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The Mistress [Large Print] [Paperback]

Susan Wiggs

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Book Description

Aug. 10 2011 Thorndike Press Large Print Superior Collection (Book 2)
A #1 New York Times Bestselling Author -- Most days Kathleen O'Leary is a penniless maid. But tonight she takes a risk and masquerades as a glamorous heiress, thanks to a borrowed gown and her friends' sense of adventure. To her surprise, the ruse succeeds -- even Dylan Kennedy, Chicago's most eligible bachelor, seems enraptured. But like Kathleen, Dylan isn't who he says he is. And before their true identities can be revealed, fire erupts, sending rich and poor alike running for their lives.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 509 pages
  • Publisher: Kennebec Large Print; 1 edition (Aug. 10 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410435660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410435668
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g

Product Description

From Amazon

Setting: Chicago, 1871

Sensuality: 7

Beautiful Kathleen O'Leary works as a maid at an exclusive girls school where she has been befriended by three rich students. One evening, the high-spirited girls convince Kathleen to dress in borrowed diamonds and silk and accompany them to a masquerade at the Hotel Royale in Chicago. Here, Kathleen catches the eye of the city's most eligible bachelor, Dylan Francis Kennedy, and the two are instantly attracted to each other. Fate intervenes when the two are caught in the midst of the great Chicago Fire of 1871 and, convinced they're about to die, they impulsively marry. Amazingly they survive, and Kathleen is faced with the difficult task of confessing her real identity to her new husband. To her shock, she learns that Dylan is also a fraud. Far from being a rich gentleman, he's a con artist, intent on marrying an heiress and taking her money.

How will the Irish maid and the gambler deal with being tied together in a marriage that began with deception? They've escaped death in the Great Chicago Fire, but can they survive the bonds of matrimony and the very real threat to their hearts? Especially when Kathleen is determined to reform him and Dylan is just as determined to separate marks from their money in this tale of dangerous games and wild adventure.

In this second installment of the trilogy that began with The Hostage, Susan Wiggs creates a classic love story of a flawed hero who learns the meaning of love through trial, travail, and the passionate heart of a good woman. The story expertly meshes the high drama of a city ablaze and the lively action of a great con game, adds an equal slice of 1870's historical ambiance, and tops it all with expertly drawn characters. Wiggs just keeps getting better and better. --Lois Faye Dyer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA from Romance Writers of America. Visit her website at www.SusanWiggs.com. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wiggs is wonderful Sept. 28 2000
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Chicago, impoverish Kathleen O'Leary works as a maid at an exclusive school for young ladies. However, tonight, October 8, 1871 Kathleen pretends to be a wealthy debutante wearing a borrowed gown to attend a high society ball. Also at the gala event is the city's wealthiest bachelor Dylan Kennedy, just back from Europe. When they meet, Dylan sees a beautiful woman perfect for him to seduce. He wants funds from her because he is a con artist. She sees her soulmate.

On the other side of town, an inferno has erupted starting at the barn of Kathleen's parents. As the fire spreads and threatens everyone in the city, Kathleen and Dylan hastily marry. Somehow they survive and quickly fall in love, but both, not expecting to live, entered the marriage with deception and duplicity. He trusts no one and needs instant cash that she cannot provide while she continues to shower him with love.

THE MISTRESS is an enjoyable Americana romance that centers on the aftermath of the Chicago fire. The story line uses real events and people to propel the entertaining romance to its climax. The lead couple will receive reader empathy as they learn the importance of being truthful as well as earnest in a relationship. However, what makes Susan Wiggs' tale a cut above the norm is the intricate look at survivors whose prize for minor success is clinging to life one day at a time.

Harriet Klausner
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History made real... April 3 2005
By Donna K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow- this book read like an eyewitness account of the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871 and the rebuilding that followed for months afterwards. Seeing the events through the eyes of Kathleen, Dylan, Bull and other characters in this story gave it life, and made it real and tangible to the reader! The fire blazed off the pages and I could feel its heat.

The romance was almost secondary. I loved the character of Kathleen. Part-Cinderella and part-My Fair Lady, she was a maid who attended a society event and passed herself off as a Lady. She was feisty, brave and proud. Someone to admire for more than her outward beauty. Dylan was a bit harder to like - too rough around the edges and too set on an unscrupulous lifestyle, determined not to change. But in his heroism, he showed caring and a softer-side. Lots of sexy scenes. Maybe too many. Unfortunately, the story seemed to drag a bit during these scenes, and they could have been condensed to make the it flow better through the more important historical events.

The lesson Katie taught Dylan, that the riches of love and family is worth more than money, is something those of us who are products of a material society need to reflect more upon.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And now for something completely different..... Sept. 26 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well, I loved this author's last book, THE HOSTAGE, and I wanted to love this one, too. It's totally different, but it left me with the same warm-inside feeling as the first one. It's a story about figuring out who you are and what's most important in life. This book surprised me in several places. Truly satisfying, I would reccommend it to anyone!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What if you had the chance to be somebody you weren't... Oct. 7 2000
By Audrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kathleen O'Leary took the chance with a borrowed dress and jewels, and fell in love with Dylan Kennedy, a wealthy and desired bachelor. So the story ends here, right? Of course not... it's a romance, and we must have turbulence, passion, fire (ha! no pun intended...)! Both were not what they pretended to be, and through a heedless marriage the truth comes out. What's a 12:01 Cinderalla and a dethroned Prince Charming to do?
It's a story about how you can find your identity, your peace, in the one you love, and how unlikely that love can sometimes be; it's not unlike The Charm School, another book by Wiggs, that paired together a hero and a heroine that, under normal circumstances, wouldn't even have looked at each other on the street. Well-written and heartwarming, set against the famous fire in Chicago and the stunning effects it had on people's (real and fiction) lives, The Mistress is a lovely, polished gem to spend your day with.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance; Disastrous Chicago Fire; Mrs.O'Leary's Cow ? Oct. 27 2001
By Ruth A. Caldwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Could this be a true version of how that horrible fire in 1871 started? Add romance Cinderella style, minus Prince Charming and instead insert an unscrupulous rake, out to steal Cinderella's (non-existant) fortune and the story unfolds.
This is my first Susan Wiggs novel; but it won't be my last! I was captivated by the unusual storyline, however not being a avid romance reader, felt it bogged down a little in the middle.
I wanted them to quit making love and get on with the action! The action being; how two penniless people are going to overcome the tragedy of the century, stay together long enough to find their trust and become prosperous!

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