2021 Vivian Award Finalist, Book Review, Historical, Opposites Attract, Romance

A Song of Secrets (Spirited Spinsters #1) by Robyn Chalmers


Desperate not to spend a lifetime singing about love stories without finding her own…

They call her La Luminosa—beautiful, talented, and far above the touch of mere mortals. Yet despite her angelic voice, Sarah Hayworth cannot find a husband.

After another failed courtship, she finds herself at a crossroads. Is it time to admit that no good man will marry an opera singer?

When Sarah gets an invitation to a country house musicale, she vows, one last time, to find real love—preferably with the earl’s heir. Instead, she finds her every step dogged by his second son, a handsome vicar.


What do you get when you have a confident and mischievous opera singer, and a respectable and quick-witted vicar? You get a playful opposites-attract historical romance full of revealing secrets and heartwarming confessions.

Mrs. Sarah Hayworth had a job to do…to marry and marry well. Her stint as a famous opera singer will come to an end someday and she is barely making enough to send back home and also take care of herself, so when she is invited to a Yuletide musicale in the country, it might be time to find a husband. While dodging rudeness and judgment from the wealthy elite who believe the worst of an opera singer, Sarah does her best to stand up for herself only to be relegated to the cottage house on the estate just a stone’s throw away from the handsome and respectable vicar and son of the Earl of Wrotham. The man who sees right through her ruse as a confident and aloof woman. The man she reveals her secrets to, except one very damaging and unforgivable indiscretion. 

Mr. Evander Ambrose claims he’s not swept up by Mrs. Hayworth’s beautiful voice and alluring charisma, but the more he is around her, the more he can’t forget her. Her brutal honesty and flirtatious dialogue give him purpose again after losing his wife several years ago. She is strong and very capable of living on her own, but he sees past the celebrity. He sees the kind and vulnerable young woman who appears as lonely as he does. With all the wealthy and title men she can choose from, why would she choose a humble vicar with three unruly sons?

I love the teasing between Evander and Sarah. There is more to both of them. Sarah is brash and hot-tempered, but also kind and considerate. Evander is humble and respectable, also virile and provocative. Evander’s love of his children is endearing and sweet, and his dedication as Sarah’s knight in shining armor is swoon-worthy. But most of all, I adore Evander’s wedding gift to Sarah which brought tears to my eyes. Sarah’s grit and ability to put a titled man or woman in their place is fun to watch, and I enjoy her honest and unrestrained talks with Evander. Watching them fall in love slowly is incredibly romantic.

As for supporting characters, Evander’s parents, The Earl and Countess of Wrotham, are kind and supportive, but my absolute favorite characters are Evander’s lively and precocious sons, Alexander, Benjamin, and Isaac who steal the show.

I recommend this incredibly romantic story filled with music, family, and loyalty. I look forward to reading more in this series.


A Song of Secrets

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Hi, I’m Robyn,

I live in a country town in southern Australia with my family and a white fluffy dog.  I read a lot, walk a lot, and get caught on Pinterest too much. When I’m not reading, I’ll be writing my favourite kind of novel – Regency romance. My life-long love of the genre began one day at the library when Mum passed thirteen-year-old me a copy of Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer, saying ‘try this, you might like it. This comment proved to be a great understatement. Fast forward over twenty years, and I still devour Regency romance at a great rate but have even more fun writing them.

Some love affairs really are forever.

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