Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Secret Desires of a Gentleman
The Girl-Bachelor Chronicles

by Laura Lee Guhrke

      Maria Martingale is beautiful, independent, and a great cook.  In fact, her baked goods taste so scrumptious that she decides to fulfill her dream of opening a patisserie in a perfect little shop on Piccadilly Street. The only problem appears to be that her next door neighbor is Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne, a snobbish member of the aristocracy who banished her from his family twelve years ago when he learned that his younger brother Lawrence planned to elope with her — the daughter of their cook.

Always a gentleman — at least in public — Phillip views her reappearance as a deliberate attempt to gain more money from him, reunite with his brother, or maybe even both. Maria, however, merely wants to bake tarts, pies, cakes, and other pastries in her own shop, which unfortunately happens to be perfect in every way except for its proximity to Phillip.  In addition to working long hours to establish her new business, Maria finds herself facing additional conflicts:  She can’t help wondering if her old romance with Lawrence will be rekindled by her return, and even though she believes Phillip to be haughty and overly proper, she also finds him physically attractive.

Secret Desires of a Gentleman provides mouth-watering descriptions of Maria’s baking prowess mixed with delightfully descriptive details about the passionate natures of the two main characters. Laura Lee Guhrke adds a pinch of mystery and tops it off with a light sprinkling of humor.  This fun historical romance contains all the right ingredients and proves to be a delightful confection, until the final few pages when for many readers, the ending — like a nearly perfect cake baked in Maria’s patisserie — falls just a little flat.

The Book

Avon Books / HarperCollinsPublishers
September 30, 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Romance - Historical (London, 1895)
More at
NOTE: Sexually Explicit

The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance. The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies and Dreams on Film. Coming Soon: A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews.
© 2008