The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published
Mistress - Amanda Quick Iphiginia (let's now dwell on the name, shall we?) has recently returned to England, when she learns her dear aunt Zoe is being blackmailed. The blackmailer is so vicious he actually killed a member of the ton, Marcus Valerius Cloud, Earl of Masters, so he truly must be stopped. So Iphy devises a cunning plan. She would enter the ton posing as Masters's mistress - the man is dead after all, he won't be able to label her a liar and since he was quite a recluse before his death, no one will know the truth - and try to uncover the blackmailer.All is proceeding quite nicely, though Iphy still hasn't uncovered the blackmailer's identity, when all of a sudden Masters appears at a ball, quite healthy and alive, rather curious as to whom his mistress might be. Drat it, when a man is supposed to be dead, he should remain dead, don't you think?Anyway, Marcus is quite taken with his pretend mistress and decides to keep up with the charade. The fact he also thinks she is the blackmailer - yes, one of his friends is also being blackmailed - helps in his decision to do so.But soon, blackmailers and intrigue will prove to be the farthest thing on Marcus's mind and he'll be more than ready (and Iphy more than willing) to erase the "pretend" from their arrangement.This is the absolute first book by AQ I read and I've been hooked ever since (with historicals one of my favorite genres and Ms. Quick one of my favorite authors).I loved this story. It had everything one desires in a historical. A wonderful leading couple (a high-ranking member of the ton and a spinster), nice supporting cast, great chemistry, lovely romance, and a nice dose of suspense thrown into the mix, just to keep things lively. Though Marcus isn't Julian (from Seduction), he's still one of my favorite historical heroes out there. And Iphy, the template AQ heroine, a little before her time, was his perfect counterpart.Though this is an oldie, it remains one of my absolute favorites on that keeper shelf, and I really cannot find any fault in this book. It even has a carriage-sex scenes, that "must" in early AQ novels.5 ½ stars. ;P