Today in the Friday Review, I'm reviewing the book Mistress By Mistake by Susan Gee Heino. In the interest of full disclosure, know that Susan is a member of our critique group and our first published author. However, that is not the reason why I decided to review this book.
I had two criteria when choosing a book for this project; One, that it was that is was a romance and two, that it was the first book published by an author. Romance is my favorite genre so that was a no-brainer. Reading a first time author just seemed to fit - I like to start at the beginning, whether it's a series or an author. And let's face it, Nora Roberts doesn't really need more publicity, does she?
Also, in accordance with the FTC rules, I should tell you that I purchased this book, it was not provided to me.
Mistress By Mistake by Susan Gee Heino ISBN 978-0-425-23151-7
Evaline Pinchley and Lord Randolph Dashford have one thing in common - neither of them wants to marry. Although this might seem an odd premise for a book (especially for people who don't read romance), in Regency England (1795-1837) it makes perfect sense.
I have to say upfront, that Regency romances have never been my favorite thing to read. The women are always fluttering about, swooning with the vapors. And the men - well, let's just say that you don't find a lot of Alpha males running around in lace cravats and satin knee breeches. I had some preconceptions going into this book, to say the least.
Well, I was wrong. Mistress By Mistake combines a heroine who is feisty and independent with a hero who is a man's man. No fluttering, no lace cravats. These characters feel real - with human failings that a reader can understand and relate to.
In the opening scene, Evaline gets drunk on her birthday and ends up in Lord Dashford's bed - something more than a few of us can relate to (I'm not talking about me. No, really). The resulting actions and reactions fill the book with drama and intrigue. And just when you think there isn't any reason for them not to be together, his fiance shows up - and the bridge is washed out, stranding them all together with nothing to do but have a picnic in the dining room.
What kept me interested in this book, in addition to the well written characters, was the humor. Let's face it, writing humor well is hard. But writing humor for Regency England? Yikes! The author has a real talent for using humor in the right place to make the characters and situations come alive and feel real to the reader.
The author writes a complex story and there are several subplots woven around the main romantic plot that keeps the reader hooked . Will Evaline's aunt succeed in her evil plotting? Why is there so much interest in the abandoned property next door? And why is the boat grotto so popular? Well, perhaps that last one is obvious.
I highly recommend reading Mistress By Mistake to everyone. To help make that possible, I'll be giving away an autographed copy of Mistress By Mistake (graciously provided by the author) next week. Check back Tuesday for further details - and tell all of your friends and followers.