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The Mistress (Great Chicago Fire Trilogy, #2)
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The Mistress (Great Chicago Fire Trilogy #2)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,233 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
October 8, 1871 -- One small spark ignites the entire city of Chicago, sending its residents into panic. But amid the chaos, a case of mistaken identity leads to an unexpected new love.

As the historic fire ignites across town, Kathleen O'Leary finds herself dressed in borrowed diamonds and silk, enjoying a lavish masquerade. The penniless maid has caught the eye of Dylan F
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Mira (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,386)
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The girl: Kathleen O'Leary is maid to one of the ladies at a posh female academy (she's managed to suck up lots of book-learning helping her mistress study). As a lark, a couple of the more forward-thinking students decide to experiment and see if they can pass Kathleen off as a lady at a posh party. She's a smash in her fancy dress and borrowed jewels and catches the eye of the hottest bachelor to hit Chicago in years - but little does she know...

The guy: Dylan Francis Kennedy may look and soun
Marion Marchetto
This book is the second in as series written by Susan Wiggs. What drew me to purchase the book? 1) It is set in the United States and 2) it takes place on the night of the Chicago fire.

When Kathleen O'Leary (daughter of the woman who allegedly started the Chicago fire) accepts a dare from two upper-class girls to pass herself off as the daughter of an upper class family, she earns the attention of the most sought after bachelor in Chicago - Dylan Kennedy. What Kathleen and her friends don't kno
Nov 24, 2009 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Chicago Fire Trilogy by Susan Wiggs. The other two are The Hostage and The Firebrand. I enjoyed both these books very much, as well as The Lightkeeper. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about The Mistress. I couldn’t empathize with the con-artist hero, just as I have problems with pirate heroes. And if I don’t like the hero, than I have problems with the woman who loves him. The book was good enough for me to finish it. It has quite a bit of action in it an ...more
Katherine Coble
Definitely not Wiggs' best book. Of all her works, this is the one, I think, with the weakest central characters. Maybe it's because I always have a hard time relating to materialistic people, but the fact that the two leads spent most of the book mourning their lack of or in pursuit of more of the finer things in life left me feeling rather disengaged.

That being said, this still has all the trademark Wiggsisms that make her books such fun to read. There are the little period details, the proto
Aug 24, 2010 Marnie rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
These are the kind of books everyone loves to escape reality for just even a moment. Book two entails from the chicago series, Deborah's servant. She impersonates herself as being of the fine people and meets the man of her dreams. Or so she thought. The fine gentleman helps to keep her safe in the midst of the fire, as their feelings grow. Can't say much more without giving the good stuff away. The ending of course ends happily and predictable. But, Susan Wiggs, always seems to make you want mo ...more
Jun 29, 2014 R.G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always a bit humorous when 2 poor people dress up like their from money and then fall for each other thinking they've struck it rich... although Kathleen only did it because she's the maid of some rich girls who talked her into it to prove a point... but Dylan is a conman whose main priority is money and love just has to take a back seat... but having this set during the Chicago Fire adds that urgency of people just fighting to survive... it shows the desperation of all, the rich and the po ...more
Sep 15, 2014 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kathleen O'Leary was just a lady's servant, but Kathleen O’Leary was not short on smarts. While Deborah attended French classes and ballroom dancing, Kathleen was all eyes & ears and intertwining her heart into high society. When the Chicago Fire of 1872 sprang to life, Kathleen was taking Deborah's place at a social event in which a wager had been placed between two high society women; one saying no one would know Kathleen was only a maid and she would get an invite to the party tomorrow ni ...more
The Mistress - G
Wiggs, Susan - 2nd in Chicago Fire Trilogy

Masquerading as members of Chicago's upper crust at a glittering ball on the eve of the Great Chicago Fire, Kathleen O'Leary, a beautiful young maid, and con man Dylan Kennedy find themselves falling for each other, unaware of their mutual masquerade.

It was cute.
I loved the historical information about the Great Chicago Fire and the action that goes along with it.
Although I enjoyed the story, I have a hard time liking the male lead when he's a con man.
Second book in the Chicago Fire Trilogy. Ladies maid Kathleen O'Leary has borrowed a dress and jewels in order to attend a party with some friends. She catches the eye of Dylan Kennedy, the most eligible bachelor in Chicago. With the great fire sweeping down on them, they impulsively marry.

Now that they've survived the fire, Kathleen must tell Dylan that he has married a fraud. But the joke's on her. Dylan, a con artist who had only planned to steal her fortune, has been caught in his own game.

Kathleen O'Leary, a young personal maid to a rich girl, steps out of her role and for one night pretends to be something she is not, an heiress. On this night the great Chicago fire of 1872 starts and she begins to realize that her family is more important than all the riches she has dreamed about wanting. In an attempt to reach her family she helps a convict who tried to rob her helps save a church, helps rescue people.

Dylan Kennedy is the talk of Chicago society, handsome, from a wealthy Bosto
Mar 14, 2011 Mojca rated it it was amazing
When a “love story” starts with a deception you know you’re in for a treat. This one started with two deceptions. Both Kathleen and Dylan pretended to be something they weren’t. And their story, how they got to know each other in deception, fell in love, discovered each other’s duplicity, pretended nothing ever happened, but never managed to stay apart, was a real (double) treat to behold.

I cannot say I was moved by their story as much as by Deborah and Tom’s sweeping tale (The Hostage), but it
Nancy Donaghue
Oct 12, 2013 Nancy Donaghue rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was interested in the setting--Chicago during the Great Fire--but the writing is weak and the two main characters are unsympathetic.

I kept reading to see what author would do with Mrs. O'Leary, Kathleen's mother. Catherine O'Leary was a real person, believed by many to have accidentally started the fire, thanks to a journalist who made up a story about the fire's start. He later retracted it, but it was too late. That's where this comes from:

Late one night, when we were all in bed,
Old Mother
I thought this book was average at best until the last three chapters. I love a sweet and satisfying ending, and this one has that, and more!

The Hostage and now The Mistress read more like fiction than romance novels, but there is just enough romance to keep me, an avid romance fan, interested.

The books take place during the Great Chicago fire of 1871, and I have enjoyed reading about this time in our nation's history through these characters eyes.

Katherine was the best part of this book. Not
Diana Senn
Feb 20, 2014 Diana Senn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all readers
Shelves: romance
Mis understands, mistaken identity and a love that over comes all. Back to the Chicago fire and meet the daughter of Oleary and live a live in the time of the fire. Background info is good and close to history. Go with her and live the days of the fire and fall in love with her savior. Meet her family ad the local priest, some high hand cheats, a black rail worker and a few other along the way
Manang Jean
The second in the Chicago Fire trilogy is the story of Kathleen O'Leary (personal 'maid'- this term seems not cool in 2014 - to Deborah Sinclair, the lead in the first book 'The Hostage'). I give it only 2 stars compared to the other two with 4 stars each. The lead guy Dylan Kennedy sort of stays in the background. I don't know if that's because he's not rich and powerful?
Jul 21, 2015 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chicago Fire Trilogy

This book was fun to read. The first book in the series was slow, and I almost gave up the whole set. Glad I read this one. The Epilogue of The Mistress is just not in keeping with the wit of the rest of the book and reminded me of the beginning of book 1.
I didn't like either the hero or heroine in this story, making it a struggle to finish. Only the historical background kept me interested for the majority of the book. I'll finish the trilogy, because I'm 2/3 of the way through, but I'd never have finished this if if were a standalone.
Nov 04, 2010 Amos added it
Walmart 8/6/2010. Plan to start pm 11/2/2010 while I vote and attend diabetic support meeting. up till 7:30am could not finish untill i woke at 5:44 pm done at 6: pm 11/4/2010. Hard to quit but had to stop and think about what was said. Again "Crime can pay" Legal Dishonesty very profitable. Chicago Board of Trade. several mentions of Pullman cars. Private Railroad cars built for the very rich. Comparable to modern private Jets. Several Scenes Surrounding St Bridget's church. And how it survived ...more
Carrie Hinkel-Gill
I'm listening to the abridged version. I'm not a big fan of abridged versions because I always feel like I'm missing something from the story, but it's still a good way to enjoy more books. If I'm not reading a book, I'm listening to one!

I've finished this audio version and I must say, I didn't like it at all. It wasn't because the story was bad, it's that the abridged version was too choppy and you could easily tell that dialogue was missing in spots and that you didn't have all the info when i
Sep 08, 2010 Patricia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. The first book was simply enjoyable, with the kind of hero and heroine I truly enjoy reading about. This one? Not so much. The hero is a con artist who makes his lving swindling and conning people. I had no respect for him, even if he did do a couple of good deeds throughout the story. I loved Kathleen, save for one major fault. She will wanted this man, knowing he was a thief, con artist, and swindler! What happened, Susan Wiggs? The first novel was so enjoyable, but this one just seriousl ...more
Book 2 in the trilogy on the Great Chicago Fire. The book was good and despite being 400 pages, it did not drag or contain a lot of filler. Winner of the RITA award.
Sep 07, 2014 Rayna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read another of her books and enjoyed it. Thought I would like this one as it was set during the Chicago fires but just turned out to be more of a romance novel than historical fiction.
Ellen Thielen
Jun 19, 2016 Ellen Thielen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As romance novels go...this was a good one. The depiction of the Chicago fire was amazing, and the characters were fun.
Feb 23, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kathleen O'Leary, ladies maid to Deborah Sinclair goes to a society outing pretending to be an heiress.
there she meets Dylan Francis Kennedy, who is also a pretender. They have a magical moment at this outing. Chicago is on fire and they meet again, hastily get married and soon discover each others deception. Dylan is a con artist but Kathleen did not give up on him, she wanted to make this marriage work and teach him that he can change his ways. The back story of the Chicago fire was very inte
Apr 08, 2016 RaeLatte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Discover what really happened during the great and tragic Chicago fire.
Feb 25, 2016 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#2 of the Chicago Fire Trilogy
Quite an nice twist, pleasant read.
Livie Osborn
I had such high expectations after reading the first of this series,and let me tell you,those expectations were not met!
The first chapters were exactly like the first book,they never let you get to know the characters,and the ending was very unbelievable.
Jun 24, 2011 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone

Kathleen is a maid, but for one night she gets to pretend to be an heiresses. Then she catches the eye of Chicagos most elgible bachelor, who happenes to also have a secret of his own.
I fell in love with the hostage from the very beginning! Therefore i had very high expectations of this book! While I dont think it was quite as good as the hostage it still had a gripping story to it kept my attention. Susan Wiggs is a very talented author and I look forward to reading The Firebrand and her ot
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 05, 2015 10:19AM  
  • The Wildest Heart
  • Open Country (Blood Rose, #2)
  • Silk and Secrets (Silk Trilogy, #2)
  • Fountain of Dreams (Akora, #4)
  • Dark Angel / Lord Carew's Bride (Stapleton-Downes, #3-4)
  • Lady of Conquest (Brides of Legend #2)
  • The Virgin's Secret (Lost City, #2)
  • Along Came Trouble (The Trinity Harbor Trilogy, #3)
  • Lily
  • The Passions of Emma
  • Mad about the Duke (Bachelor Chronicles, #7)
  • Love and the Single Heiress (Regency, #2)
  • An Illicit Engagement (The Gentlemen Next Door, #2)
  • One Wicked Sin (The Scandalous Women of the Ton, #2)
  • Seduction (The Spymaster's Men, #1)
  • The Reckless Bride (Black Cobra Quartet, #4)
  • An Affair Without End (Willowmere, #3)
  • Speak Only Love (Regency Duo, #1)
Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See ...more
More about Susan Wiggs...

Other Books in the Series

Great Chicago Fire Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Hostage (Great Chicago Fire Trilogy #1)
  • The Firebrand (Great Chicago Fire Trilogy #3)

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