After a year of grand adventures touring the classical ruins of Italy and Greece, Iphiginia Bright returned to England to discover that the real excitement was at home. It seems that her Aunt Zoe has fallen victim to a sinister blackmailer and only Iphiginia can hope to stop the culprit before he can do more harm.
Her plan is inspired: Imitating history's most legendary
beauties--Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Aphrodite--the former schoolmistress
will remake herself, and descend upon London Society as the dazzling
mistress of Marcus Valerius Cloud, the infamous Earl of Masters. Rumors
hint that the Earl has disappeared at the blackmailer's hands, and by
posing as his unknown mistress, Iphiginia is convinced she can ferret
out the villain.
Overnight, Iphiginia is transformed into a vision with a host of eager
admirers, including one she does not expect -- the Earl of Masters
himself, who strides into a shimmering ballroom one evening to cooly
reclaim his "mistress". He is everything they say he is... arrogant,
attractive, devastatingly seductive, and Iphiginia can't help but be
But when Marcus agrees to play along with her charade, she doesn't know
that the determined earl has plans of his own: to tease and tempt her,
until the beautiful deceiver becomes more than his mistress in name
Comment: Another one by this author to read. When I first saw the title I really didn't have much hopes for it, because mistress evokes a certain theme and I wasn't very eager to read about it, so I delayed it's read as far as I could but when one thinks about it, all the books by this author have the same "feel" and work the same way, so after some books I was sold on how there wouldn't be anything to dread about it.
This is the story of Iphiginia Bright, who poses as the mistress of earl of Masters in order to pursue others close to him, for she believes him to be dead. She is as surprised as everyone when he enters the ballroom where she is. Curious about the woman who dared to behave like that, Marcus, earl of Masters plays along with her until they are able to leave without a bigger scandal.
Iphiginia has been in love with Marcus for some time and she only wanted to find out who killed him and blackmailed her aunt but she wasn't prepared for the man himself to pay attention to her. Her surprising scheme caught his attention all right, so with time it's inevitable her feelings grow stronger. But what about his?
Like I said, this story follows the same pattern all the others have. The couple gets together in a sort of adventure or common purpose and they fall in love during that time, most times in a very professional way, which means, it's almost as if their feelings are secondary to the fact they are going to be together. This aspect never bothered me, but in two or three books I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be better to make the characters more alive, more realistic because people, and I imagine not even in those old days, were as practical about feelings like that, they had to be more spontaneous, for sure. After a lot of novels I got used to this, but sometimes I still wish it would be different this time...
Anyway, apart from that this story has the usual ingredients to wait for: a man oblivious at first about what is going on, then he helps the woman, he tries to find out more about her for she has been mysterious, then he knows she is the best woman out there for him because she is different from the others, the woman attempts something brave but he has to rescue her somehow, then they solve the problem and he tells her it's best if they marry. With a difference here and there, usually this is how it goes. Even though I'm repeating myself, I know these stories are very predictable, but I like the comforting they are for some time. Most times anyway.
This wasn't one of the best, I still haven't read one that looked better for me than The River Knows, but in a way, these novels accomplish a great deal, for they make the reader expectant to finish them, knowing that despite the usual, there's always an HEA at the end of the page.