Rebecca Parker had a happy marriage, but is now widowed and her only child is grown and moved a short distance away. Rebecca helps her ill-tempered father with his art, and her life is very predictable and quite lonely—until she’s nearly run down on the road by a man riding on a spirited horse. When he comes to her aid there is a feeling and connection between them that she’d never thought to have again. They give in to a forbidden kiss, and it’s as if Rebecca has come alive again. This chance encounter gives her hope that perhaps she truly can have love in her life once more.
Unbeknownst to her, she has not kissed a valet, a man of her station, but Kenneth Winterton, the heir to an earldom. Kenneth feels the same connection to Rebecca, but now caught in his web of lies, he doesn’t see a way to tell her of his deception without hurting her. When she is hired to help serve at a dinner party given by a baroness, she is stunned to see the “valet” she kissed sitting at the table. Realizing he is not who he said he was, she is broken-hearted and rebuffs his apologies, but can’t deny there is something between them—a connection that seems to get stronger whenever they are together. But he’s the heir to an earldom and she’s an artist’s daughter. There doesn’t seem to be any common ground for them to base a romance on. True love comes at a price, but are they willing to pay it?
I loved this gentle romance and how our hero and heroine found a piece of their heart that they thought was gone forever. It is somewhat unusual to find historical romances that feature people later in life, but I found it refreshing. Their insecurities about what others would think of them, including their grown children, and whether their differences were too great to possibly make a life together, is still relatable today. There were little shades of a Cinderella story with evil relatives, a beautiful gown and slippers that somehow don’t stay on their owner, but there are some unexpected twists as well that kept me turning pages. The Valet’s Secret is a slow-build romance that’s perfect for a lazy summer afternoon of reading.
As a once happily married woman, Rebecca Parker had a good life, but now widowed, working for a living, and her only child grown, she feels invisible, tired, and lonely. That is until the day a valet speeding by on a horse nearly runs her off the road. Mr. Malcolm Henry is apologetic, gentle, and handsome. She’s instantly drawn to him, which is why, rather than stopping him from kissing her, she kisses him back, reigniting a nearly forgotten passion. But love at first sight only happens in fairy tales—never to an ordinary woman like her.
She sees Mr. Henry again and feels the possibilities growing until, while working in the kitchens during a dinner party, she sees the valet she kissed sitting at the right hand of the baroness. Mr. Henry is not the earl’s valet; he is the heir to the earldom—-Kenneth Winterton.
Heartbroken, angry, and betrayed, Rebecca does not trust Lord Winterton and refuses to accept his apology. But when Lord Winterton proves he is as kind and gentle as “Mr. Henry” was, she finds herself willing to give him a second chance. But will he take a chance on her? He needs a wife to help him in his place in society, and nothing about Rebecca’s life does that ...except how he feels when she is with him.
Trust, love, loneliness, and passion collide in this story about a man who will risk it all to fight for the woman he loves and a woman who does not believe in fairy tales—until she finds herself living in one.