Review- The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh

Title: The Secret Mistress

Genre: Historical Regency Romance

Author: Mary Balogh

Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2011

Source: Library

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from

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.



Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Romance

6 responses to “Review- The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh

  1. Edyta

    You totally put this author on my radar with A Matter of Class. What a great little book that is. What about this one made you go for only 3.5 stars since you semed to have enjoyed it?


    • Good question, Edyta. I think it was for a few reasons. Although well written, I have trouble with the Regency Lady being a mistress, it just seems wrong and something a well bred woman would not do. It was also quite predictable but then all HR’s are in one way or another. So the “3.5” is totally subjective to my prejudices… are all of my so called “reviews”…it was better than most HR’s but not quite a “very good-read”.


      • Edyta

        Well I love your reviews, with all the prejudices. They are honest and have provided me with good reads and new authors. So keep them coming please!!!
        “it was better than most HR’s but not quite a “very good-read”” – says it all. You know I’m picky with my HRs(and all books) so thank you :D. Being picky saves me the sadness of DNFs.


  2. mo

    I don’t mind the mistress trope if the Hero is her first ‘protector’, or she’s a widow and having an ‘affair’. I can buy into that. That being said, there aren’t many real mistress HRs out there. I will be reading Cecilia Grant’s A Gentleman Undone though. It features an older mistress with a younger man. Has had very good reviews.


    • Hi Mo, Thanks for the rec, I’ll have to look into Cecelia Grant’s book. Balogh has a “mistress” series and I read another “mistress book” awhile back. I will read them but just can’t quite wrap myself around the premise.


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