July 25, 2011
Those Dudley's are back!
At last, Mary Balogh's prequel to More than a Mistress and No Man's Mistress. And, to be honest with you, even though I have More than a Mistress as one of my favorite Balogh's books, I don't really remember too much of it. Probably need to reread. Anyway, this is the Dudley family's sister Angeline's story. And, it reminds me of some of Balogh's more traditional regency stories, but with humor. So, wipe that sweat off your brow - you won't need any Valium for this book.
First of all, I had to keep reminding myself how really young the two main characters were in this book. Angeline is 19 and Edward is 24, and in Angeline's case her youth shows. Angeline appears to be a very happy person, dare I say bubbly. Her enjoyment of the world she is living in is beyond breathtaking... she is vivid, bright; everywhere she goes she is enthusiastic. Angeline is perky. Yes, we have a perky heroine and I loved her. She was so delightful, but there is a secret behind her chatty-Kathy exterior. When she gets nervous, she fills her silences with words. While some readers may find her a bubble-head, I thought she was great fun and it was nice to read a Balogh heroine who wasn't some drama queen.
Then we have the adorable stuffed-shirt, stiff Heyward. He likes boring. He's picked out a wife, his childhood friend, and they are going to have a bland, calm life together. The moments that Angeline first charges into his life are very funny and very unsettling to Heyward. He tries to stay away from her, but he just cannot help being drawn into her brightness.
I loved this couple. I thought they were sweet. In fact, the whole story is a delight; there's not too much tension, no villains, no outside interference, just a story about two opposites who attract. It's a simple, traditional love story. I was a little puzzled about the title because it isn't until almost the end that we get to see why "mistress" was used. This was also a weak moment in the book, at least for me.
This is not in paperback form yet. At this time it is in hardback and ebook, so the price for the printed copy is hardback price.
But, if you want a read that's charming, enjoyable and relaxing this one is for you.
Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm