A Secret Love
Goodreads ratings
4.16 / 5

"A Secret Love" Summary

By Stephanie Laurens

romance | 400 pages | Published in NaN

All of Regency London knows that no Cynster male would ever walk away from a lady in distress...but their protection can come at a tantalizingly high price. And now, Stephanie Laurens has created her boldest Cynster yet--Gabriel--a man who has known the pleasure of many women, but who has given his heart to no one.She was desperate for his help...When a mysterious lady, her face hidden by a black veil, begs Gabriel Cynster for his help, he cannot refuse her plea. For despite her disguise, Gabriel finds the woman alluring and he is powerless to deny her. But he exacts payment as only a Cynster would demand: with each piece of information he uncovers, she must pay him--in the form of a kiss.He was powerless to resist...Lady Alathea Morwellan knows Gabriel is intrigued, but despite the sparks that fly between them, they have never passed a civil moment together. Yet as the stakes get higher, so does Gabriel's desire for payment. And with each overpowering kiss, each passionate embrace, Alathea knows that she will not be able to resist his ultimate seduction...but what will happen when she reveals the truth?


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A woman falls in love with a charming rakehell while investigating a mysterious murder.


In "A Secret Love" by Stephanie Laurens, readers are transported to Regency England, where they are introduced to a world of romance, mystery, and intrigue. This captivating historical romance novel follows the story of Gabriel, a notorious rake, and Lady Alathea Morwellan, a spirited young woman who is determined to uncover the secrets of her family's past. As Gabriel and Alathea navigate the treacherous waters of society, they find themselves drawn to each other in a passionate and forbidden love affair. With its vivid setting, compelling characters, and thrilling plot twists, "A Secret Love" is a must-read for fans of historical romance.

Brief Synopsis

Set in the early 19th century in England, "A Secret Love" takes place during the glittering and glamorous Regency era. The story revolves around Gabriel, Viscount Colchester, known for his rakish behavior and scandalous reputation. Lady Alathea Morwellan, on the other hand, is a beautiful and intelligent young woman who is determined to uncover the truth about her family's mysterious past.

As Gabriel and Alathea are drawn together by fate, they form an unlikely alliance to solve the mysteries surrounding Alathea's family. As they delve deeper into the secrets, their lives become entangled in a web of danger and intrigue. Along the way, they must navigate the complexities of society, confront their own personal demons, and resist the undeniable attraction that grows between them.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
Gabriel, Viscount ColchesterA notorious rake with a scandalous reputation, Gabriel is known for his charm and irresistible allure. Beneath his roguish exterior, he harbors a deep sense of loyalty and a desire for adventure.
Lady Alathea MorwellanA spirited and independent young woman, Alathea is determined to uncover the truth about her family's past. Intelligent and resourceful, she possesses a keen curiosity and a strong sense of justice.

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1-5: The Encounter

Gabriel and Alathea meet for the first time at a lavish society ball. Despite their initial clash, they are drawn to each other's magnetic presence. Alathea shares her suspicions about her family's past, and Gabriel offers his help in uncovering the truth.

Chapter 6-10: Uncovering Secrets

Gabriel and Alathea embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries surrounding her family. They delve into archives, interview witnesses, and follow a trail of clues that leads them closer to the truth. Along the way, their connection deepens, and they begin to realize their feelings for each other.

Chapter 11-15: Society's Obstacles

As their investigations progress, Gabriel and Alathea face opposition from society and encounter unexpected obstacles. Rumors and scandals threaten to tarnish their reputations, forcing them to make difficult choices and face the consequences of their actions.

Chapter 16-20: The Climax

The search for answers reaches its climax as Gabriel and Alathea uncover a shocking secret that could change their lives forever. Their love is tested as they navigate treacherous waters, confront dangerous adversaries, and risk everything to protect each other.

Main Events

  1. Gabriel and Alathea meet at a society ball and form a connection.
  2. Gabriel offers his assistance to Alathea in uncovering her family's secrets.
  3. Gabriel and Alathea embark on a journey to investigate the mysteries surrounding her past.
  4. Their investigations face obstacles and opposition from society.
  5. Gabriel and Alathea's love deepens as they overcome challenges together.
  6. The climax reveals a shocking secret that threatens their relationship and lives.
  7. Gabriel and Alathea must confront their adversaries and protect each other.

Themes and Insights

  • Love and Sacrifice: "A Secret Love" explores the theme of love and the sacrifices one is willing to make for it. Gabriel and Alathea's love for each other transcends societal expectations and they are willing to risk everything to be together.
  • Identity and Family: The novel delves into the theme of identity and the importance of understanding one's roots. Alathea's quest to uncover her family's secrets leads her to discover her true identity and understand the significance of her lineage.
  • Society and Scandal: The story highlights the oppressive nature of society during the Regency era and the impact of scandal on individuals' lives. Gabriel and Alathea face judgment and obstacles as they navigate the expectations and gossip of high society.

Reader's Takeaway

"A Secret Love" is a captivating historical romance that transports readers to the glamorous world of Regency England. With its compelling characters, intricate plot, and themes of love, sacrifice, and identity, the novel offers an immersive reading experience. Readers will be drawn into the passionate love affair between Gabriel and Alathea, and will find themselves rooting for their happily ever after.


Stephanie Laurens' "A Secret Love" is a thrilling historical romance that combines mystery, passion, and societal intrigue. Set against the backdrop of Regency England, the novel follows the journey of Gabriel and Alathea as they unravel secrets, confront adversaries, and navigate the complexities of love and society. With its well-crafted plot, memorable characters, and powerful themes, "A Secret Love" is a book that will leave readers captivated from beginning to end.

A Secret Love FAQ

  1. What is 'A Secret Love' about?

    'A Secret Love' is a historical romance novel by Stephanie Laurens. It follows the story of Gabriel Cynster, a notorious rake, who unexpectedly falls in love with a mysterious woman named Alathea Morwellan. As Gabriel tries to uncover Alathea's secrets, their passionate romance unfolds amidst danger and intrigue.

  2. Is 'A Secret Love' part of a series?

    Yes, 'A Secret Love' is the fifth book in the Cynster series by Stephanie Laurens. However, it can be read as a standalone novel without prior knowledge of the series.

  3. Who are the main characters in 'A Secret Love'?

    The main characters in 'A Secret Love' are Gabriel Cynster, a charming and bold gentleman, and Alathea Morwellan, a strong-willed and enigmatic woman.

  4. Is 'A Secret Love' set in a specific time period?

    Yes, 'A Secret Love' is set in the Regency era, which is known for its elegant and refined society in early 19th-century England.

  5. Does 'A Secret Love' have a happy ending?

    Yes, 'A Secret Love' has a satisfying and romantic ending. It explores the journey of Gabriel and Alathea as they overcome obstacles and find true love.

  6. Are there any explicit scenes in 'A Secret Love'?

    Yes, 'A Secret Love' contains intimate and passionate scenes between the main characters. It is recommended for mature readers.

  7. Can I read 'A Secret Love' if I haven't read the previous books in the series?

    Yes, 'A Secret Love' can be enjoyed as a standalone novel, even if you haven't read the previous books in the Cynster series. However, reading the previous books may provide additional context and background information.

  8. Is 'A Secret Love' suitable for young adult readers?

    'A Secret Love' is primarily targeted towards adult readers due to its romantic and passionate content. It may not be suitable for young adult readers.

  9. Where can I purchase 'A Secret Love'?

    'A Secret Love' can be purchased at major book retailers, both in physical stores and online. It is also available in e-book and audiobook formats.

  10. Does 'A Secret Love' have a sequel?

    No, 'A Secret Love' does not have a direct sequel. However, it is part of a series, and subsequent books in the Cynster series explore the romances of other characters.