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The Secret of Studborne Abbey

By: Emmanuelle de Maupassant
Narrated by: Gareth J Davies
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Summary

Does something wicked lurk within the ancient walls of Studborne Abbey?

Find out in this historical romance duology!

The Lady's Guide to Deception and Desire

Disinherited debutante Rosamund Burnell is in a fix. Pretending she's still a wealthy catch, she sets out to ensnare the Duke of Studborne.

The only spanner in the works?

Her growing attraction to the duke's very proper, very honorable, and very penniless nephew, Benedict. The duke seems enchanted, but his motives for courting her are not what they seem, and Rosamund is caught in a trap. She must uncover the truth, and only one person in the abbey can help her.

The annoyingly principled Benedict!

The Lady's Guide to Scandal

Before archaeologist Ethan Burnell can return to his exploration of the Mexican jungle, his sister insists he attend her Christmas house party, filled with eager debutantes.

A fake engagement for the duration of the festivities sounds like the perfect plan.

With her name mired in scandal, Cornelia Mortmain's marriage prospects are nil.
Wild adventurer Burnell is exactly the sort of "dangerous man" she's sworn off, and posing as his fiancée can only spell trouble.

Or, make her so notorious she'll become irresistible.

But convincing everyone they're madly in love isn't the only challenge facing the ill-matched pair.

Exploring the Abbey's hidden passageways, they discover its crypt, and the secret of its chilling past.

Heat level: passionate

Discover more in The Lady's Guide series: historical romance brimming with adventure, mystery, and intrigue.

Each can be enjoyed as a stand-alone and in any order.

©2020, 2021 Emmanuelle de Maupassant (P)2022 Emmanuelle de Maupassant
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about The Secret of Studborne Abbey

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Gothic style historical romance and mystery

The Secret of Studborne Abbey includes two of "The Lady's Guides To..." by Emmanuelle De Maupassant:

The two stories have a lovely connection, The Lady's Guide to Deception and Desire is the story of Rosamund Burnell who is forced to turn to deception to avoid destitution. In The Lady's Guide to Scandal, we meet archaeologist, Ethan (Rosamund's brother). Two historical romances that make a wonderful duo but can also be read/listened to as standalone novels.

Disowned by her father, Rosamund Burnell and her mother are forced to turn to deception to avoid becoming destitute. When they meet Benedict Studborne, nephew to Lord Studbourne, and he invites them to stay at the wonderfully gothic and mysterious Studborne Abbey they see a potential end to their troubles.

However, their deception entangles Rosamund in Lord Studborne's web of lies spun from the all-consuming grief over the death of his wife, Violetta.

Benedict and Rosamund struggle with their desire for each other, but can Benedict forgive Rosamund's deception, and can she convince herself and her mother that love is the only thing that matters.

A Lady's Guide to Scandal is my favourite Lady's Guide so far and Cornelia and Ethan are my favourite characters from the series too, and I fell in love with her delightful aunts, Blanche and Eustacia.

Cornelia is determined to make her way in the world despite being an outsider in society thanks to her philandering husband, and her runaway mother.

Cornelia and Ethan Burnell, an archaeologist are brought together at the beginning of the story (although not for the first time in their lives) at the museum both believing that the other is trying to steal an exhibit relating to the Palekmul temple, found on Ethan’s recent travels.

Cornelia finds herself agreeing to a fake engagement and attending a festive party at Studborne Abbey. As the couple try to keep up the pretence of being deeply in love the abbey starts to give up its own secrets about its chilling and dark past.

This story is bursting with romance, love, passion, humour and mystery!

Both stories completely swept me into a different era, and I could easily imagine myself being either of the strong-willed but charming Rosamund or Cornelia.

Gareth Davis is an excellent narrator and very engaging to listen to and the sound effects are a wonderful addition.

1 person found this helpful

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Listener received this title free

Tongue-in-cheek homage to Victorian gothic romance

This tongue-in-cheek homage to Victorian gothic horror romances has everything.

Heroine with pushy mother determined to find her a good match? Check.
Creepy mansion with secret passages? Check.
Odd (and possibly deranged) owner who never got over the death of his first wife? Check.

Add in the sonorous narration and the occasional sound effect in the style of a radio adaptation and you have a great listen. Don't take it too seriously. Just enjoy!

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful, atmospheric Victorian romantic mysterie

I simply loved both of these romantic mysteries. They are set in the Edwardian period and so reminiscent of stories of old. Having said that, there is nothing old or staid here. There is light, wryful humour throughout . The writing itself is atmospheric and the wonderful sound affects certainly enhance the scenes. I am in awe of the narrator in being able to create such different characters so that I was totally absorbed and knew who was speaking instantly. I highly recommend both the story and the performance.

1 person found this helpful

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Great stories to enjoy!

The Lady’s Guide to Deception and Desire: 5 ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was so captivated by this story that I had to finish it once I'd started. Great characters and storyline! I loved everything about it!

The Lady’s Guide to Scandal: 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can’t go wrong with a story about a fake engagement. I really liked how Ethan and Cornelia met. It’s great how this one book, The Lady’s Guide to All Things Useful, is playing a part for the female main characters in all these stories.

The narrator (Gareth J. Davies) was awesome and the sound effects made both stories even better.

1 person found this helpful

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Mystery & Intrigue at the Turn of the Century!

These 2 books were Wonderfully written and narrated, with great sound effects!
I love a good story with strong Female Main Characters.
These books did not disappoint.
I have loved them so much that I didn't want them to end!
The Narrator did a fantastic job! Just absolutely wonderful!
I can hand on my ❤️ recommend.
I will say in book 1 'it' was worth the wait. Such innocence!
Treat yourself to 2 Grand turn of the century adventures when these 2 women where not afraid to voice their minds.

1 person found this helpful

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The Secret of Studborne Abbey

This is a very entertaining mystery & romance. I enjoyed this duology. The two titles are 'The Lady's Guide to Deception and Desire' and 'The Lady's Guide to Scandal'. In the first one, Rosamund is on her own taking care of her mother and adorable dog, Pompom. While at their stay at the Abbey, Rosamund starts to learn that things are a bit spooky. In the second one, Cornelia Mortmain sounds like she is in for it pretending to be a couple with Ethan Burnell. Some parts of each of these stories show how one can spin some tricks to get what one wants. Both stories are expertly narrated with some nice music and natural scenery sounds that definitely help pull ya in and shape the visualizations.

I received a free copy and am voluntarily leaving a review.

1 person found this helpful

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Listener received this title free

Delightfully Eerie

The Secret of Studborne Abbey is a delightfully eerie pair of stories about siblings from Texas who come to England and find mystery, adventure, and love. Gareth J. Davies’ s wonderful narration and the sound effects made listening to this duet quite enjoyable.

The Lady’s Guide to Deception and Desire is a true gothic tale that includes a grief maddened duke, secret passages, crypts, mysteries, ancient rituals, murder, and, of course, a hero to the rescue. Rosamund and Benedict have quite an adventure on their way to happily ever after.

In The Lady’s Guide to Scandal, Ethan has come from Texas to London for an exhibition of his archaeological finds. He meets Cornelia Motmain, who works at the museum where the exhibit will take place. Their engaging story is filled with characters who are unbelievably charming, including her match-making aunts, and the entertaining events at a fun and chaotic party.

1 person found this helpful

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Run from bad marriage Vengeful husband Abbey who cannot keep their staff and secret passages

Left a bad marriage with limited funds to find a future Stay at local Abbey which has secrets and cannot retain staff
Grief and wanting to talk to the dead added to the mix
Book 2 Self worth role of women how our parents actions effect us
Denial of our feelings Secrets of abbey and layout lead to danger
Sound effects enhance the experience

1 person found this helpful

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Two Stories in One Audiobook

This audiobook contains two stories from The 'Lady's Guide' series by Emmanuelle de Maupassant. 'The Lady's Guide' series are standalone stories connected by 'The Lady's Guide To All Things Useful' book, which gives tips and pointers to the characters in both novels.

**The Lady's Guide To Deception and Desire** is a gothic historical audiobook set in the beautiful, but eerie Studborne Abbey. This story is quite spooky and mysterious and definitely had an unsettling atmosphere.

Rosemund is a young woman without financial stability hoping to find a wealthy man to marry. Rosemund meets Mr Benedict Studborne, impoverished nephew of a Duke, and while her heart is taken with him, she believes her future should be with the widowed Duke. Does the Duke wish to marry however, or is his mind and heart elsewhere? Could there be something sinister afoot at the Abbey? And can 'The Lady's Guide...' offer any help for Rosemund?

This story had alot in it, a ghostly feeling, grief and madness and was very engaging, entertaining and had me guessing throughout what the outcome of the story would be. I really enjoyed the growing attachment and love between Rosemund and Benedict, and I would definitely recommend to lovers of historical romance fiction.

**The Lady's Guide To Scandal** is a light-hearted and witty fake-engagement historical story.

Ethan (brother of Rosemund from the above book) is a famed archaeologist returned from overseas and newly arrived at the museum that Cornelia is connected to via her father. Cornelia has been unlucky enough to have been involved in scandal twice, and is hoping for a quiet and calm life to continue her study of historical artifacts. Meddling family on both sides, however, have different ideas. Ethan comes up with an excellent idea that they should be fake engaged, to make life easier. A stay at Studborne Abbey is just the thing to help with these plans.

A sometimes funny, and definitely entertaining audiobook, this story allows the charade to play out, while also some mysteries within the Abbey are discovered. An enjoyable romantic, feel-good listen. I really loved it.

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An entertaining story with engaging characters

The lady’s guide to deception and desire 4*
This was an entertaining read with some likeable characters. Who couldn’t fail to love the character of Benedict Studborne. He was so endearing, albeit a little shy but was able to step up to the mark when required. Rosamund was trying to get herself and her mother out of a fix. She did some a little impulsive and didn’t always think through her actions. There were some strange events at Studborne Abbey and Rosamund is determined to find out what was happening. There are some dangerous actions and passionate moments.
A lady’s guide to scandal 5*
This, too, was a very entertaining read. I did like the character of Cornelia, who wanted to be able to take control of her own life. She was tired of people organising her life for her. I was glad to see her come into her own and not accept less than she desired. Ethan Burrell, an explorer, with a charismatic personality, had known Cornelia in childhood. They were attracted to each other but Ethan had made a promise to himself that might affect their relationship. The comments of Cornelia’s two aunts were hilarious and brought a smile to my face.
The narrator had an easy voice to listen to. He brought the characters to life by changing his tone and accent for the different people. I enjoyed the sound effects, especially those of the ocean. It made me feel as though I was by the sea!

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  • Barbara D.
  • 26-08-22

Mysterious and Fun!

There are two stories contained in this audiobook!

“The Lady’s Guide to Deception and Desire”
In the first story, two women from Texas, end up in England husband-hunting for the daughter, Rosamund. Meeting one of the residents of Studbourne Abbey, they are invited to visit for several days. During their visit, Rosamund finds her “happily ever after”!

“The Lady’s Guide to Scandal”
In the second story, Rosamund invites her brother Ethan (who has grown up in Texas) to visit her in England. Rosamund has a house party designed to find her brother a wife. In spite of his determination to deflect the interest of the young ladies and their promoting mamas, he is captured by a woman who originally was as uninterested as he.

The Abbey is a “character”, in both stories, that is old, mysterious and rather creepy!

You’ll enjoy this it's a fun listen with interesting characters, setting and even sound effects!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs.McDonald
  • 28-09-22
Listener received this title free

Wonderful listen

I enjoyed listening to these stories. I was surprised how the stories unfolded. I do not think you will regret getting this book.

I was provided a copy

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  • escritora
  • 25-09-22
Listener received this title free

Enchanting!

Rosamund Burell and her mother have come to Studborne Abbey as guests of The Duke and his nephew, Benedict. The duke is still suffering greatly from the loss of his wife and child. Benedict is drawn to Rosamund, but it's his uncle who interests her, so he thinks. There is something strange going on around the abbey and Rosamund is determined to find out what it is. There is a twisted mystery and equally twisted characters that give this story its intensity. After some deep sorrow, Rosamund finds her HEA with "the right man." 
Rosamund's brother, Ethan, has spent the majority of his adult life searching for antiquities and hidden treasures in Mexico. While he's in London for an exhibition, he meets a fascinating woman who shares his interest in relics of ancient times. Ethan's sister, Rosamund, is doing her best to find him a wife and to thwart her best efforts, he asks Rosamund to pretend to be his wife. When he finds that she can go toe to toe with him regarding love of the ancients, the ruse doesn't seem to be necessary anymore.
The narration is wonderfully done by Gareth Davies. His clear, dynamic voice gives each character a distinct personality and brings them to life with just the right emotion. 

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  • Gloria Pastorino
  • 18-09-22
Listener received this title free

Two wonderful novellas!

I loved both novellas! The first one has a much more gothic feel, while the second made me laugh out loud many times. Together they make a wonderful read, with the right amount of steam and much romanticism. The narrator was very good with the different voices. I enjoyed this audiobook very much!

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  • Rosemary Hughes
  • 01-09-22

Just love this author's work!

I have submitted this review after listening to the audiobook of the titles for this duology.

The Secret Of Studborne Abbey

A young American woman and her mother fall on hard times, so the mother could escape the abusive relationship with the overbearing oil magnate father, who cuts ties with the two.

So, looking to be introduced to local society, the girl seeks the young man's attention, that is the nephew of the local Duke.

An invitation is extended and so the two are moved to the local Manor house, where all is not what is as expected.

A dark and sinister situation is uncovered, mysterious disappearances are explained and true love prevails.

The Lady's Guide to Scandal
Ethan has returned from his archeological dig in the wilds of Peru.

He is intrigued by a young woman, that mistakes him as a thief, and brazenly tries to capture him. Although the misunderstanding is sorted, both are tied together by an early childhood encounter, that neither of them had forgotten., making their later day friendships pale in insignificance compared to the memories of their childhood encounters.
A Christmas party invitation gives them a chance to renew their relationship, although it doesn't always go as planned.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-09-22
Listener received this title free

Two audiobooks in one!

I enjoyed these books by Emmanuelle de Maupassant. They are not my normal romance trope to listen to or read. I'm glad I took a chance. They had great storylines and likable characters. There was some mystery and suspense as well.

Gareth J Davies is a new narrator to me. He did a great job narrating this audiobook. He was easy to listen to. I'd definitely listen to another book narrated by him.

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  • Patti
  • 31-08-22

Absolutely Wonderful!!!

Such a Wonderful Book , So thoroughly Enjoyable! I absolutely love the narrator,Gareth Davies and his capabilities!!
A definite Must Read or Listen to!!

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  • Lyn
  • 29-08-22
Listener received this title free

Really enjoyable - thoroughly enjoyed this

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and the two novels of The Lady’s Guide.
The first being The Lady’s Guide to Deception and Desire and the next The Lady’s Guide To Scandal.
From the narrators voice and the different sound effects, it made for a great listening experience. I loved the different characters voices, especially the older men and woman.

Both these stories were engaging.
The first novel in a dark, spooky way centring around Rosamund a disinherited debutante, The Duke of Studborne, his nephew, disappearing women and secret passageways.
The other novel being a continuation of the first story, but years later introducing us to Rosamund’s younger brother Ethan and the widow Cornelia who has had much scandal around herself, not of her doing.
Stories were at times funny with wonderfully written characters. I’m keen to listen to or read the rest of the series.

I received a copy of the audiobook for my honest review but had previously purchased the ebook.

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  • Zena
  • 27-08-22
Listener received this title free

Gothic Passion at its Best!

This boxset contains 2 of the books from 'The Lady's Guide' series of stories ('The Lady's Guide to Deception and Desire' and ' The Lady's Guide to Scandal') and these are narrated by Gareth J. Davies.
He did this really well - his refreshing voice, splendid acting and sound effects perfectly elevating these two beautifully dark and romantic stories from this series.
I have just finished listening to the audiobook version and voluntarily leave my unbiased review.