Book Review: The Secret Life of a Lady by Darcy McGuire

I’m so pleased to be welcoming Darcy McGuire to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Secret Life of a Lady.

Never Underestimate a wallflower!

Lady Hannah Simmons is a quintessential wallflower, unassuming, dowdy yet ignored by most. But underneath her plain exterior, Hannah is hiding a thrilling secret! Unbeknownst to the rest of the ton, she is Queen Victoria’s leading femme fatale, slipping unnoticed through the streets of London and listening to scandalous whispers from lords and ladies. But with daggers in her stockings and pistols in her pockets, Hannah’s mission is to apprehend a deadly killer.

Private Investigator to the Prime Minister, damaged, yet devastatingly handsome ex-war hero Duke Robert Killian always puts duty first. However, when he finds himself competing with the intriguing Lady Hannah on the same daring task, his blood boils with frustration – and desire! Is it possible to seduce this vexing woman whose not afraid to put herself in danger and achieve the upper hand?

Hannah enjoys Killian’s attempts to distract and tempt her, but she has never faced an adversary she couldn’t overthrow. And Killian has never met a challenge he couldn’t conquer…until now. The gauntlet has been thrown, can they finish their jobs and resist the temptation?

Keep your friends close…and your enemies even closer!


Lady Hannah Simmons is happy to blend into the background. It makes it easier to sneak around at the behest of the Queen as well as her friend, Lady Winterbourne. Her task is to catch a killer. What she didn’t count on was meeting Lieutenant General Robert Killian. 

When their interests align, can either of them get to the murderer unscathed and can they avoid falling in love? 

I’m always very excited when I get the opportunity to not only discover a new author, but a new book series too. I was very happy when I got invited onto the blog tour for The Secret Life of a Lady, the new novel by Darcy McGuire. 

I liked the premise of this book and loved it as much as I thought I would which was a lot in case you were wondering. 

Hannah is fantastic. She’s strong, independent and fierce but she also has a vulnerability to her. 

Robert Killian is like a hard shell on the outside and mushy on the inside. He’s immediately enthralled with Hannah and I liked seeing how their relationship developed over the course of the narrative. 

The other characters are great too. I adored Philippa. Like Hannah, she’s so unapologetically herself. She’s the kind of woman I would like to be if I lived in the Victorian era. 

This has been marketed as filling the hole Bridgerton has left and it certainly did that. It has mystery and murder thrown in.The plot unfolded at a great pace. I really did not see the end coming. Just when I thought I’d figured out who was responsible for the crime, the author threw in a curveball. 

Overall, I thought this book was brilliant and an amazing start to what I’m pleased to see is a brand new series. I can’t wait to catch up with Hannah, Philippa and Killian. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. 



About Darcy McGuire –

Darcy McGuire is an award-winning New Zealand-born writer now living in the Pacific Northwest. She will write a five-part Victorian romance series for Boldwood, focused on a group of ‘Deadly Damsels’.

Say hello to Darcy via Facebook and Instagram. Click here to sign up to her newsletter.

The Secret Life of a Lady was released by Boldwood Books on 14th June 2024. Click here to buy on Amazon and Waterstones


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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