Diane Haeger turns her talents for fictionalized biography to a woman many think scandalous and others pity, Maria Fitzherbert, Prinnys mistress and secret wife, during the Regency and into his reign.

Even though Prinny continually declares his love for Maria, as a Catholic she realizes she can never be his wife. She is unacceptable to his family and the Anglican Church. Yet, the heir to the throne secretly marries her even as he weds Princess Caroline with all the pageantry and pomp that befits the future king.

Torn between her fear that the Church will not approve of her marriage to George and their liaison and her love for him and their daughter, Maria bears her unhappiness because of the deep love George holds for her; a love that lasts his lifetime and even after his death.

THE SECRET WIFE OF GEORGE IV is a beautiful love story that makes Prinny a flesh-and-blood man, not just the shadow who walks through Regency romances. The era is colorfully depicted as the Regency we know and yet a time and a man we never fully understood before. This is a novel that will entrance historical readers (especially fans of Jean Plaidy) and delight Regency fans. (Apr., 350 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin