More Than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm going to start repeating myself, but I just love Ms. Balogh's writing! No other modern author is as apt at "transporting" me to Regency London as her. All it takes is the first paragraph, and the setting is crystal clear in my mind and I find myself in another time and space. More Than a Mistress was no exception: I was captivated from the start, and Jocelyn and Jane were another great couple to be added to my all-time favorite H/h in Romancelandia.
Let me admit that I thought I would have some difficulty adjusting to the hero's name, Jocelyn, since it isn't a name I'm used to associating with a man. And I remembered complaining about the heroine's name in another book I had read recently, so I knew I was shallow enough to care about that, LOL. Well, Ms. Balogh could have named Jocelyn anything she wanted and I would still not be bothered! Yes, I was that entranced by him and Ms. Balogh even managed to make the first time Jane said his name a special and touching moment. *sighs*
This was neither a love-at-first-sight or lust-at-first-sight tale. There wasn't even a spark of physical attraction between Jocelyn and Jane when they first met. This was a story about two people getting to know each other, opening up emotionally and falling steadily in love. And the build up was fully packed with emotion and sensual awareness: their first kiss, their first waltz... I could see them falling in love before my eyes, and I couldn't have been happier. They were just perfectly matched!
Now, I have to make a special remark about the ending... There's an unpublished epilogue on Ms. Balogh's website that should have never been cut during editing, IMHO. Okay, the epilogue wasn't really necessary to give closure to the story - everything was pretty much wrapped up by the end of the book the way it was published - but that "extra moment" with Jocelyn and Jane gave the certainty that he had truly conquered his past "demons" and was finally at peace. Not to mention that it was more than nice to see them frolicking in the grass... ;)
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