From the delightful Nikki Brandyberry, whose romance blog is Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind (Hey! I want that title! I bet my mind is even more chaotic than Nikki’s, LOL.):
“I don’t read a lot of historical romance. The author has to be really engaging for me to enjoy a true historical romance without any paranormal elements. Maggie Robinson gives me exactly what I love. A story that pulls me in, keeps me reading and has some naughty bits to keep me panting.
Mistress By Marriage is different because the hero and heroine are already married. Though Edward believes his quick marriage years earlier was a huge mistake and he had banished his wife to Courtesan Court, a neighborhood for mistresses. There she has lived a seemingly full life, if not a lonely one. Caroline has filled her weeks by writing her “smut” books with characters that are not unlike some of the courts male visitors. She also hosts a weekly tea for the other mistresses of the court. Once a year her husband shows his face in her home.
Edward has made up his mind to get a divorce. Yes, it’s disgraceful but really, he has no other choice. Caroline isn’t a “lady”. She sets his blood on fire though and he isn’t above having her perform her wifely duties until the papers are drawn up. What he isn’t prepared for is his response in her arms or the love that has slowly started growing in his heart.
I enjoyed this book immensely. The interactions between Edward and Caroline seemed honest and true with a ton of spark. Being Caroline must have been dreadfully lonely. Stuck in a house in a part of town only men visited for their mistresses. Reliving her past with every new books she wrote. Telling herself she didn’t pine for Edward but writing him into her books a thousand ways. Still blaming herself for actions in her childhood. She views herself as damaged and unworthy. Of course her husband would feel the same way. Treat her as such. Caroline is a strong woman. She doesn’t bow down to any man. I loved her quick wit and sarcastic attitude.
Edward is living in his own past. One where he had a wife that was dependable, a proper lady…then she died. He can’t handle Caroline no matter what fire she erupts inside of him. Appearances are everything to him. He is an important guy. He can’t afford to have his children turn out wrong, unruly..and in his eyes, that is exactly what Caroline is. Edward is definitely a domineering man. He wants things his way and no variance from that will do. I loved his passion. He felt everything so deeply no matter what his outward appearance showed.
Together though, when Caroline finally opens up and Edward is finally willing to listen….really listen…it’s magic.
Maggie Robinson has also promised to continue on with this series with an unlikely hero the next time around. Andrew. When you read the book, you will know why this is going to be a hard sell. I can’t wait to find out how she redeems him. Andrew needs a ton of redeeming to, let me assure you.
I give Mistress By Marriage 4 stars!”