Reviews for Secret Mistress

Booklist Reviews 2011 April #2
Impulsive Lady Angeline Dudley knows she will never be the petite blond beauty her late mother was, especially given the unfashionably bright colors and outrageous bonnets she adores. She is so excited to finally be on her way to London for her long-delayed season that she imprudently goes to the empty taproom of the inn in which she waits impatiently for her brother, the Duke of Tresham. She soon finds herself in an awkward position, but Edward Ailsbury, Earl of Heyward, characterized by some as stuffy and an old stick, comes to her defense. In London, Angeline's and Edward's families both think they would be a perfect match, but when Edward proposes, Angeline, who has fallen hard for him, refuses because, even though she wants him, she wants him to love her. These unusual protagonists, considered odd or boring by their peers, are kind, considerate, virtuous, and have secret depths. Balogh, the current nonpareil of Regency romance, has imbued this story with heady sensuality and an eighteenth-century sensibility, complete with curtains fluttering and birds singing. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews 2011 March #1

Here's a prequel to Balogh's popular "Mistress" series about the Dudley family. When Edward Ailsbury, the new Earl of Heyward, saves Lady Angeline Dudley from an embarrassing situation, she's not just grateful--she falls in love. Of course, he takes a little persuading. Balogh is on a tear; she starts the summer out nicely with a two-in-one combo of More Than a Mistress and No Man's Mistress, and in the last year she has debuted higher and higher on the New York Times best sellers list. An Editors' Spring Pick, LJ 2/15/11.

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Library Journal Reviews 2011 June #2

From the instant the serious, unassuming Edward Ailsbury, the Earl of Heyward, comes to the defense of the flamboyant, irrepressible Lady Angeline Dudley by calmly challenging a flirtatious rake in a roadside inn, she knows he is the only man she will ever love. Studious, principled, and proper to a fault, Edward is totally unlike the careless, wild rascals in Angeline's family, and that, of course, makes him perfect for her; now if only Angeline can convince the earl that she is perfect for him! Old enmities, preconceived notions, incorrect assumptions, hidden insecurities, and woefully misunderstood feelings keep this pair confused, attracted, and at odds--until a strategic bit of meddling finally, and most effectively, sets things to rights. VERDICT With exceptional insight and uncommon flair, Balogh holds readers in thrall as she takes a staid, dutiful nobleman, pairs him with an impulsive, fun-loving heroine with an outrageous sense of style (especially when it comes to bonnets), and proves, quite definitively, that opposites do attract. Exquisite character development, sparkling wit, and a memorable supporting cast are additional highlights; the puzzling title eventually becomes delightfully clear. Balogh (The Secret Affair) lives in Canada. Note: Angeline's two older brothers ultimately bite the matrimonial bullet in stories that were written a decade earlier but follow this one in time and will be reissued in a single volume this month. See "Second Time Around" on p. 66. [The Secret Mistress was an Editors' Spring Pick, LJ 2/15/11.--Ed.]

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 April #1

Regency romance doyenne Balogh (A Secret Affair) pairs a staid young nobleman with a vivacious debutante in this top-notch tale. When the headstrong Lady Angeline Dudley, sister of the wealthy duke of Tresham, is accosted by the rakish Lord Windrow, she immediately falls for the ordinary-looking gentleman who intervenes. Her rescuer, Edward Ailsbury, is the earl of Heyward, whose family--unaware of his affection for his bluestocking confidante, Eunice Goddard--plans to match him with the very eligible Angeline. An unusually accurate portrayal of Regency society, laden with colorful period detail, makes a sparkling backdrop, and the supporting characters are delightful. Youthful Angeline's endearing mixture of breathless enthusiasm and hidden insecurity is given the perfect foil in the responsible and rather nerdy Edward, who is perpetually baffled as his rational approach fails to impress the women in his life. The charming mixture of sensual passion and hilarious confusion makes Balogh's delightful tale a must-read for Regency fans. (Aug.)

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