Avon Books, 1986,1998, 2004
The Hidden Heart
Lady Tess knows more about how to raise jaguar kittens than how to curtsy properly to the Queen. But to London she must go, and make a marriage suitable to her station. Her escort for this dreaded journey from the Amazon to the ballroom is Gryf Meridon—a nobody—a shady, shabby, down-on-his-luck blockade-runner with patrician features and nothing in life but his ship and his dreams…Discuss this book
My first book; not my first attempt but the first manuscript I ever managed to get past Chapter 7. I was a geologist by profession when I began it. I knew nothing of British etiquette and so Tess felt as adrift in polite society as I would have. Shy and lonely, self-reliant and naive. By the time I finished The Hidden Heart, I could hardly let the characters go, they seemed so real and precious to me.
And one minor character, from a difficult scene, haunted me. For years afterward, I was troubled by what I had “done” to the little boy Samuel in that book. So eventually I wrote another, The Shadow and the Star, to redeem him, and give him a taste of the happiness that he too deserved.
Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice—Best New Historical Romance Author, 1986
Laura's Fave Review:
“And once Gryphon sheds his neuroses—along with his clothes—this book proves most satisfying.”— Publishers Weekly, March 2, 1986.
(Which only goes to show what really counts, right? LK)
 Posted by laura kinsale on 01.08.2010
(Comments closed due to spam. Feel free to email me or make contact on Twitter or Facebook.) All opinions are welcome, positive or negative, but civility and polite language are required for comments to remain. Political or religious references are not allowed, unless directly related to the book under discussion. I do answer questions but I seldom give interpretations about my books or characters, because I enjoy hearing what readers see in them. These comments and discussions replace my old forum at The Terrace. WARNING: Book discussions may contain spoilers.
 Posted by Evangeline on 01.11.2010
I read and loved The Shadow and the Star! I’m still hoping to track this book down, if only to read about Lady Tess!
 Posted by laura kinsale on 01.12.2010
Evangeline, you’ve reminded me to check back with Avon, who claimed last year that they had plans to re-issue The Hidden Heart.
 Posted by Katrina on 01.17.2010
Please let us know when it will be reissued! I loved Lady Tess and Gryf and would like to know how they got together.
 Posted by Elise on 02.15.2010
I do have a first edition of this one. I treasure it!
 Posted by Georgette on 02.19.2010
I also have a first edition. I just pulled all of my books, all first editions, out after reading Lessons in French. I love every single one of them! Thank you.
 Posted by laura kinsale on 02.25.2010
Elise and Georgette, that’s exciting! Keep them out of the sun (they get yellow.)
Thank you, I’m very honored that you’ve enjoyed them enough to keep them.
 Posted by Rebecca Cardamone on 03.09.2010
Loved your “Lessons in French”! When I heard a new LK book was coming out I pulled out all my others (i.e. every book you’ve written) and, after browsing your site, realized that they all had original publication covers. Seeing Fabio brought back memories - kind of like thinking back to your first boyfriend - fond thoughts but a chuckle at what a dork he turned out to be! I was thrilled yet felt old at the same time… odd combination!
 Posted by laura kinsale on 03.09.2010
I’m glad you enjoyed Lessons in French! Oddly enough, I don’t think Fabio is a dork. He did those dorky commercials, true but he always had a twinkle in his eye! He actually seems to me to be one of the select few “celebrities” who has his feet planted firmly in reality, a sense of humor about the world and himself, and a real generosity of spirit. I met him briefly, and he was always very courteous and attentive to everyone. Not so bad for an old boyfriend! ;)
 Posted by Rebecca Cardamone on 03.11.2010
See.. now I feel mean and petty! Obviously, I don’t know Fabio on a personal basis yet I made a nasty judgement call about him. I guess I let myself fall for the media spin (the goose in the face story comes to mind - although that wasn’t exactly his fault!). Mea culpa, Fabio!!
 Posted by laura kinsale on 03.12.2010
Aw, don’t worry. I think the Fab would forgive you. ;)
 Posted by eKathy28 on 03.13.2010
Oh, no! My Laura Kinsale backlist marathon is interrupted! My copy of “The Hidden Heart” is missing! So I can’t read Samuel’s book yet either. Ack! Do I ransack every bookshelf in the house looking for it? Do I just go ahead and order a new one? Decisions, decisions.
 Posted by debbie on 04.06.2010
I just finished “Lessons in French” and am reminded why I have carted all of your previous books on my many moves in the last two decades. I checked your website and discovered that I, too, have all first printings. I have arranged them in order of publication date so that I can re-read them (again)in the order in which they were written. Sadly, my work schedule doesn’t allow as much reading time as I could wish - I may have to get “sick” in the next week or so! I can only say that I hope your muse remains tractable - I wish you many many years of writing; both for your pleasure and ours.
 Posted by Jean Bryant on 04.06.2010
While it is true that I hold on to far too many books, my “Keeper Stack” is very severely edited. Flowers From the Storm is one I will never let go as is The Shadow and the Star. I ran across a mention of them in a discussion forum on favorite romances just recently, so I hauled them out to re-read. Thank you so much for making those books so very very re-readable! I still rate the “Speech at the Quaker Meeting” scene as the best love scene ever written even without any sex! A close second is in Elizabeth Holt’s Raven Prince… the “Shirt Off in the Library Scene” when the hero says, “I have to know.” And while I usually prefer clever heroines who don’t allow themselves to be deceived, I still laugh out loud at Leda disparaging the fairness of the “sword fight scene.” Anyway, I was really just writing to say thank you for continuing enjoyment. I look forward to your new books, but I still enjoy your older books just as much.
 Posted by laura kinsale on 04.07.2010
Debbie and Jean, being on the keeper shelf is the best compliment (right up there with “I stayed up all night reading even though I had a meeting with my boss the next day.”) ;)
 Posted by Courttani on 08.01.2010
I ADORE your characters. The back cover was adorable and enticed me to read the entire book.
““I SHALL MARRY STEPHEN ELIOT!”
Gryf bent his head and pressed his fists against his forehead. “I won’t let you,” he said dully.
Very gently, she answered. “You have no right to stop me.”
He dropped his hands and stared at the ceiling. She sat still, so afraid that he would walk out the door that she had to make a conscious effort to take each breath. He crossed the room and fell onto his knees before her, gathered her cold hands in his and bent over them, holding her so hard that her fingers ached. “Damn you,” he whispered harshly. “I love you. Does that give me the right?””
The Hidden Heart
 Posted by laura kinsale on 09.13.2010
LOL, Courttani, glad you liked those lines. We romance readers love drama, don’t we?
 Posted by Laura Riddle on 12.28.2010
I just HAD to check my copy of “The Hidden Heart” and yes! I have a first edition print also! I think I picked it up at a used book store when I was collecting all of your books after I read “The Prince of Midnight,” in 1990.
(And in reference to Fabio, the lead guitar player in my band says people say he USED to look like Fabio…now they say he looks like Meat Loaf.)
And I love your Pryenees-mine is 10 years old and is still beautiful!
 Posted by eKathy on 12.28.2010
I accidentally clicked on remove me from further notifications and I REALLY did not want to do that. I like it when these messages randomly drop into my inbox and I am reminded again of how much I love all these books. These comments are like food to me.
 Posted by laura kinsale on 01.04.2011
LOL that’s hilarious about the guy in your band, Laura R. I’m so glad your pyr is doing so well; love those big furry white dogs.
Glad to see you back Kathy!
 Posted by geena on 02.27.2011
I have a copy with the original cover. It’s in pretty good shape too, only a small crease in the upper corner. I’m not sure if it’s a first run though. There are numbers on the bottom of the copyright page but they start at 10 and descend to 1. I bought it from a used book store about 15 or so years ago.
I loved the book BTW.
 Posted by laura kinsale on 05.18.2011
Geena, that sounds like a first print run, if all the numbers down to 1 are there!
Glad you enjoyed it!
 Posted by Laura H on 09.20.2011
I have become a true fan of yours, having discovered your books about three years ago. I have read almost all of them, including The Hidden Heart just this past weekend (stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish!) Many of your scenes have brought me to tears, which unfortunately, I find to be a rare occurrance anymore with romances. Your characters, particularly those Byronic heroes we love so much, are deeply textured, flawed people I feel like I know and, at times, resemble. When-when-when are you going to write more? I fear the day when I’ve finished all your books, and there will be no more. Also, I’m a novice writer myself, hoping very soon to finish my first novel—a labor about eight years in the making. Any advice about how you selected an agent and also about a cover letter? Any morsel you could pass on would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your wonderful novels.
 Posted by laura kinsale on 09.23.2011
Good luck with your novel, Laura! My best advice would be to find a good writer’s forum online. I’m not familiar with the latest, but Forward Motion used to be very good, you might check that out. Glad you enjoyed the book!
 Posted by Claire Folkman on 06.29.2012
First off, let me say that I am a HUGE fan of your books and read/re-read them often. Your books are by far my favorites to read while traveling/vacationing/adventuring. ‘The Prince of Midnight’ while traveling through France: perfection. ‘The Dream Hunter’ while lying on a beach: the best. So thank you for creating people, places and words that I treasure and love to visit again and again.
My purpose for stopping by your lovely website, is to you tell you that about a year ago I illustrated a comic based off a passage from your book ‘The Hidden Heart’. I just posted this comic on my blog and I wanted to be sure to share my work with you, as I imagine all creators are interested in seeing how others handle their work. The comic is available here: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8002/7259095480_d7e156c611_b.jpg as well as on my blog: http://clairefolkman.blogspot.com. I hope you enjoy it even a fraction as much as I enjoy your work.
Thanks again for everything! I’m due to have my morning coffee with ‘For My Lady’s Heart’ very soon, and I must say I am quite looking forward to it.
All the best,
 Posted by laura kinsale on 06.29.2012
I’m very glad you enjoy my books—I love the idea that you read Prince of Midnight while traveling through France!
I do want to talk a bit about the comic you created based on my work, using dialogue from The Hidden Heart. Actually, what you did is called a “derivative work” and legally you are required to get my permission to create and publish it (post it) on your blog. I’m hereby giving you my permission for that particular comic, so don’t worry!
This may make me seem like a picky b*tch, for which I apologize. Believe me, it’s very flattering that you liked my work enough to draw it, and yet copyright and all the technicalities that go along with it are crucial for people like you and me, who create work and may even be in a position, now or someday, to make a living from that work. I want YOU to be able to do that with your original comics as much as I want to be able to do it myself. To continue to be able to make a fair profit from our creative work, in this age of the internet and youtube and mash-ups, it’s very important to understand that the right to recreate many aspects of an individual work, from making a movie or an audio recording to making a comic using characters and dialogue, are held by the creator.
It’s true that there is the legal concept of Free Use, which can apply to specific instances that meet certain limited criteria, but the best and most respectful thing is always to simply ask the creator for permission to use their work in yours.
Much of copyright law is under heavy attack now, and many people feel that any creative work should be “free” for anyone to re-use and distribute. I don’t happen to be one of the people who feel that way. I worked many years to write my books, and I love it that people enjoy them. But I can’t and don’t want to give away that work for free. I want to be fairly paid. I want you to be fairly paid. So let’s stick together and stick up for copyright! Just ask permission—you might be surprised at what might come out of that.
Thanks for reading this. I hope you understand! And I hope you won’t enjoy my books any less.
 Posted by Kathy on 06.29.2012
Somehow I knew you were going to say that. Thanks, Laura and Claire.
 Posted by Claire Folkman on 07.07.2012
Laura, thank you so much for your permission (I feel very humbled) and your obviously very well thought out response. Under no circumstances do I think you are being a “picky b*tch” and I believe your feelings are just and completely appropriate. I will do everything in my power from here on out to ask permission before posting works which take content from another creator. I’m very grateful to you and your work and would never want to take away from your ability to make a living off of your creations. EVER. How could I best credit you on my blog and on the comic itself? I used an MLA style bibliographical reference at the top of the comic, but I will assume that doesn’t cover it? Please let me know whenever you can.
The internet is such an incredible place. To think that I can have such a cordial conversation with a beloved author about such a tumultuous topic… amazing. Thank you again for your permission. I really appreciate it.
 Posted by laura kinsale on 08.05.2012
Thank YOU, Claire, for your understanding reply. The credit is fine, what would really be nice is adding, “with permission of the copyright holder” (or just “with permission” for short) to indicate to readers that you did ask and receive authorization to use the content. That will help focus and encourage others to do the same.
I really respect anyone who asks, and lets the world know they did so!
Sorry to be late responding, I’ve been offline for several weeks.
 Posted by Jai Joshi on 08.24.2012
Laura, that’s so nice to know that Fabio was a polite and charming person. All I’ve ever seen of him is his pictures so I never really knew what he was like as a person. Thanks for the insight!
The Hidden Heart is one of those books that I keep on my shelf but hardly ever re-read because that scene with Samuel breaks my heart too much. And poor Lady Tess, who made the decision that led to that moment even when Gryph tried to warn her! But if she hadn’t then she would never have known about Samuel and would never have been able to save him later on. So everything happens for a reason. Thanks for such a powerful story that makes me think of such deep concepts and issues.
 Posted by Carey Hannan on 03.10.2014
So I just finished listening to to The Shadow and the Star on audiobook (AMAZING) and I realized that I have never read A HIdden Heart. This must be remedied! As I break out the Google-fu to track down a copy I thought I would ask - is Hidden Heart going to be coming out in audiobook form? Please say yes!Commenting is not available in this section entry.