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The Perfect Mistress
by Victoria Alexander
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This was a good story. I enjoyed Harrison and Julia and a few chuckles along the way ( )
Widowed and left in dire financial straits, the heroine plans to publish the memoirs of her ancestor in a bid to make some money. The hero, who's own father is mentioned in the diary as one of the woman's sexual conquests, vows to stop the thing from being published. The hero has always been a stiff, law abiding man who's oppression with being the picture of a gentleman but from the first instant he meets the heroine he is immediately changed. In her presence he is passionate. First it's with anger and irrational because she denies his offer to buy the memories. Then it's the desire to befriend her and use that new friendship as leverage to gain the memories so he can destroy them. Then it's jealousy because his meddling puts her into the paths of over suitors. And finally it's confusion about how to deal with all these new emotions and what he's supposed to do when he realizes he loves her. The heroine readily admits to being a frivolous ninny before the death of her husband but her financial responsibilities have morphed her into an independent intelligent woman who's able to stand on her own two feet. When she meets the hero, she's suddenly bombarded with a new development of alarming characteristics she didn't have before. She's short tempered with him, irritated at his arrogance and the fact that he's oblivious as to what not to ay to a woman. But underneath the irritation is passion. She feel alive when she's with him and she's a braver more self aware woman with him she ever was with her husband. It was much in part to her ancestors diary and the ghost of the woman who haunts her that has awakened something deep inside. She learns to trust her heart rather than her head to take life's opportunities when they are presented else lose them forever. The banter between the two characters was a joy to read as they spend more time pissing each other off then anything. But under lining it is the deep love for one another, a love that neither of them really knew about until they stopped to think about it.
Another fun read to kick off my summer.
(3.5, but I'll round up since the good parts are more memorable than the questionable ones - and I liked the ending.)
As other reviewers have noted, this is not a book that prides itself on historical accuracy. There are more than a few instances where (especially female) characters say or do things that have a distinct 21st century flavor. For the most part, though, they were a temporary distraction. The story itself was cute, and the dialogue between Julia and Harrison was fun to read. The "big misunderstanding" was a bit "eh" overall, but the way they made up in the end was sweet. Enjoyable read, even if fluffy.
(Side note: listened to on audio, and wasn't crazy about the narrator. Was glad I got it from the library and hadn't spent money on it, because I don't know if I could listen to her again. It was often hard to tell if a man or woman was speaking because she often didn't make a distinction between the two vocally.)
Lady Julia Winterset is a widow whose financial security is dwindling and she needs to get some income pretty quickly. Her salvation, she hopes, is the inheritance of a memoir or manuscript written by her great-grandmother, Lady Hermione Middlebury, who wrote down explicit details of what she calls her adventures (affairs) after she was widowed at the age of 24. Her adventures are quite scandalous, but since she’s been dead for more than 30 years Julia doesn’t think anyone in the memoir is likely to still be alive, so she decides to see if she can sell it to a publisher. Who would’ve thought the idea to sell the manuscript would change her life so drastically? She certainly didn’t.
I accidentally read the second book in this series before this one, so I already had a little knowledge of what was to come. However, I didn’t know how amusing the story would be. I didn’t connect with Book 2, His Mistress by Christmas as easily as I did this one, so it came as a surprise that I didn’t want to put it down. I kept wondering when Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, was going to next put his big foot in his mouth or what Julia’s friend Veronica, who also happened to be Harrison’s widowed sister-in-law, was going to do next.
Amusing, well-written, smooth-flowing and interesting it kept me glued to the pages until the end. Since I’ve already read book two, I can’t wait to read Portia’s story, so I hope it’s coming soon.
Belongs to Series
Mistress Trio (1)
Sinful Family Secrets (Prequel)
Belongs to Publisher Series
Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book that every gentleman in London seems to want. Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, can't let the obstinate Julia release the shameless memoir that could ruin his family's name, but the only way to stop her may be equally sordid, for his rivals are intent on seducing the captivating woman to acquire the book.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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