These are lovely:
The story is quite lovely as is the writing. This being Chambers first I know it certainly won’t be her last. It’s a fantastic story and one definitely worth reading. [4.5 out of 5]
I really enjoyed this book, which is Chambers’ first published work. I wasn’t too sure at first since I’m not a fan of the female-dressed-up-as-a-male theme, but it was well done here. So often, it takes the hero the entire book to realize that the boy/man he’s oddly attracted to is actually a woman, and the implausibility of that annoys me. Not so here – Nathan isn’t stupid, and he and many other characters catch on to Georgy’s charade quickly. The pacing of the novel also worked very well. Chambers creates two wonderful characters and gives them ample time and opportunity to fall in love with each other. [Rating A-]
Escape Rating B+: There were two plots going on in this book; the romance between Nathan and Georgy, and the recovery of Harry and Georgy’s inheritance and the villain’s quite nasty attempts to prevent that recovery. Both come to a lovely happily ever after at the end. The irony of the villain providing the solution to the puzzle was quite delicious.
There are multiple points of view about gender identity and homophobia or the lack thereof in this society. For what would otherwise be a pretty light story, there’s a fairly serious discussion going on here.
The execution was even better than the promise. Not only did Joanna Chambers do the “forbidden” things that I looked forward to (and if you want to convince yourself how awesome she is, read this amazing scene on her website), but she managed to capture the intimate, asymmetric relationship that arises between servants and their master.
I loved Janet Webb’s take:
The intimate, private world of the valet/master relationship is at the crux of The Lady’s Secret. Objects, like gleaming leather boots, experiences, like steaming hip baths, presentations, like an orange cut in perfect eights each morning, become talismans. Scientists have proved what we intuitively know: smells—or in the more flowery language of romance, scents—can transport you to a place known only to your memory.
An alternative title for this book, particularly in the opening chapters, might be The Gentleman’s Dressing Room, a place redolent with scents and textures. This gentle reader was thrilled to discover that Georgy has to shave Harland twice a day.
And I really like this one that made me laugh!
In all honesty I expected the Lady’s Secret to suck. Seriously. I thought it was going to be horrible. I was so freaking shocked it was awesome I was extremely happy it was so good. [Rating B]
There’s also a few more reviews on Goodreads!