Mistress by Midnight
Kensington Brava, Jan 1 2011, $14.00
Desmond Ryland, the Marquess of Conover, wants nothing to do with an arranged marriage as he loves his childhood friend and neighbor Laurette Vincent. They exchange vows to each other in secrecy and make love. Laurette becomes pregnant giving birth to a daughter she conceals from Con.
Con completes his obligation by marrying the arranged bride and siring the heir. He deserts his wife and son going overseas for the next decade. When he learns his spouse died, he comes home to see his Laurette. Although they still love one another, Laurette has doubts especially since he abandoned his heir. Desperate to win over his beloved, Con blackmails her into becoming his mistress using the one pawn he could control her with; an interim step until he can marry her.
Mistress by Midnight is an enjoyable Regency romance starring two fascinating lead characters. Whereas Laurette sacrificed her place in society to raise their love child; Con completed his obligation to society and fled instead of staying to raise his heir. Fans will admire the heroine while hissing at the lead male for abandoning his offspring. Although the story line slows down somewhat in the middle, readers will enjoy wondering whether Con can achieve his quest as he has a lot of baggage to overcome.