The Secret MistressBook - 2011
THE SECRET MISTRESS
While Lady Angeline Dudley's pedigree dictates that she must land a titled gentleman, the irrepressible beauty secretly longs for a simple, ordinary suitor. No wild rakes like the men of her family, just a kind heart and good nature. So when Edward Ailsbury, the new Earl of Heyward, rescues her with unmatched civility from the advances of a scoundrel, Angeline thinks that she has found her true love. Persuading the earl is another matter entirely.
Edward has his future neatly mapped out. He hopes to wed his steadfast companion, a woman who shares his values of loyalty, respect, and decorum. But arriving in London to take his seat in the House of Lords, he is derailed by Angeline, an exquisite bird of paradise seemingly devoted to sending his predictable life into chaos.
From the brilliant hues of her fashion to her hoydenish antics, Angeline is the last woman on earth for Edward. And yet a stolen kiss in the moonlight awakens something deep and primal within him. Naturally, being a gentleman, he does the right thing after compromising a lady: He offers marriage.
Angeline knows that Edward's proposal is born of duty, not love. But denying something so provocative and passionate is easier said than done. Deep down, Angeline believes that Edward's dedication to convention will melt behind closed doors, where sensuality and seduction play wicked games. For a proper wife by day can become a husband's secret mistress by night, when delicious desire rules.
From the critics
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This is the prequel to More Than a Mistress and No Man's Mistress.
It is Angeline and Heyward's story, for which a number of readers have asked. They are already married in the other two Mistress books, but they seem a mismatched pair though her brothers do admit to each other, in some disgust, that they seem besotted with each other. I decided that it was time to discover for myself exactly how these two came together.
Lady Angeline Dudley is nineteen years old and wildly excited to be making her come-out at last. She is eager to find a husband, but she does not want a rake like her brothers or her father, much as she adores them. She wants someone far more steady. And she thinks she has found him when she is caught alone in an inn taproom on her way to London (very scandalously) and one man accosts her while another defends her and insists that the first apologize. She promptly falls in love with her rescuer, Edward Ailsbury, Earl of Heyward, without even knowing who he is, and decides that she will marry him even without knowing that she will see him ever again. That is the kind of woman she is!
Edward meanwhile is appalled by the indiscreet behavior of the woman he is forced to defend in the taproom, as well as by the shocking pink of her dress. He hopes fervently that he will never set eyes upon her again. He too is on his way to London for the Season. It is time to choose a bride, and he had his mind set upon an old friend, the very staid and sensible Eunice Goddard. Little does he know that his female relatives are lining up a bride for him—Lady Angeline Dudley, in fact, sister of the Duke of Tresham. Even less does he realize that Lady Angeline and the pink lady at the inn are one and the same.
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