The Perfect Mistress
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The Perfect Mistress (Sinful Family Secrets #1)

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  1,045 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Let #1 "New York Times" bestselling author Victoria Alexander sweep you away with her dazzling new romance, in which one otherwise proper lady discovers that passion is her legacy. . . Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book--a very shocking book--that every gentleman in London seems to want. For a charismatic businessman, it's a chance to build an empire. For...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Zebra Books (first published February 1st 2001)
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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker
Disclaimer- I am a historical romance virgin. I've read only a few and thus, I have only a few to compare this book to. End of silly disclaimer.

I liked this book. I didn't love it and frankly, I became bored with all the witty banter back and forth between the two main characters- Julia and Harrison. It was cute for the first 3 or 4 chapters, but after that I wanted them to shut up and get their clothes off already. In addition, the plot was lost in all the silly banter back and forth and was ea...more
SidneyKay
Yakety Yak...don't Talk Back!!

The Perfect Mistress, by Victoria Alexander, is what appears to be the first in a series of books about three friends, Julia, Portia, and Veronica. All widows (although, I couldn't find anything confirming my assumption at her website). This is the story of Julia and Harrison and it's full of Victoria Alexander's trademark humor... and I do mean full of! Now, how you feel about the abundance of said humor may determine whether you like the book or not.

C-a-u-s-e, let...more
Nath
2.5/5 (C-)

The biggest problem with this book was the H/H and their romance. To put it plainly: the characters were boring ^_^; Harrison was too pompous and stuffy. In this kind of storyline, you expect the hero to change, that his dynamics with the heroine will bring out the more boyish or relaxed side of him... Open his eyes to his life and what it could be and usually, this is all done through fun stuff. However, it wasn't the case in The Perfect Mistress. There were many mentions about how Ha...more
Amy Lignor
This #1 New York Times Bestselling author has proven many a time that her amazing intelligence and wonderful wit appeals to millions and millions of readers. This newest offering is no exception. With the thousands upon thousands of romance, historical, and British novels, Ms. Alexander is still the only writer that can weave all the genres together to form a perfect literary quilt.

In this new novel we're introduced first to Lady Hermione Middlebury, who is penning her memoirs in order to leave...more
Joelle
Harrison Landingham, the Earl of Mountdale, was making plans. He is ready to settle down and fulfill his obligations to his family and his title by marrying a woman suitable to his station and wants heirs.He has a list of qualifications in a wife She would be well-bred and of impeccable family background.She would have a pleasing appearance and look well on his arm at social functions.She must be a perfect hostess and social affairs .She would make sure his household was well run and his meals w...more
BRNTerri
Widowed Lady Julia Winterset is in posession of her late great-grandmother’s memoir. She’s looking for a publisher who’ll publish it. She’s in desperate need of funds and that’s how she meets the hero, Harrison Landingham, Lord Mountdale. He’s trying to buy the memoir from her because it contains scandalous information about his father.

That pretty much sums up the whole story. I’m sorry to say I didn’t like this novel at all. I found it to be very tedious and long-winded. I felt indifferent tow...more
Virginia
Laugh out loud funny! I was not expecting the characters to be so likable (not to mention funny!). I actually did laugh out loud on several occasions. Absurd,(I mean, there are ghosts!), fun, and thoroughly enjoyable. It was believable to watch these two characters fall in love and for once, both of these people had brains and actually used them!
Cynthia Thomason
This was a fun read. The very proper hero had major adjustments to make with the heroine and her best friend, but his change was gradual, believable and delightful. Conflict was little light, certainly not edge of seat, but the story kept my interest and I would recommend it.
Kellianne Stevens
In spite of a slow beginning I really enjoyed this latest book from Victoria Alexander. Again, her clever characters and their witty dialogue bring laugh-out-loud humor to this story. Julia and Harrison were a fun couple and "the scene" was very well done.
Kym Collar
I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. Neither of the protagonists are sympathetic characters. In spite of Julia supposedly being an independent woman, she shows a remarkable lack of backbone. I wanted to smack her. And Harrison is a pompous, chauvinistic ass. Apparently, Harrison is supposed to come to accept Julia's right to make her own decisions, but he really doesn't. These characters were very one dimensional. The plot had an interesting premise, but I just think it was po...more
Judy
The young widow, Julia Winterset, had just come into her great grandmothers memoirs. And to say they were scandalous would be a kind word. After Hermione's husband had passed when she was 24 she decided to take life in her own hands and enjoy it. She had a daughter and son who became estranged to her but she had many grand adventures in her life.

Julia had not known her Grandmother Eleanor even existed until her parents were killed six years before. She took over providing for her grandmother who...more
Jennie
The start of what I suspect is a new series for Ms. Alexander, this was a fun read involving the lives of several generations of our heroine, Julia Winterset's family. Julia, a young widow, is struggling financially after the unexpected death of her husband. She supports not only herself, but her grandmother's household in the country...a grandmother Julia only found out existed after her parents died. Julia's plans to recover financially involve publishing her great-grandmother's memoirs...tile...more
Bookaholics
The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander
Historical Romance – January 25th, 2011
4 ½ stars

The Perfect Mistress tells the story of Lady Julia Winterset. After the death of her husband, Julia is left in desperate financial straights. This compels her to try and secure a future for herself by selling the inheritance left to her by her great grandmother. The Perfect Mistress is a set of personal memoirs of her great grandmother Lady Hermione Middlebury. Julia plans have them published. But they a...more
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
Lady Julia Winterset is a widow whose financial security is dwindling and she needs to get some income pretty quickly. Her salvation, she hopes, is the inheritance of a memoir or manuscript written by her great-grandmother, Lady Hermione Middlebury, who wrote down explicit details of what she calls her adventures (affairs) after she was widowed at the age of 24. Her adventures are quite scandalous, but since she’s been dead for more than 30 years Julia doesn’t think anyone in the memoir is likel...more
Marcie
This book made laugh out loud several times with the intriguing female characters. It is not of the same quality of writing as some of my other 4-star books, but it is a fun, light romance novel after all and not being considered part of the modern literary cannon. There is not a lot of explicitness early on in the book but quite a bit of witty bantering, comedic situations between characters, and a generally fun plot device in the haunting of a great-granddaughter by her great-grandmother (a no...more
Rhonda Eason
I thought this book was awful. I knew the ending (the disposition of the memoirs and how her money issue would be resolved) from about the second or third chapter. What bothered me the most was the repetition of phrasing. Here are some words/phrases that are heavily repeated: she sniffed, she huffed, long-suffering sigh, brows pulled together, brows furrowed, face became awashed with ____(insert noun. These descriptions are repeated no less than fifteen times each and with an e-book it's easy to...more
Rose May
Note: This review, and all my reviews, comes from my blog - Romantic Rose's Bookshelf (http://romantic-rosesblog.blogspot.com)

Alexander’s singular wit and charm cannot be missed, especially in her characters. All of the characters – both our main couple (Julia and Harrison) and their friends and family – possessed extraordinary sarcastic wits. It made for some of the most amusing dialogue I’ve read in a very long time (although Bewitching by Jill Barnett is another book with the same sarcastic h...more
Vanessa theJeepDiva
Some of my New Years resolutions involved books. Books are an enormous part of my life. I decided to read a new (for me) genre and a new (for me) author each month. I kicked off the New Year with both in one book.
Julia, Veronica and Portia are three close friends who all happen to be widows at a young age, living in late 1800 England. Julia’s husband left her with many financial worries. Three years after his death she has decided to sell her great-grandmother’s memoirs to keep a roof over her...more
April
THE PERFECT MISTRESS by Victoria Alexander is a delightful,engaging historical romance with paranormal aspects set in 1885 London,England.It is well written with depth,details,turns and twists.It has romance, love,ghosts,witty banter,sweet sensuality,a
sassy romp,misunderstanding,trust,scandal from the past waiting to come to light,secrets,grand adventures,and finding true love.This is the story of "The Perfect Mistress: The Memoirs of Lady Hermione Middlebury.The heroine, Lady Julia Winterset,is...more
Amanda The Book Slayer
This is a book about a book! I know it sounds funny, but it worked out okay. Julia Winterset is a widow and her late husbands family cut her off from any financial help. She is forced to sell her Great Grandmother's memoirs, which she dubbed 'The Perfect Mistress.' Not everyone is excited to read about them because they don't want their family names dragged through scandals, no matter how old.

Recommend: If you are looking for an in between book and aren't too picky try this Historical Romance.

Th...more
Kari
ulia is a widow who is financially strapped, having been cut off from her dead husband's allowance. She decides to sell her great-grandmother's memoirs to make money. This sets off an amusing string of events that has three suitors trying to woo her in order to get the book. I have not had the pleasure of reading anything by Ms. Alexander before, so I was pleasantly surprised with her latest. I liked Julia and Harrison. Thought they had great chemistry together. Harrison was such an amusing char...more
Monkeyface
Listened to The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander. Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, inherited a shocking book that every gentleman in London wants. For a charismatic businessman, it could be a chance to build an empire. For a dashing novelist, it could guarantee fame. But to a certain proud, domineering earl, it means everything? Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, cannot let the obstinate Julia release her shameless memoir, as it would ruin his family's name. The only way to stop her may...more
Becky
(3.5, but I'll round up since the good parts are more memorable than the questionable ones - and I liked the ending.)

As other reviewers have noted, this is not a book that prides itself on historical accuracy. There are more than a few instances where (especially female) characters say or do things that have a distinct 21st century flavor. For the most part, though, they were a temporary distraction. The story itself was cute, and the dialogue between Julia and Harrison was fun to read. The "big...more
Meg
3.5 stars. This was actually the 1st in a trilogy - I read #2 and 3 first. Doesn't really matter, although I prefer to read things in order. Perfectly fun read. I enjoyed this series - 3 young widows who become friends. Partly because the characters are a little older (late 20s to early 30s), a little wiser (and wittier), and are freed from some societal constrictions, but also just because the series was quite a romp.
Jessi
I was not loving this book but it did grow on me a bit by the end. I was a bit disturbed by the idea of read the rather sexy memoirs of your great-grandmother. My great-grandmother is still alive at 97 and I definitely do not want to know about her scandalous side. Also, our hero is way to stodgy in the beginning, which would have been okay, but I felt like his shift to a somewhat more flexible and fun personality was too abrupt. I liked the independence of the heroine, although I also felt that...more
Kristen
This book was all talk and no action. Literally. The characters spend the entire book in conversation: with each other, with themselves, with ghosts...it's endless and mind-numbingly boring. Every last infernal thought is rehashed within an inch of its life. Occasionally, there are brief moments of witty dialogue. But that's about the best I can say.
Jessi
Julia, Lady Winterset, is down to her last few months of money. Her husband's family cut her off. The only thing she has left to sell is a shocking book, written by her great-grandmother. Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, doesn't want the book to be published. It contains information about his father that Harrison really doesn't want to come to light. Julia doesn't want to sell the book just once, she wants the royalties. Besides, Harrison is pissing her off.
But will she be able to withst...more
Alisa Jenkins
Disclaimer: I am not good at writing reviews

Story about Lord Mountdale who is so proper and stuffy meeting Lady Winterset who in his opinion is annoying. Lady Winterset wishes to publish her great-grandmother's memoirs, Lord Mountdale wishes them not to be published. As the story progressing we see their love affair progressing as well. Lord Mountdale is constantly "screwing-up" doing what he thinks is best for everyone, as well as putting his foot in his mouth every time he talks or argues with...more
Linda
My first exposure to this author and I'm glad this wasn't a series, though I could have seen it as one for the three widows who went from shrinking violets to confident women.

There was nothing wrong with this book,it was just busy and dry. We have supposed "racy" excerpts from the memoirs of the main character's great grandmother, family drama for the hero and heroine, a dash of the paranormal and a dog adoption along with the usual romance. Way too much to keep track of in the limited number o...more
Julie
I really enjoyed this romance which is the prequel to another book I loved, His Mistress by Christmas. This is a fun Victorian historical about of an aristocratic widow in need of funds who decides to publish her g-grandmother's scandalous memoirs. In so doing, she winds up fending off the attentions of three different men who want the memoirs for their own particular reasons. Of course, the stuffiest, stodgiest and - most good looking of them all - captures her heart. Humor, passion and some de...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.

Since the publication of her first book in 1995,...more
More about Victoria Alexander...
The Wedding Bargain (Effingtons, #1) A Little Bit Wicked (Last Man Standing, #1) What A Lady Wants (Last Man Standing, #2) The Husband List (Effingtons, #2) Seduction of a Proper Gentleman (Last Man Standing, #4)

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