In her most captivating novel to date, Mary Balogh, the premier writer of Regency-era romantic fiction, invites you into a world of scandal and seduction, of glittering high society and startling intrigue, as an arrogant duke does the unthinkable-- he falls in love with his mistress.
More Than a Mistress
He is bad-tempered, reckless, a man superior in his abilities to charm and delight women. The greatest matrimonial prize in all of Christendom, he is the scandalous Duke of Tresham. When a young woman interferes in his Hyde Park duel, causing him to get shot, he hires her as his nurse, vowing that she will share his misery during his convalescence. Far too bold for her own good, Jane Ingleby is the kind of woman a man might find beautiful were it not for her impudence. She questions the duke's every move, scolds his bad manners, breaches his secrets, and touches his soul. When Tresham offers to set Jane up in his London town house, love is the last thing on his mind. And hers. Trying to pretend it is strictly business, an arrangement she must accept in order to conceal a dangerous secret, Jane suspects there is nothing more perilous than being the lover of such a man. Yet as she gets past his devilish facade and sees the noble heart within, she discovers the greatest jeopardy of all--a passion that drives her to risk everything on one perfect month with the improper gentleman who thinks love is for fools. Hailed by critics as "sensual," "unforgettable," "a matchless storyteller,"* Mary Balogh has captured the hearts of readers with her novels of breathtaking romance. In More than a Mistress she dazzles us once again with a love story that sizzles with wit and sensuality--a rare gem of wondrous storytelling that holds readers enthralled from first page to last. *Romantic Times
In her assured hardcover debut, Balogh (One Night for Love) serves up two Regency-era characters determined not to fall in love with each other, despite their shared aesthetic sensibilities, uncontrollable physical attraction and increasingly intimate friendship. The predictability of their predicament--they come from different social classes--is compensated for by an authentic London high society setting and the smart, sexy dialogue between Jocelyn Dudley, duke of Tresham, and Jane Ingleby, the two attractive, headstrong protagonists. Jocelyn is an avowed bachelor, rake and accomplished duelist. While preparing to fire his pistol during a duel, he is interrupted by a woman's scream urging him to stop. Jocelyn hesitates and is shot in the leg. Furious, he confronts the disruptive woman, milliner's assistant Jane, who is impudent beyond her station in accusing him of foolishly risking his life. As punishment, he insists she be his nurse for the three weeks he is recuperating. Jane is proud and feisty because, actually, she's not really a common serving girl. She's the orphan Lady Sara Illingsworth, who mistakenly believes she killed a man who was attempting to rape her. She fled her home in Cornwall for London, but without money or protection, her future seems bleak. When Tresham recovers his health, Jane agrees to stay on as his mistress, partly in order to remain hidden, but also because she is falling in love with him. Although some intrigue surfaces when Tresham's previous romantic entanglements make him the target of a husband's vengeance, the real story is the dynamic love-hate relationship between Jane and Tresham, their many obstacles to happiness parried with fiery wit and spirit.