September 30, 2011
Did someone turn the heat up?
Maggie Robinson, Maggie Robinson, Maggie Robinson - hot! And, before I begin, let me just say I'm mighty interested in how you, Ms. Robinson, are going to turn Andrew into a hero. Really looking forward to that.
Spoilers all over the place.
Well, not too long ago I read a short story written by Ms. Robinson that was included in the anthology Improper Gentlemen. I knew right away that I needed to check out one of her full length books. And, I'm glad I did, I really enjoyed Mistress by Marriage. Did I mention this was a steamy book? Now, that's not necessarily the reason I liked it so much. I liked the couple, although I'm not sure why, because they both had some major problems and at times were not very likable. Especially Caroline. However, this had one of my favorite themes - the marriage of convenience or in this case marriage of inconvenience aka marriage gone wrong. This is also a story of opposites attract! Big time!
Once I got past the making your wife a mistress part of the book (a stretch for me), I really enjoyed the story. I loved the humor and sarcasm that played a big part in the book. One of the funniest continuing bits involved Caroline. You see she is an author of erotic romance, and she keeps killing off her husband in different gruesome ways in her books. I enjoyed the way her mind worked, it was a wonder to behold - the sarcastic thoughts that keep running through it were quite funny. Now, I did have a problem with Caroline, I thought she needed some Valium. She had no control over her temper, and a few times she turned into a nasty-spoiled-temper-tantrum-ugly woman. I would have liked for her to have had more control over her outbursts earlier in the book than she did. I'd have to call Caroline high maintenance.
And, then we have Edward - totally opposite of Caroline. Uptight - everything in its proper place - no scandals. Although how he thought that installing his wife in Courtesan Court wouldn't be scandalous was beyond me. Most men of his time period would have shipped her off to the country - so, that was another stretch. Anyway, all these stretches seem to work - Edward who can't keep his hands off of Caroline, doesn't like her, she gets on his nerves, she does things that embarrass him. And, Caroline is tired of the attraction she feels for Edward - she wants it over. You see, even though they live apart, he's visits her once a year - so there is always this reminder for both of them. I loved watching these two struggle, and it was a struggle...there are a lot of good-byes in this book. I also loved Edward’s list of what he expects his wife to be.
If Caroline had been less of a fit thrower, I would have enjoyed this book even more than I did. But overall, this is great fun and I'm really, really, looking forward to Andrew’s story. Great job Ms. Robinson!
Time/Place: Post-Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Yipes!!!