette Heyer. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

    1. I've never read any Heyer--in fact, I'd never heard of her until I saw Miller being compared to her! Thanks for stopping by!


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