Reviewed by Heather C
Title: The Private Secretary
Author: Summer Devon
Heroes: Robert Demme/Ezra Seton
Genre: MM Historical Romance
Length: 44,ooo words
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 13, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Down on his luck and desperate for employment, Ezra Seton is offered only one job: to work in the house of a heartless bully, the very man who drove Ezra’s lover away. Gritting his teeth, Ezra takes the position. But neither the new job nor the master of house are close to what he expected. Still, he vows to keep his distance, no matter how difficult maintaining his composure in the face of relentless drollery becomes.
Robert Demme’s pleasure-seeking days are over. Having rescued his cousin Ambrose from a lunatic asylum, he expends much of his energy pacifying the fragile eccentric. Hiring an assistant offers some relief—and also intriguing temptation. Unfortunately, the fascinating Seton apparently loathes him. Determined to discover the reason, Robert uses his considerable wit to get under the man’s skin, stunned when his plan backfires. Instead of unraveling the stalwart secretary, Robert has undone himself. All he’s accomplished is a deepening his own interest. Perhaps he senses Robert’s not-so-innocent attraction.
When the two spend the night together in an inn, their mutual desire proves too strong. The secretary and the gentleman succumb to lust. But when Ezra’s old flame reappears and the cousin’s experiments go awry, it’s a battle to discover which will win the day: love or lunacy.
Summer Devon has been on my auto-buy/auto-read list for several years now. If it has her name on it and it’s historical…I’m going to read it. I don’t even bother reading the blurb first. So there was never a question if I was going to read The Private Secretary.
The Private Secretary tells the story of Ezra Seton, a man who has been heartbroken by his former lover and desperate for work to support his family. He finds himself with an opportunity to work for the man who bullied his former lover…or so he thinks.
This was a sweet story, a little humorous in parts where I think it was probably meant to be more serious. There is that heavy topic of how mental illness, or “perceived” mental illness, was handled during this time period and some parts of it came across as a little outrageous and TOO funny.
It felt like the romance took a backseat in this story. It was there, of course, but much of it was “told” and not “shown” and I never really felt the love between Ezra and Robert. I was more interested in Robert redeeming himself in Ezra eyes and Ambrose’s (Robert’s cousin) growth throughout the book. I know there was much more to Robert than I got to see, and even though a small part of the story is told from his point of view, I feel like there was a lot missing.
Overall, an enjoyable read, but could have been better.
Overall Impression: I Liked It
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*