- Grace Elliot
- Release Date
- October 2011
- Book 1 of The Huntley Trilogy
In the four weeks since her guardian's death, Eulogy Foster has lost everything. She travels to London seeking the help of Lord Lucien Devlin, the estranged brother who doesn't know she exists. But Lord Devlin turns her away and alone on the streets, Eulogy is attacked, robbed and then thrown onto the mercy of a passing stranger…who sets her pulse racing.
Jack Huntley - bitter, cynical and betrayed in love -believes women are devious, scheming creatures and not to be trusted. So when one night he saves a naive young woman from rape, little does he suspect how life is about to change. Despite his growing attraction to Miss Foster, Jack has a problem: Eulogy Foster has a secret and he can't trust her.
As Eulogy learns the haunting story of her mother's past, she knows she will only marry for true love. Deeply drawn to Jack Huntley, she needs him to confess his love before she shares the secret of her birth. Caught in a deadlock, with neither able to confess their true feelings, events take a sinister turn as it becomes clear someone wants Eulogy Foster dead and will stop at nothing to achieve it.
Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Jan 10, 2012 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
149 people found the following review helpful
EULOGY'S SECRET is an intriguing historical romance that has a bit of everything a reader could want: betrayals, family secrets, attempted murder, oh, and a romance filled with sweet sensuality and an abundance in sexual tension. Grace Elliot has really started an exciting series with this book.
After the death of her adoptive parents, Eulogy Foster goes in search of her long lost brother, Lord Lucien Devlin, only to be robbed of her identity before she gets to meet them. She's luckily saved by a man named Jack Huntley.
Jack Huntley is very attracted to the lovely young woman who he assumes is Lord Devlin's mistress. Jack doesn't believe in love, not after he was betrayed so badly by the woman he loved, but he can't deny that he wants to be with Eulogy--even if she's his enemy's mistress.
Eulogy keeps the secret of true birth, even from Jack, and that secret causes not only suspicions from Jack but also a danger to their lives.
I don't regularly read historical romance, but I was so intrigued by the description of this book. I'm glad to say that I was not disappointed one bit.
Eulogy was such a great character. She had quite a sheltered life with her country upbringing and had many opinions on how people should behave and act. I liked how she changed her opinions based on meeting people instead of writing them off right away. As much as she was naive though, she was also very resilient. A weaker woman could not have gone through what she did in the book and still come out alright on the other side.
Jack Huntley was also very interesting and had several layers to his personality. I like watching him try to fight his attraction to Eulogy and seeing him lose the fight.
The plot was very entrancing and I couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened next, so I couldn't stop reading. Between the family secrets that were exposed and an evil brother's murder plot, I loved it.
The romance was sweet but had a lot of sexual tension and a lot of false starts, but you can't help but cheer for Eulogy and Jack. Their relationship was a bit unconventional but was perfect nonetheless.
EULOGY'S SECRET is the first in the Huntley Trilogy, and we get to meet one of the other Huntleys--Jack's oldest brother, Charles--and I just can not wait for the next book in the series. Jack has another brother, George, whom we haven't met yet, but I assume that the other two brothers' books will make up the trilogy.
This is the first book I've read by Grace Elliot, but it definitely won't be my last. I loved the way she transported me to a different time and gave me an opportunity to get lost in Regency London.
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BOOK INTERVIEW on January 2012
Interview by Rho
Grace, thanks for satisfying our curiosity about your newest book!
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for EULOGY'S SECRET?
The idea for Eulogy's Secret came from a poster on the London Underground.
I was taking my sons to the theatre when through the dirty glass I glimpsed a poster for a memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall. One word on that poster stuck in my mind - "eulogy".
It struck me that eulogy would make a great name and to wonder what tragedy would make a parent call their daughter "Eulogy." Perhaps the mother died in childbirth or, there was another more mysterious circumstance…but to answer that question you'll have to read the book!
One of the themes explored in EULOGY'S SECRET is that people are not always what they appear, and personal prejudice can blind you to the truth - be it good or bad. Although set in Georgian London with its strict social hierarchy, prejudice is alive and well in the 21st century, and therefore a theme still pertinent today.
Q: Why did you decide to write this as a historical romance?
"A Dead Man's Debt" and my latest book, EULOGY'S SECRET are both set in the Regency period. I gravitate to this era because of its natural romance, a time when women's fashion favoured flimsy empire line gowns and men cared about the cut of their jacket. It was a time when men were such dangerous creatures that for a lady to be alone in a room with one could ruin her reputation. And then there's the horses and carriages, moonlit drives and candlelit balls…and that's why I write, for the escapism.
Q: What a unique name for a heroine! Why did you decide to name her Eulogy, other than the one you've mentioned above? What's the significance of her name?
The dictionary definition of a eulogy is 'a laudatory speech or tribute, especially praising someone who has died' or, 'high praise or commendation.' Some way into the story we learn that Eulogy was thus named in tribute to her mother's nobility and self-sacrifice - all experiences which shape Eulogy's character and put her on a collision course with her estranged brother, the dastardly Lord Lucien Devlin.
Q: Do tell us more about Eulogy.
Eulogy was a lovely character to write: she is sweet and trusting, but that doesn't mean she is silly or weak - quite the opposite in fact. She has reserves of inner strength that see her through some pretty turbulent times; from not knowing her real mother or father, to being rejected by her estranged brother. Not only that, but her beauty is more than skin deep with a practical side that is most unusual in a young lady. But above everything, the more Eulogy learns of her mother's tragic story, the more determined she becomes never to marry unless for love.
Q: What about Jack? Who is he and what kind of man is he that makes him a swoonworthy hero for this story?
Jack Huntley is the youngest of the three Huntley brothers. His elder brother, Charles, inherited the title, his middle brother, George, is a naval hero…whilst he, Jack Huntley must prove his worth to the world.
When we meet Jack he is a respected business man, running an exclusive London art gallery. Tall, broad shouldered and athletic he commands attention wherever he goes and yet he is unhappy. He measures success in terms of wealth and position, not realising that some things are worth making sacrifices for….until he meets Eulogy.
Q: Why are Eulogy and Jack so perfect for each other?
EULOGY'S SECRET is a story of contrasts about a heroine who has lost everything and yet sees goodness everywhere, and a hero who is wealthy, yet cynical and jaded.
Jack Huntley doesn't believe in love and yet when one night he rescues Eulogy from rape, he cannot forget her. Eulogy teaches him to trust…and yet ironically harbours a secret…
This is a tale about truth, trust and love finding a way - the novel equivalent of a soak in a warm bubble bath after a hard day.
Q: I just about melted in a pile of goo when Eulogy found the painting of her that Jack bought. His reasoning was so sweet and romantic. What do you think is the most romantic scene in the book? Please share the scene with us.
Oh, I know the scene you mean. Eulogy is nursing Jack after he has been injured defending her good name. In his dressing room she discovers the portrait Tristan Farrell painted of her, that was sold to an anonymous buyer. It is a testament to how far Jack's changed heart that he explains he bought the picture since he fell in love at first sight.
I love that contrasted with this scene, much earlier in the book, where Jack's reasons for buying the picture are somewhat different -- to de-sensitise himself to Eulogy's beauty.
Enjoy this excerpt:
But before Jack left, there was one last thing he must do and the ache in his chest intensified. After taking a deep breath Huntley turned to face the portrait, leaning against the tallboy. Even though he had prepared himself, it still robbed him of breath, his dark eyes grew darker and a small vein pulsed at his temple. He could stare at the painting for hours, trying to armor his emotions, but each time it was the same eyes that pierced his soul, and with no more weapon than a stare, made him her prisoner.
He, or rather Chaucer, had come across the picture by chance. A few weeks earlier, to his amazement, rumors circulated in artistic circles that Tristan Farrell was painting again. Out of idle curiosity Huntley had dispatched his man to Red Lyon Square to investigate, only to have Chaucer return bright eyed and burbling on about a stunning portrait of a brown-eyed woman. It amused Huntley to instruct Chaucer to buy the painting, for an anonymous client of course, as an investment in the resurgence of a once great talent. But the moment Huntley saw the piece he knew he could not bear to part with it.
So here he stood, like a priest before an altar. Goosebumps raised on his arms as he gazed at the pale-skinned beauty with softly parted lips and enormous brown eyes, warm and alluring, staring out of the canvas as if taken by surprise. The swirling background of chocolate browns served to heighten the woman's natural beauty. The piece was unfinished and yet utter perfection. Only an artist of great foresight would stop when he had, capturing the moment when a great artist discovers his muse. Huntley's instincts had been correct. The model was Eulogy Foster, and the painting as divine as the woman it depicted.
Q: Jack had a lot of issues in relation to who society viewed him and his choice of mate. Why was that important to the story?
Jack is a strong man, but craves the Ton's respect. He craves the sort of attention that his elder brother, Lord Sherminster, and naval Captain brother both receive as a matter of course. So for Jack to fall in love with a nobody, is an impossibility in his mind. To marry a woman of no consequence without blood-line or money would make him a laughing stock…and an echo of a mistake he made in his younger life that he has spent the last ten years trying to erase.
Q: What's up next for you?
I'm hard at work at book two in The Huntley Trilogy (working title "Hope's Betrayal".) Each book tells the story of one of Huntley brothers, the hero in Hope's Betrayal is the dashing naval Captain, George Huntley. I know when the writing is going well when I dream about the characters - and even if I say so myself, Captain George Huntley is a humdinger of a man, whom I'm totally in love with. I can't wait to finish writing this book so that I can unleash Captain Huntley on the world and spread the infatuation!
Hope's Betrayal is going to be an action packed historical romance with smuggling skullduggery, treachery and of course….a love that brings Captain Huntley to his knees.
Thanks a lot for sharing insights into EULOGY'S SECRET with us!
Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. Grace works in a companion animal practice near London and is housekeeping staff to five moggies, two teenage sons and a guinea pig. She turned to writing as an antidote to the stress of modern life and believes intelligent people have the greatest need to read romance!
Visit Grace at:
Eulogy's Secret – Amazon US
Eulogy's Secret – Amazon UK
A Dead Man's Debt
Cat Pies (feline historical trivia, non-fiction)
Grace Elliot is giving away an ebook copy of Eulogy's Secret or A Dead Man's Debt to one commenter!
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