Jeffries, Sabrina. The Secret of Flirting. New York: Pocket Books, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1-5011-4448-6. $7.99 USD.
This is my first Sabrina Jeffries book, and while normally I would not jump into a later book in a series, this was the book chosen for Eloisa James’ Book Club this month, and considering that there are not only four prior books in this series, but two other series that are connected to this one, I took a chance.
And I found it paid off. I love stories rife with political intrigue, and in setting her novel during the London Conference of 1830, there was plenty of opportunity for that. I love how she seamlessly interwove her historical world and characters with illustrious historical figures like the Duke of Wellington and Prince Leopold to create a compelling historical novel.
But of course, this being a romance, that was the major focus. I loved both Gregory and Monique and the evolving dynamic between them. And while at one point, it had the potential of rubbing me the wrong way in terms of its depiction of the clashing views on whether they should get married or not after having slept together — twice — without protection, which is one of my pet peeves in historical romance, I felt the issues felt much more real this time around than in others that contain this trope. I loved how this didn’t become a major plot point, and instead served as a growth moment for each of them and their relationship. And I loved seeing them ultimately work together to bring resolution to the assassination attempts.
The extended cast is also great, and I hope we haven’t seen the last of them and Chanay in Jeffries’ work. While I know the state of the romance market makes a book about Princess Aurore and Lady Ursula unlikely, I do hope things work out for them. And I also thoroughly enjoyed the banter between the count and the dowager Lady Fulkham, and given the hints about the state of their relationship (or lack thereof) by the end of the book, I would love even a novella that follows their romance.