REVIEW : Garden of Secrets: Misselthwaite College Book #1- Drake LaMarque

Garden of Secrets: Book Cover Garden of Secrets:
Misselthwaite College Book #1
Drake LaMarque
Historical Fantasy, LGBTQ Fantasy, LGBTQ Fantasy Fiction
Grey Kelpie Studio
Sept 14, 2022

Alistair Lennox is disagreeable.

Isolated and miserable, with parents who don’t care about him, his life has been equal parts privilege and loneliness.

But when his parents die, his life is turned upside down. In order to gain his inheritance, Alistair is forced to attend a college he's never heard of - for good reason. Misselthwaite College is a school for the magically gifted

Alistair has no magical gifts - unless being magically inept counts. What were his parents thinking? And what is the mysterious affliction plaguing William Carlisle, the affluent and arrogant heir to Misselthwaite? Is there a connection to the strange key Alistair discovers in a book, the stranger noises in the night, and, strangest of all, the multiple men who desire his friendship? Misselthwaite has no end of secrets.

But if being disagreeable is good for anything, it's for getting to the bottom of mysteries.
Garden of Secrets is book one in a duology, and the first installment in a magical new universe. A Secret Garden retelling with a queer twist and featuring MMMM polyamory.

Review By D. B. Wilson

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

What I liked:

To be honest, there wasn’t much I didn’t like about this story. It captured my attention right off the bat and the book mostly held my attention until the end.

I liked how the main character was taken through a full transformation as the book progresses. I also enjoyed the actual garden development in the book as well. It was almost as if the garden was treated as another character… in fact, the author did such a fantastic job describing and making it feel real, I would’ve enjoyed more time in the garden.

The story also had a very nice love affair that involved multiple partners. This is something I’m not usually into, so that was an interesting twist for me as well.

Overall, this is a great book.


There were only two main critiques I had for this story. One there was an issue with a side character where the pronouns changed a couple of times. No, I don’t think this was because they were non-binary, as there is a side non-binary character and that’s well defined in the book. It just felt as if it was an editing mistake. Unfortunately, this caused a bit of confusion for me as the book progressed.

The other critique I have for this book is I was often confused about the antagonistic character’s motivation. I never quite understood why, for example, the students wanted to kill the MC.

There is a book 2, so I’m assuming that will become clearer, or I’m hoping it will, because I’m definitely going to read book 2.

As I said earlier, I was quite taken with this book. I certainly recommend it!

Leave a Comment