- Title: The Secret Life of Lady Julia
- Author: Lecia Cornwall
- Genre: Historical Romance
- Published: May 28, 2013 – Avon
- Source: Publisher
My take: Julia Leighton was told on her eighth birthday she would marry the Duke of Temberlay (aka Dull Duke David) when she was grown. Fast forward several years and Lady Julia was at her betrothal ball wishing the Duke would at least compliment her on her gown or ask her to dance. He was more interested in playing cards with his friends so when a charming gentleman (Thomas Merritt) waltzed Julia out of the ballroom for a romantic tryst she didn’t say no. When those actions made apparent she was a compromised woman she was disowned by her family and refused by her fiancé. Several months after her son was born she became a lady’s companion to the sister of a British diplomat on their way to Vienna for peace talks.
Julia is not only beautiful but she’s also quite smart. When the British diplomats find out she speaks 3 or 4 languages they ask her to be their eyes and ears around the palace they’re staying at in Vienna. No one expects her, being a lowly Lady’s companion, to be able to understand what’s being said in her presence. She earns the respect of the diplomats and one in particular has feelings for her.
As fate would have it, Thomas Merritt and Julia’s paths cross in Vienna. Even before he met Julia he’d been (unjustly) disowned by his family so he became a jewel thief. He would woo the ladies of the ton and relieve them of a jewel or two. He stole the jewels and his valet would fence them thereby providing food and housing for the two. They show up in Vienna to strike it rich by relieving wealthy royalty of their jewelry. As luck would have it they run into problems. Could it be that Thomas and Julia could help each other? Will Julia risk Thomas learning her secret? And what will happen if he does?
The Secret Life of Lady Julia held my interest to the last page. I liked the political aspects – diplomatic and social – and I enjoyed Thomas and Julia’s relationship. They were honorable and had strength of character which dictated they take responsibility for their decisions. They were a good match on all levels. This is the first of Lecia Cornwall’s books I’ve read and I look forward to reading others in the future.
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Lecia Cornwall is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America’s Seattle and Calgary Chapters. Her background includes all facets of writing, including running a successful freelance writing business specializing in direct marketing and advertising. Both history and writing have been lifelong passions. Lecia currently lives and writes in Calgary, Alberta, the heart of the Canadian West.