Sunday, January 31, 2010

His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls ****

I downloaded the free Kindle for iPhone App and have read a few books on the iPhone. It's pretty small but still, it's easy to hold and easy enough to read, and there's a bunch of FREE books as well as very inexpensive ones!

That being said, I downloaded this one for free, not expecting much (the free ones aren't always very good) and it was good! I hadn't read Rolls before, I'm not even familiar with her work at all, but it was actually better than I expected from something free from Amazon. I just read the review at All About Romance, and dang if now I don't feel guilty about liking it, since, yeah, some of the points the reviewer made are valid.

I think, besides being FREE, what made me like it was the ending when he's so besotted. I just love a besotted hero - although, I guess he doesn't really fit the prototype of a besotted hero who worships the heroine and always loved her from the beginning. So, now I'm not making much sense.

The heroine is Verity - who is now, Cinderella-esque, living as a servant in her aunt and uncle's home. (Oh, that's it - I love Cinderella stories!) There's a reason, which isn't really revealed until the end, why they are so mean to her - beside just being mean people. They've even made her change her name, I guessed at the beginning just to keep people from realizing she was related to them.

Years earlier, at 15, Verity had watched her father be buried in an unmarked grave, having committed suicide. An unnamed stranger had come to oversee the burial, and helped her plant flowers on the grave, then disappeared the next day. She's always kept him in her dreams and fantasies - then, lo, who should appear at a house party given by her aunt and uncle?

Max, now an earl, has really come to see how the young waif from that night fared. He had served under her father in the war, not being first in line for the earldom, but his older brother died, and he was born 30 minutes before his twin brother - now crippled - so he gets the title. However, his parents always blamed him for the twin being crippled and his mother made him promise he would never marry and/or produce an heir so the twin could get the title. Yeah, as if.

ok that plot point was pretty weak.

Verity (under her new name) attracts Max (she knows who he is; he doesn't know who she is) and he offers to keep her as his mistress to get her away from the awful family, who has told him Verity is dead. She turns him down, then changes her mind when she decides it would be a way to escape. Then, ooooops he discovers she is Verity and the fun begins. She doesn't want to be his mistress, she just wants to escape. He can't believe he deflowered his captain's daughter and decides they must marry but he can't boink her anymore because he promised Mama he wouldn't have children.

It seems to me, if he doesn't die before the twin, he's the earl forever anyway.

But really, it was all their misunderstandings - not The Big Miz - that actually I found realistic and liked. Rolls writes it very well, even if it's frustrating for them to so misunderstand each other. Verity has developed such a fantasy about Max, but Max has to take time to realize his own feelings towards her. There's the lust and chemistry, but then he also admires her courage and her tenacity. He does fall in love with her in time and that's the part I liked!

and the twin really didn't believe he deserved the earldom or that Max was the reason he was crippled, so that was a silly plot point.

OK I'm still going with my gut - 4 stars.

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