Monday, July 14, 2008

The Mistress Diaries-Julianne MacLean

The Mistress Diaries
Julianne MacLean
Avon, Aug 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780061456848

In 1873 widow Lady Cassandra Montrose and Lord Vincent Sinclair share passionate evening of lovemaking. Both consider the tryst a one night stand. However, to her consternation Cassandra, who believed she was barren, becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter.

One year has past since they made love. Due to inheritance pressure from his dad, Vincent is engaged to marry Lady Letitia Markham, daughter of a duke, when Cassandra arrives with their three month old child June that she has raised as a single mom. However, Cassandra fears she is dying so pleads with Vincent to raise their love child. He is stunned by instant desire to make love to his unexpected visitor. To care for her and their baby, he persuades her to pretend to be his mistress. However, that is not good enough for him as he wants her to be his wife and their child his legitimate offspring.

Although the underlying theme of a woman giving birth out of wedlock has been used quite frequently in contemporary romances, it is rare to see this “matchmaking” ploy applied to a Victorian. The story line is fast-paced as Cassandra, worried about June’s well being, accepts Vincent’s offer of her being his mistress; neither consider marriage as an option even as their passion turns to love. Although Letitia comes across as a shrew, the lead couple makes for a fine tale as he must choose between inheritance and love; acceptable behavior and scandal; and duty and friendship. here is June for him to consider too. Juliana MacLean turns Vincent’s options of for love or money into a fabulous Victorian romance.

Harriet Klausner

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