This is my favorite of Amanda Quick's novels, & also the 1st one I read.
If you fancy surprisingly resourceful yet very unconventional heroines, a little bit of silliness & mystery, this just may be the book for you.
Amanda Quick (for historicals) aka Jayne Ann Krentz (her married name used for contemporary romances) aka Jayne Castle (birth name, used for futuristic/paranormal romantic suspense) is a very prolific writer of romance, & in most of her books you can tell she is American.
'Mistress' is a book from the 1990s that has come to Slovenia only a few years ago, & was impossible to get in libraries at the start, so my neighbour & sis had to start their own romance library, historicals & whatnot.
Other titles published in the similar line Rendezvous, Deception, Dangerous, Ravished, Desire and Mischief are pretty much the same - all include a strong hero & heroine, with an impossible mystery or problem to solve, & obstacles in love to be overcome.
I did not enjoy some of her other books so much, but generally, if you see Amanda Quick you can count on at least a few giggles & a very impossible story & heroine.
Also, she totally spoilt me for other romance books - now, if there is not at least a dead body or blackmailer involved, I'm usually too bored to read!
Amanda Quick's heroines are delightfully imperfect, all have some serious flaws & some real talents, & seem to provide an equal match for the troubled, brooding, strong men that have the misfortune to fall in love with them on page 2 or sooner. (Okay, not in this one. I <i>think</i>.)
All leading ladies purport to be incredibly intelligent yet still do very silly mistakes (as do the men they are destined to love from Chapter One onward) & the mystery aspect of it all is sometimes hilarious!
Usually there is a taking of virginity (pretty much effortless) & some 'spicy scenes' that even my more pro-active friends admire ('they all have so much sex & like it so much!' while Granny usually just skips those.. I guess she's had enough in her time..) Much better sex scenes than some other romance authors like Julie Garwood (all women there want to be 'validated' after sex.. hmm? & seem to whine a bit, while being too perfect & too boring most of the time) or Julia Quinn (too boring, no mystery?)
Amanda Quick is not as depressing as some of Nora Roberts' books can be (<i>all</i> people there are too perfect!) & the characters are just silly enough to make you giggle & actually enjoy your own intelligence.
Ipheginia Bright wants to help find her aunt's blackmailer & dazzles the noble society as a purported mistress of the terrible Earl of Masters who is assumed dead, but upon receiving the news returns to London and unfortunately has plans of his own.
Of course he doesn't believe her, but still cannot help getting madly attracted to her & well, gets surprised on the way!
So if you want 'serious' education, any pretence of life-likeness or actual historical truth, don't go near them!
If you fancy a slightly-unbelievable & totally silly (yet uhhm, <i>maaybe</i> possible!) plot & strong lead characters, ha ha have fun!
And maybe, just maybe, if you're feeling jaded & restless, the books may also restore your faith in love, virtue, & all things good! /I said <i>maybe</i>! ;)/
(So why my married neighbour reads them on the toilet, is beyond my grasp? Apparently her hubby is not romatic & brooding enough? hmm!)
Amanda Quick is one of the pen names used by the American writer Jayne Ann Krentz aka Jayne Castle. As you can see from the aliases, Jayne Ann Krentz is a prolific writer of romance in its many sub-genres and in the guise of Amanda Quick, she writes historical romances.
'Mistress' was first published in 1994 but has retained its popularity over the last 10+ years and been republished at least once during that time. It is one title in a whole series of what could loosely be referred to as Regency romps. Other titles published during the mid to late '90s include, Rendezvous, Deception, Dangerous, Ravished, Desire and Mischief. I think the titles more or less give away the kind of story to expect.
'Mistress' features a typical Amanda Quick heroine, the feisty (and it has to be said, very 20th-century-in-a-costume) Ipheginia Bright. Ipheginia's aunt, along with several other members of the 'ton' is being blackmailed so Ipheginia decides to find out the identity of the blackmailer by setting herself up as the mistress of the Earl of Masters. She thinks this won't be a problem as the man seems to have disappeared and she suspects he is dead. Unfortunately for Ipheginia, the Earl is still very much alive and when he returns to London and the fun begins.
The Earl is your typical historical romance hero: arrogant, rich and gorgeous and this one has a code of behaviour which includes never sleeping with virgins or other men's wives. Ipheginia is one of the former, but not for long! Yes, it's that kind of historical novel.
One of the big drawbacks with reading historical romances written by Americans is the fact that they largely have no conception of how English is spoken in this country. So expect a few "gottens" and references to "the Fall" as well as other glaring Americanisms.
However, all in all, if you want a light and fluffy romance, set in a Regency era which bears very little resemblance to the actuality other than pretty dresses and coaches, this could be the book for you. If you accept the book for what it is, then you'll have an enjoyable reading experience. In fact, I have to confess that I did enjoy this book, so much so that I have read most of Miss Quick's other books as well.
In a nutshell, don't expect great historical accuracy or even great literature but if you enjoy historical romances with a good deal of bodice ripping, you can't go wrong with this one.