No mans mistress

Posted by reviewer | 11:51 a.m. | , , , | 2 comments »

No man's mistress, By Mary Balogh
Published by Dell, May 2002
Grade: C

Back cover reads:

Lord Ferdinand Dudley lives passionately, recklessly.
And he is accustomed to getting what he wants...that is, until he appears at the
door of Pinewood Manor, attempting to claim his rightful estate, and is met by
the bewitching fury of Viola Thornhill. She refuses to cede him the home she
calls her own. He refuses to leave. So the contest begins between these two foes
to force one to acknowledge the other's claim. Nor will they acknowledge the
passion brewing between them. But Viola knows it is a game she cannot afford to
lose. Marriage is out of the question and she will be no man's

Viola has been living a good life for the last two years in the country at Pinewood Manor. She gets along well with everyone around her, she enjoys her country life and she is happy. Then one day at man comes to her and tells her that he is the rightful owner of Pinewood manor and that she must leave. Of course she doesn't want to leave. She loves her home, and it was given to her in good faith. She refuses to leave.

Lord Dudley believes that he is the owner after winning the house in a card game. He and Viola go back and forth "I'm staying, you leave" "This is my home" "Well, It's mine now". Talking about it just doesn't work.

Viola, along with the help of her friends and staff come up with some tricks to try and drive Dudley away. A rooster wakes him up before dawn, his food is cold and undercooked, the fireplaces don't work, etc. Dudley soon catches on that everyone is just trying to make his life unbearable, and because he love a challenge, he plays along. The more they throw at him, the more he likes it.

What we don't know about till a ways into the book is that Viola has a checkered past. For four years she worked at a courtesan in order to pay off her step father's debts after he died. She didn't enjoy the work, but she had to do it to keep her mother out of debtors prison. Viola was able to retire to the country at Pinewood manor after the man who willed her the estate payed off her debts for her.

After Dudley finds out about her former life he is taken aback, but kind about it. I read a review on this book at another site and the reviewer makes it sound like Dudley repeatedly called her a whore after he found out the truth. That is not true. He never once called her a whore or said an unkind word to her. In fact, he got angry at her when she called herself a whore.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, Viola decides to use her former self as a way of getting Dudley to leave. She makes a wager with him that she can seduce him within one week. If she does, then he must leave. If she can't then she will leave. Never backing down from a challenge, he agrees.

Like wagers have a habit of doing, this one back fired. Viola fell in love with Dudley. Even though she won the wager, she decided to leave. The biggest reason being that the man who made who into a courtesan in the first place wants her to go back to work. He has discovered more debts that she needs to pay off. If she doesn't work for him again, then he will get her younger sister to do it. Viola does not want her sister to be a whore, so she goes back home to try and save her family once again. Dudley follows her and wont stop until she agrees to be his wife.

This was not my favourite book and I probably wont ever read it again, but it is far from being the peice of crap that I was made to believe after reading that other review. It was OK. Not great. Definitely not bad.

What I liked: Dudley totally kicks the crap out of the man trying to force Viola back into prostitution.

What I did not like: Dudley..27 year old sexy looking brother of a Duke...was a virgin. Viola was his first lover. I rolled my eyes so hard I got a head ache. I don't ever want to read about virgin men again. Never, ever, ever.


  1. Zeek // 8:25 a.m.  

    I have my first Balogh to read! Would you believe this? The new engineer who just started working in my dept- (a woman)- reads romance! I caught her with it and said I've always wanted to read one of Balogh's but never picked one up. It was on my desk the next day!

  2. Chantal // 10:23 a.m.  

    That was nice of her! This is only my second MB book. I will read more in the future, but I'll be pissed if I come across anymore heros who have never had sex.