Title: The Secret Mistress
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
Author: Mary Balogh
Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2011
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from amazon.com:
While Lady Angeline Dudley’s pedigree dictates that she must land a titled gentleman, the irrepressible beauty longs for a simple, ordinary suitor. So when Edward Ailsbury, the new Earl of Heyward, defends her honor with unmatched civility, Angeline thinks that she has found true love. Persuading the earl is another matter entirely. From her unconventional fashion sense to her hoydenish antics, Angeline is the last woman on earth for Edward. And yet a stolen kiss awakens something primal within him. Naturally, being a gentleman, he does the right thing after compromising a lady: He offers marriage. The proposal is born of duty, but will Angeline cause Edward to forget about decorum behind closed doors, where sensuality and seduction play wicked games? For a proper wife by day can become a husband’s secret mistress by night, when delicious desire rules.
This is a story of opposites attracting and love at first sight. It is not an original concept but in the hands of Ms. Balogh it is brought to life with characters that have unique personalities. The naïve, innocent, Angeline, has become a favorite of mine because she does act her age of only nineteen years. She is a true reflection of the regency era, spoiled, sheltered innocent. The earl, Edward is her perfect foil, for he is only twenty-four but old and stuffy with the weight of his title on his shoulders. The secondary characters of Eunice and Charles were a joy to behold, again the attraction of opposites. This is a prequel to two other books in this series More Than a Mistressand No Man’s Mistress, Angeline’s brother’s stories, which are available.