Mistress by Mistake
by Maggie Robinson
Maggie Robinson makes her writing debut with the "Courtesan Court" series, which revolves around Jane Street, where the crème de la crème of courtesan society lives. The first book in the series, Mistress by Mistake, introduces us to Charlotte Fallon and Sir Michael Bayard.
Charlotte Fallon has flown to her sister's side after a deceptive letter has convinced her of danger. Of course, when she arrives she finds no danger at all, just a sister looking to escape her commitment as a mistress by marrying another man. Unlike her sister, Charlotte has a conscience and decides to stay to deliver the news to the jilted protector in person rather than leaving a note.
Sir Michael Bayard has been delayed with the details of closing up his familial estate after his grandmother passed unexpectedly and does everything in his power to rush back to his mistress' side. Anticipation has made his…heart…grow fonder and he can't resist the temptation of this beauty asleep in the bed. Although in the morning he and Charlotte work out all the details of his mistake, he is not disappointed with the woman that has been left behind for him. When it is discovered that his family's heirloom ruby necklace is missing he holds Charlotte responsible, requiring her to stay in the house until it is retrieved.
Unfortunately for the blooming relationship, a piece of Michael's past comes back to haunt him. As a young man Michael fell in love with a woman, Anne, who wasn't completely single then and now isn't completely sane. Anne has spent the last decade popping in and out of his life, always leaving him a little worse for wear. Since her husband has passed on she has decided she wants Michael's baby and will do anything to get it.
Separately these characters were quite enjoyable. I liked the personal growth they each experienced, agreed with the decisions they made, and liked spending time with them. For the most part, their interactions were all wrapped up in the physical side of the relationship, but the sensuality of the scenes was phenomenal. They were explicit without being crude, and once the physical relationship was established they became merely background scenes instead of taking up the majority of the plotline.
Ultimately, I didn't feel enough of an emotional connection develop between Charlotte and Michael and would have enjoyed more dialogue between the two. The last quarter of the book seemed to drag on and on; at many points it felt as if the natural conclusion could have occurred. There seemed to be complication after complication for these two when really I was just ready for them to be together and be done.
This was Maggie Robinson's first published book and although there was some slight tightening that would have made the book more enjoyable for me, overall I liked Mistress by Mistake. I am looking forward to reading Robinson's future novels.
“A case of mistaken identity leads to a steamy romance.”
May 2010, 320 pages
Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once--and she's paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she'd never succumb to men's desires again. But even a village spinster's life miles from temptation can't save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost. .
. Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He'd fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn't expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them. . .
A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society's judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love. . .