Wonderful romance. Balogh at top form.
Excellent read. She reuses plot devices I've seen her use before, but somehow manages to keep the book fresh and interesting. And she's siply such a great writer.
At times overly dramatic, MORE THAN A MISTRESS is nevertheless one of the most impressive historical romances I have ever read. Character development is sensational, the romance is sensual and believable, and overall the whole story is simply unforgettable.
I absolutely adored how there wasnt insta-love/lust/attraction between Jane and Tresham. Instead, both of them dislike each other upon first meeting, though their respective stubbornness keeps them clashingand, thus, crossing pathsagain and again. Tresham acts arrogant, but you still cant help but liking him, understanding his arrogance as a product of his upbringing. Jane feels a little more generic, as the heroine with the modern sensitivities everyone just wished existed back in the days, but she has undeniably chemistry with Tresham, and goes about trying to solve her troubles in a very respectable way.
I typically like my historical romances straight to the romance point, so I was a little less believing of the whole dueling/wanted for murder plotline, but overall, Tresham and Jane were definitely enough for me to keep plowing through this book. This is my first historical romance by Mary Balogh, but if its any indication of her other works, it certainly wont be my last.
I really enjoy reading Mary Balogh's books.
The hero, a fancy-pants duke, is injured during a duel when a young lady gives a shout out. She's held up because of the ridiculous duel and ends up getting fired from her job and can't buy groceries. She blames Jocelyn Dudley, Duke of Tresham for her predicament and tracks him down to holler at him (or something ~ it's been a few days since I've read it). He ends up hiring her as his nurse-maid because he's unable to get around due to the injury he believes she's caused. He's all snarly and haughty and is amused by the fact that she dares to speak her mind.
As the story progresses, we learn that she's the daughter of an Earl but is on the run due to an incident where she may or may not have killed a man (intriguing, eh?). She's hiding from society and fears for her future. When Jocelyn (what kind of name is that for a hunky Duke, anyway?) heals he finds he just can't let her go and proposes she become his mistress. Lots of banter and tension of the romantic type ensues. Good stuff but Balogh is always good.
One of Mary Balogh's best books! The depth of feeling and chemistry between Jane Ingleby and Jocelyn Dudley, the Duke of Tresham is superb and very touching, and it's fun that they didn't like each other at first, but had to learn to appreciate each other's strengths and different ways of handling life's problems. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
It's the first of a trilogy: No Man's Mistress being about Gresham's younger brother Ferdinand Dudley, and The Secret Mistress was written years later as a prequel to the first two books after so many fans begged for a story of their sister, Angeline. Marvelous stories, all, but More Than A Mistress is by far the most touching and brilliantly written novel. A Total Keeper!!