Uncovering the Merchant’s Secret by Elisabeth Hobbes

A man with no past…

… could she hold the key to his future?

Shipwrecked merchant Jack Langdon wakes with no memory and steals a kiss from a beautiful stranger—widow, Blanche Tanet. As he recovers in her castle, passion flares between them. Jack’s fascinated by her independence and courage but, discovering his identity is not what it seems, Jack must first uncover the secrets of his own past, if they’re to have a future together

Well, Elisabeth Hobbes always has the very best covers for her historical romances and the cover for Uncovering the Merchants Secret certainly lived up to my expectations! What I love about this authors books is that they are very much an historical novel with a romance woven through it and not the other way round. The historical content is well written and researched, often for periods of history that aren’t as well known as others, so that each of Elizabeth’s books become a fascinating lesson in a particular timeline. In Uncovering the Merchants Secret the year is 1346 and John Sutton, a wine merchant (or is he?!) takes passage into a ship leaving France but he faces death when his ship is targeted by wreckers.

I loved the character of Blanche Tanet, the twice widowed rescuer who saves the Englishman on the night of the wrecking. She was such a strong and independent woman, feisty and determined but also fiercely loyal to her cause. The man she calls Jack is nursed back to health even though he admits he would quite happily have gone to meet his maker and his dead wife that night when he was washed ashore. Yes, this merchant takes mean and moody to a whole other level! But gradually, as with all great love stories, they stop fighting their attraction although the path of true love never runs smoothly (a cliche but true!) and it looks like “Jack” isn’t the only one keeping secrets.

Set in a part of France I know well, this is an atmospheric and intriguing storyline that is beautifully brought to life by the vivid descriptions of the local landscape. As usual, I didn’t know an awful lot about this period in history (especially as it was set in France) but everything was brought together perfectly through a combination of supporting characters and circumstances. There was a wonderful chemistry between Jack and Blanche that built slowly and realistically and melted my heart. I just loved this couple!

It’s always a pleasure to read a new Elisabeth Hobbes book and if you haven’t already discovered her then this book is the perfect place to start. Enjoy!

Elisabeth grew up in York, where she spent her teenage years looking for a handsome Roman or Viking to sweep her off her feet.

She achieved her dream of becoming an author after finishing third in Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest 2013 and being offered a two-book contract. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time reading and is a pro at cooking while holding a book!

Elisabeth lives in Cheshire with her husband, two children and two cats with ridiculous names.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.