Maggie Robinson

Mistress by Mistake

Mistress by Mistake
The Courtesan Court, Book 1
Kensington Brava ♦ April 27, 2010
ISBN-13: 9780758250995 ♦ ISBN-10: 0758250991

Read an Excerpt » | Read the Reviews »

Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once—and she’s paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she’d never succumb to men’s desires again. But even a village spinster’s life miles from temptation can’t save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost…

Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He’d fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn’t expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them…

A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society’s judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love…

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Jane Street, London, 1820

“Honestly, Charlie! You’re ruined anyway! What difference does it make?” Charlotte felt the room spin every time her sister said the words “honestly, Charlie.” Honesty had very little to do with Deborah Fallon. She was a mistress of prevarication. She was a mistress, period.

Charlotte Fallon looked at her sister, her beautiful, selfish, stubborn younger sister. The sister she was always trying to save in one manner or another, not that she’d been successful. Charlotte wished she had tossed her letter into the fire without opening it. “I should never have come.”

“Nonsense. This is the ideal solution. Arthur wants to marry me, Charlie. I’m not getting any younger, you know. And neither are you. Surely you cannot stand there all stiff and disapproving and deny me happiness.”

No one of importance had ever denied Deborah Fallon anything. One look at her cloud of black hair and mischievous sky blue eyes, her bee-stung lips and spectacular bosom, and they had fallen at her feet. Since the age of sixteen, she had flaunted her assets and traded one rich man for another. Now twenty-six, she was still lovely and in possession of a very tidy fortune, even tidier now due to the recent infusion of money from the coffers of Sir Michael Xavier Bayard. He was expected to arrive in London from his Dorset estate any day now and fall into Deborah Fallon’s bed. His own bed, actually. This house, every stick of furniture, every carpet, every lacy curtain belonged to him, as did the woman who was packing a sleek new trunk.

Charlotte Fallon did not belong to anyone. She also had black hair, only it was confined by hairpins and covered by a starched linen cap. Her sky blue eyes were not mischievous at present, but dismayed. Her bee-stung lips were drawn into a frown, and her spectacular bosom heaved in indignation. “You cannot take Sir Michael’s money and run off with Arthur Bannister!”

Deborah continued to fold clothes into the trunk. Charlotte took inventory of her sister’s impropriety. Wispy, sensuous underthings trimmed with frivolous ribbons and bows. Low-cut silk dresses in every color of the rainbow. Embroidered slippers. Sheer stockings. Velvet jewel bags filled with precious stones.

“I shall leave you some of my wardrobe. And my pearl and sapphire necklace.” Deborah sighed with sacrifice. “It’s not as though I’m taking everything. I thought for a moment to take the paintings, but after consideration I just couldn’t do it to the man. He is very fond of his art, even if they’re only minor works by obscure painters. And I’ll leave him you.”

“I don’t want to be left! You cannot just install me in your bedchamber and expect Sir Michael not to notice!”
“Of course Bay will notice. He’s a very noticing kind of fellow. Those eyes! So black and knowing. They quite gave me shivers. But you and I much alike, or would be if you didn’t look like such a prude. Honestly, Charlie, where is the harm? He’s a wonderful lover, and lord knows you could do with a bit of amusement.”

Charlotte felt a wave of revulsion. “You—you’ve slept with him already?”

Deborah tossed her black curls. “Don’t be absurd. I never let him touch me. Not even a kiss. That’s why he paid so much. I was absolutely unattainable without his contract. But,” she said, closing the trunk latch with finality, “I’m on good terms with Helena Colbert, my predecessor. It was she who decorated this bedroom.” Deborah looked around at the grotesquely chubby cupids that lurked on every surface. “Granted, she does not have much imagination, but she assured me bedding Bay was not a hardship. She said he’s quite masterful.”

“If that is true, why have you chosen Arthur?” Charlotte had met Arthur Bannister. Charlotte doubted Arthur could master anyone, let alone Deborah. He was the prematurely balding third son of an earl, obviously not destined for the clergy if he married her sister the famous courtesan.

“Arthur is very sweet. He loves me. His family will come round in time.” Deborah gave her an assured smile. Everybody always loved her; it was inconceivable to her that one could not.

“You don’t love him, do you.” Charlotte did not tack a question mark to her words.

“Honestly, Charlie! What is love anyway? You thought you were in love and look how that turned out. You’re thirty years old and live in the country with cats.” Deborah pulled on her gloves. Pale yellow kidskin. How ridiculous for traveling, but they matched her slippers and flimsy striped dress. Charlotte envisioned her sister discarding the whole outfit in the carriage on the way to Dover just to ensure Arthur continued the journey. “We haven’t much time. Thank goodness Bay’s grandmother got sick and died and he was called away.”

Only Deborah could say such a thing and look like an angel doing it. Charlotte wanted to throttle her sister’s slender white neck.

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Read the Reviews

“MISTRESS BY MISTAKE is a charming, extra-sexy tale.”

“Loved it, absolutely loved it. Readers are in for a SERIOUS treat! I should have been doing a hundred other things yesterday but I couldn’t put down the darn book. Just kept me hooked. This is the kind of book I will re-read until it’s worn and tattered. Gorgeous prose, a wonderful love story, and scorching heat makes Mistress By Mistake a stand out debut.”

“Wonderful! Grown-up, complex and witty characters, stunning prose, sparkling dialogue. Beautiful details of setting and the senses, chemistry palpable on every page. I completely fell in love with Charlie and Bay!”

— Tessa Dare AARs Debut Author of the Year and author of THE GODDESS OF THE HUNT, Rita-nominated THE SURRENDER OF A SIREN and A LADY OF PERSUASION

“MISTRESS BY MISTAKE is a real gem, a great read from start to finish, and highly recommended. ”

“I was absolutely blown away by MISTRESS BY MISTAKE. The story wasn’t at all predictable and I quickly fell in lust with the handsome Bay. I think this is probably the steamiest historical romance I’ve ever read & I really enjoyed the passion between fiesty Charlotte & sexy Bay – I’m surprised the pages didn’t spontaniously combust in places!”

“Deliciously decadent and wickedly witty, MISTRESS BY MISTAKE is a delightful historical romance…one that I did not want to see end. Filled with witty repartee, humor, sizzling love scenes, a delicious plot, wonderfully complex characters, plot twists and romance, this story is a winner. I look forward to reading more works by this very talented debut author,whose creativity and imagination combine to give her a promising future.”

“Sexy chemistry and the wry humor permeate the story. I really enjoy those books where the characters take real joy in their pleasure and this is one of them. It’s a steamy historical that I enjoyed re-reading for the sake of the review. B”

“MISTRESS BY MISTAKE is an unforgettable, sizzling hot story featuring Charlie and Bay, an H/H pairing that I hated to leave when I turned the last page.”

“Normally, I’m not one of those readers who gets so glued into a book she forgets about sleep, but the story of Bay and Charlotte wouldn’t let me go. Reading Maggie’s debut, I experienced that rare feeling that only happens every so often: that buzz of awareness that comes when reading something truly wonderful, by someone who is destined for a shining career.”

”This book put a smile on my face from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh new voice in the historical romance scene and with MISTRESS BY MISTAKE Maggie Robinson brings humor and fiery passion to the courtesan themed romances. She is a gifted writer who has made a great first impression on me with her debut historical romance. I am looking forward to the other installments, especially now that I’ve found out who the next 2 mistresses will be.”

“Sensual, fun, romantic, heart-warming, sweet. If you want a super fun, fiery romance, definitely pick up this book. It is so good!”

”The sensuality of the scenes was phenomenal.”

“A fun read that will keep you turning the pages into the night.”

“MISTRESS BY MISTAKE sizzles off the page. A marvelously sexy romp.”

— Rita-nominated and award-winning author Anna Campbell

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