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The Private Secretary

Narrated by: Mark James
Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Down on his luck and desperate for employment, Ezra Seton is offered only one job: to work in the house of a heartless bully, the very man who drove Ezra’s lover away. Gritting his teeth, Ezra takes the position. But neither the new job nor the master of house are close to what he expected. Still, he vows to keep his distance, no matter how difficult maintaining his composure in the face of relentless drollery becomes.

Robert Demme’s pleasure-seeking days are over. Having rescued his cousin Ambrose from a lunatic asylum, he expends much of his energy pacifying the fragile eccentric. Hiring an assistant offers some relief - and also intriguing temptation. Unfortunately, the fascinating Seton apparently loathes him. Determined to discover the reason, Robert uses his considerable wit to get under the man’s skin, stunned when his plan backfires. Instead of unraveling the stalwart secretary, Robert has undone himself. All he’s accomplished is deepening his own interest. Perhaps he senses Robert’s not-so-innocent attraction.

When the two spend the night together in an inn, their mutual desire proves too strong. The secretary and the gentleman succumb to lust. But when Ezra’s old flame reappears and the cousin’s experiments go awry, it’s a battle to discover which will win the day: love or lunacy.

This edition includes a selection from Simon and the Christmas Spirit, a title by Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee.

©2017 Summer Devon (P)2019 Summer Devon

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed it a lot

I enjoyed this hot historical story a lot. Both Ezra and Robert have so many layers to their character and the way their relationship starts and develops is very engaging and sexy. Narrator did a great job with all the characters male and female, giving unique voice to everyone of them. Great story and narration made it a perfect listening experience. I am looking forward to more books by this author/narrator team.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing Narrator and a Great Story

I absolutely loved this narrator. Just his voice is enough to make you swoon, but add the love story to it and it’s perfect. Gentlemen and their taboo-in-high-society relationships make for a very enjoyable four-hour romp. I’ll definitely add this author’s other books to my TBR pile.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A fun story and fantastic audio performance by Mar

A fun story and fantastic audio performance by Mark James.

I love reading historical M/M romance stories and love the audios of them even more when the reading is done by someone as fantastic as Mark James.

Summer Devon's story about a down-on-his-luck Ezra Seaton was a fun story to listen to. Robert Demme hires Ezra to work for his eccentric cousin who researches insects. The arrangement works well except that Robert can't figure out why Ezra dislikes him so much.

The writing is witty and entertaining and Mark James performance brings out all of the nuances of the various characters perfectly. I am a huge fan of this writer and narrator combination and look forward to listening to more from them either individually or together.

I purchased the ebook of this story but a free copy of this audiobook was provided to me, however my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing job by Summer Devon and Mark James

Summer Devon writes an entertaining story with eccentric and charming characters in which I found myself captivated by every single one.

Robert was the character I found myself rooting for the most and I wanted to know all about him. I didn’t want to like him at first just as Ezra didn’t, but it was all due to misunderstandings and serious lack of information. Robert turned out be a fine gentleman. He opened up to Ezra, talked things out, and genuinely cared for him. The two were hot together.

Ezra and Robert were wonderful, but Ambrose's story really seemed to take lead on this one. There was still plenty of romance and I found I enjoyed this story line a lot as it gave the two men more responsibility than just being about themselves. Ambrose was a wonderful character and I'm glad he had both Robert and Ezra to guide and help him.

Mark James has a very smooth and almost seductive voice that makes listening to this story enjoyable. His tone is spot on and the slight changes for each characters voices make it easy to keep up. He is easily becoming one of my favorite narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Heat and laughs

Robert and Ezra captured my heart from the start. I enjoyed their antics and journey to love. The secondary characters are an eclectic group of interesting individuals I enjoyed meeting. The ending was sublime.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a pleasant story all the way around

this was a pleasant story to listen to on a day off. Mark made Summers work very interesting to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good story made better with narration... 4.5 stars

The Private Secretary is my second audiobook listen from Summer Devon, but it's my first from narrator Mark James. While both my Summer Devon audiobooks make use of the enemies-to-lovers trope, the first one was contemporary romance, and this second one is historical romance. We meet Ezra Seton and Robert Demme, two men who seemingly come from two different worlds but desperately need each other albeit trying to pretend they don't want this one person who both irritates and intrigues the other. Ezra's dislike of Robert is subtly palpable, and I quite liked how Robert didn't actively go out of his way to show just how wrong Ezra's assessment--based almost entirely on flights of flirty fancy from a man Ezra was googly-eyed over--may have been. I got to know Robert at the same time Ezra was, and it was clear there was so much more to him than meets the eye. The development of these two main characters was probably my favorite thing about in this story.

Mark James's narration had me smitten from the beginning. He gave distinct voices to all of the characters and not once did he sound off or as if he was making a mockery of other characters outside of Ezra and Robert. The narrator did a wondrous job making a good story even better, allowing me to sit back and enjoy while I was listening to while I was in my car driving for the day. Of course, there were certain parts of the audiobook that were, erm, distracting--aka the more intimate scenes--which is why I don't listen to audiobooks all that often while I'm driving. But distractions aside, I really enjoyed The Private Secretary and give it an overall rating of 4.5 stars. ♥

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Once I tasted your lips, I was enthralled

I still think Mark James is made to narrate Summer Devon’s books because hearing his beautiful narration of these lovely historical romances always make me smile and happy. 😊 And what an enjoyable listen this book was! 💜


Ezra is a fallen gentleman who’s desperate to get a job to support his orphaned siblings. Fatherless and jobless, the position of the breadwinner has fallen upon Ezra’s shoulders. But when the only position available that is offered to him came from a man who Ezra hated with vigor, Robert Demme who broke the heart of Ezra’s ex-lover. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers. It’s either work for Robert or become a pauper. When he arrived at Robert’s mansion for his job, he soon learnt a few things. First, he’s not working for Robert but for his rather eccentric cousin Ambrose. Second, Robert isn’t anything like he imagined, not cruel or pompous or rakish, in fact, he’s rather kind, charming and understanding. Third, he seems to be inexplicably attracted to Robert despite loathing him fiercely at first. Now Ezra can keep disliking Robert and keep him at a distance or abandoned everything he believe about Robert to become his lover.


This is a rather angst-free, light and charming story. I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers trope so it’s no wonder I enjoyed the story of Ezra and Robert. However, Robert’s cousin Ambrose really REALLY irritated me at some times. 😅 I know this rather eccentric and genius man can’t help it but the man truly has no understanding of socializing and manners. I also would have loved to see a bit more heat-packed scenes between the two lovers but I was charmed by the story so I will let go of it. Overall, it was light, fun and enjoyable so if you are looking for a regency romance with enemies-to-lovers trope, this one was a delightful listen. 😌



4 once I tasted your lips I was enthralled stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️





Audio rating

Story - 3.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Narration - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Performance - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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loved it

Listening to this brought back the enjoyment I experienced when I used to watch PBS on Sunday nights,with all the British shows. absolutely loved it

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A great historical set romance full of angst!

🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.25 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5
🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 4.5 (I’m a sucker for an English Accent!!)

A great historical set romance full of angst and great chemistry and character!!

This was my first historical romance. I’d previously avoided historical based stories as I worried they would be boring to me and get suck on historical timing, facts, and old-timey language but I was wrong! This story has so much angst and with the historical time, felt so naughty! I enjoyed the chemistry between Robert and Ezra and the angst and fun times were on fire! I quite enjoyed the historical England setting and found more intrigue in the time and era than I thought I would.

I loved the quirky secondary characters of Ambrose and Miss O’Keeffe. With the introduction of these characters and the historical setting is was interesting to see that they were in fact geniuses and/or autistic rather than mad and I liked their quirks and character as they grew throughout the story.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story and it has forced me to broaden my genres to include historical romance. That being said I really enjoyed it as an audiobook and am not sure I have would enjoy it as much if I had read it.

Thanks for reading!

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  • Ulrika
  • 04-01-19

Hot and funny historical

I admire Ms Devon’s talent at writing books that are set in a realistic historical setting, where homosexuality is a crime, while making the book light and fairly angst-free at the same time. This book is another shining example of how it’s possible to do just that.

You’ve read the blurb, you know what the book is about, Ezra and Robert meet, they experience forced proximity, and they fall first in lust, then in love, in a friends-to-enemies kind of way.

Again Ms Devon writes full and interesting characters, not just the MCs, but the supporting cast as well. I’m struck by how difficult it was to be different in that time period, not just being homosexual, but being ”crazy”, like Robert’s cousin Ambrose too. Still, this book is rather light and funny, even though it touches on heavier subjects as well.

Mark James is a great narrator for this book, he made the characters come alive for me.