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His Favorite Mistress: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Dec 26 2007
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About the Author
Tracy Anne Warren grew up in a small central Ohio town. After working for a number of years in finance, she quit her day job to pursue her first love writing romance novels. Warren lives in Maryland with a trio of exuberant young Siamese rescue cats and windows full of gorgeous orchids and African violets. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and dreaming up the characters for her next book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
the story begins quite dramatically with a confrontation between hero and heroine. the heroine, gabriella st. john, is a penniless illegitimate daughter of an actress initially bent on killing the man who murdered her father. the hero, tony black, is a duke bent on remaining a bachelor. a case of mistaken identity puts them an intense situation right off the bat. warren weaves the sexual tension through the moments of their initial meeting quite well. after the misunderstanding is settled, gabriella finds herself thrusted into the rarified air of the ton, a beneficiary of a benevolent relative.
gabriella is one of those 'vivacious and wickedly good at men-sports' type of heroines, which is the kind of heroine i like. she is also sure early on that she wants to be with the hero. luckily for her, she's constantly in his company, as he's one of the best friends of said benevolent relative, so she gets to use her feminine wile to woo him into marriage.
tony is urbane, witty, and sexually assured. the build up from feverish fondling to consummation is well rendered and there is chemistry between hero and heroine.
however, i think this story ultimately suffers due to a few things:
1. tony is her relative's best friend, but after an initial bout of guilt (that lasted all of a few pages), he's petting gabriella all over the place. i understand he's supposed to be a rake, but he's also supposed to be extremely loyal to his friend according to the story. considering the fact he has no intention of marrying, he knows he is debauching a virgin. he always stops before things go too far but the danger for ruin is there and he comes across as selfish for putting his desires ahead of his friend's trust and the heroine's possible ruination. this wouldn't be a big deal, but the author illustrates tony as extremely loyal to his friend, so this is in conflict with that illustration.
2. the author has a very annoying habit of skipping over large bits of time and depicting moments important to the development of the relationship in flashback. this didn't just happen once or twice. this happens throughout the entire story, over and over again. in fact, almost every chapter or passage begins with something to the equivalent of "a few days/weeks later". perhaps this is done in order to assist in believability of the progress of the relationship. however, it backfires and gives the relationship a glazed over feel. as the reader i never get a good handle on gabriella or tony or their relationship because everything is being depicted almost in fast-forward mode with only a pause here or there to view a few scenes.
this is unacceptable to me, especially when there is no mystery or killer in the shadows to take away time from scenes between hero and heroine.
on the plus side, warren is definitely talented in depicting intimate scenes and creating sexual tension. she surprises me a few times within the story.
ultimately, this story proves to be just as 'blah' as the previous two. perhaps it's because the heroes and heroines in all three stories are very much alike. it's especially notable in this story when everybody makes a more than cameo appearance here, which dosn't help in making this particular story memorable at all.
i recommend this book for those who don't mind a story with a surface depiction of character and relationship development along with the sensual tension and well done intimate moments.
I am lowering my rating to a 4 because I felt the last half of the book was superior to the first half. The first half had many, many, many scenes where we saw just how much Tony wanted Gabriella. He was like the energized bunny for a while. I don't think I could count how many times these two went at it.
But, overall, I liked this book. It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough that I think I will try the first two in this series and hope I am as pleased with them as I was with this one.
i thought the storyline was original, (for a period romance) and i've read a lot of them. they all have the same plot: hero and heroine meet, initial attraction, a bit of tentative tasting to warm up, sizzling sex scenes (which this novel boasts!) and the final chaotic struggle to unite as one and truly in love. Same goes with this novel but it was rich with surprises and interesting twists that I hadn't come across before.
I wanted to address a particular critique from another reviewer that had issues with sections of the novel catapulting to future times, often a couple of weeks at a time, and thereby missing some important character and relationship developments. I disagree. Eventhough this did happen often, I also found the author elaborated on the happenings during those so called missing periods of time. She made it very clear what was happening and marked any important events in that time, before following on into the future/present time. does that make sense? hard to explain....
I thought the characters were very different form the first two novels, and much more passionate.
I loved Anthony. He had flaws and his biggest flaw was that he could not understand his feelings for Gabriella. he simply wouldn't admit he loved her. But this flaw is explained when we finally meet his mother, and Gabriella hears about his childhood and how he grew up with a unloving and selfish mother. he simply didn't know what love was because he had no real experience with it, until he met Gabriella. Although he pursued her, i felt it was more of a compulsion than a pursuit. neither Anthony nor Gabriella could keep away from each other. Ultimately this is what defined his Anthony's relationship with Gabriella as being more than another notch on his rake's belt. he also cared for her well being and was tender and kind to her, and refrained from taking her virginity until they were wed.
the last half of the book was probably the most interesting. Although separated, Anthony and Gabriella still could not stay away from each other. their "agreement" was a big surprise and i honestly thought it would turn ugly, especially during their first love scene after the agreement, but that too was a surprise. It also highlighted Anthony's loving feelings for his wife, regardless of his thoughtless words.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. Well written, and exactly what you would require and expect from a period romance.
Lords and Ladies-they are very romantic and can be very sensual but not in
a disgusting way-the author describes the romance between the characters so precisely that you can picture them as if you were part of the book-very capitivating!