Book Review: Lord Sebastian's Secret by Jane Ashford

Lord Sebastian's Secret is the third book in the Duke’s Sons historical romance series by Jane Ashford. I have not read the previous books, which might explain some of the issues I had with the book, but perhaps not.
Lord Sebastian Gresham is a battle-tested soldier and brilliant strategist. Yet all his life he’s had to hide his complete failure to decipher letters. In his own mind, he’s just stupid. What a miracle it is that he’s found the perfect bride. Lady Georgina Stane is beautiful, witty, and brilliantly intelligent. Sebastian is head over heels in love, proud as a peacock, and terrified. If she finds out his secret, will he lose her love forever?

Lord Sebastian's Secret begins with Sebastian coming to stay with his fiancee's family to get to know them and prep for the wedding. Perhaps their meeting and initial courtship was in one of the previous books, but it is not here. I feel like I was missing something, or the pair was missing a real connection, when the action began. I like that Georgiana's family is unorthodox, however I think that was occasionally overstated in the narrative. Sebastian is a practical man, a soldier with what would be dubbed street smarts and an ability to memorize things because of his secret. As usual, the internal doubt of worthiness that could be solved with a conversation is the cause of a distance between the pair- but since I never really believed in their closeness I just kept mentally telling him to speak up. I did like the bit of action and activity at the end, but found that I never really connected to the characters or felt like they connected to each other. I do not plan on going back to read the previous books in hopes to catch up to what I missed.

Lord Sebastian's Secret held a lot of promise to me, and I was excited to read it after reading the blurb. Unfortunately, I felt that too much background was missing and the bulk of the book somehow also had me wishing it would get to the point. So much potential, but I feel like it missed the mark for the most part.
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