Rhapsody's Reviews > More Than a Mistress

More Than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
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Feb 28, 10

bookshelves: romance, romance-regency
Read from February 28 to March 01, 2010

Very enjoyable novel. Jocelyn was a tough, reckless, violent hero who had a repressed sensitive and artistic nature. Jane, a lady in hiding, becomes his nurse when she interrupts his duel and gets him shot in the leg. He's amused by her impertinent nature, but she starts getting past his defenses, causing him to share pieces of himself that he'd long since buried. Great story about a powerful and lonely man "finding himself" again with the help of a beautiful damsel in distress.

It's been a while since I read a Balogh novel. She's really good about crafting believable love stories. Watching Jocelyn and Jane interact, I could really believe their attraction for each other and the progression of their love. Sometimes it was a bit contrived, but overall, it was really satisfying seeing the little ways in which they kept on getting closer.

This book stands out for me on one point. Usually in these books, the hero gets upset over some minor thing and treats the heroine really badly and I end up hating him for being unreasonable. This time though, I was actually able to sympathize with him. If anything, I think Jane didn't quite deserve him.

Jane kind of annoyed me. Fortunately, she got better, but I disliked her interrupting the duel. Whatever her opinion about duels, she should've minded her own business, especially when it was so critical that she keep her job (which she lost that same day, thanks to being late). Instead, she runs in there as she pleases, gets him shot (sort of), and then shows up at his house demanding he either write a note to her employers explaining why she was late, or give her a job. I just didn't like that spoiled, petulant attitude of hers, and even when she becomes Jocelyn's nurse, she continues to mouth off, even though she desperately needs to keep the job. It's not that I hate spirited heroines; but I hate irrational ones who refuse to face how the world works and can't control themselves enough to get by. If she'd been fired, she would have been SCREWED.

Finally...we keep hearing about how dangerous the duke of Tresham is, and we see how tough he is in the first scene where he's shot in the leg but still manages to nonchalantly ride off, but still, I'm used to Linda Howard alpha males. Although the narrative kept telling us how dangerous he could really be, I never once got a sense of that danger from him. I think the book would have been better if he'd been given more of a genuine edge.
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Reading Progress

02/28/2010 page 47
12.24% "Not bad, but the heroine annoys me. She interrupted a duel and got someone shot. Couldn't she have minded her own business?"

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