His Lady Mistress | Elizabeth Rolls

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One of my favorite historical romances of all time. Seriously, I’ve read this book three times and it is an amazing read every time. The characters all very well-developed, from the evil “step-parents” complete with an arrogant and perverse son and if possible, an even more arrogant daughter hellbent on marrying a rich aristocrat to save their family from financial ruin. Our heroine comes to us in the form of a young girl named Verity who is well-brought up, polite, and strong. After a tragic incident, she is left orphaned and goes to live with her aunt and uncle who are absolutely terrible human beings, evidenced by the equally terrible children they’ve raised (the perverse son and obnoxiously spoiled daughter).

This story begins in the midst of a tragic event properly painted with beautiful language from the author. Indeed, one of the best things about this story is the language. Elizabeth rolls writes things like,  “He had destroyed her love for him,” and “For once in his life, he could not see the end of an affair in its beginning.” Two sentences that hold a lot of meaning but are not wordy, an excellent trait in a writer.

In this romantic story, I felt very much as if I was somehow a part of the relationship, like I was involved and had a very real interest in how the relationship turned out. That’s what reading a romance novel is supposed to feel like, and even during the second and third readings, I felt that same sense of urgency and commitment to the story throughout its entirety.

Our heroine, Verity is strong-minded, well-spoken, intelligent, but young. She has been manipulated and abused by her family, but even that ill-treatment could not break her spirit. But then there was love. When she thought she’d had a chance at her own happily ever after, it continued to elude her so she decided that it was “Better to be like the Falcon. Alone. Dependent on nothing but the air beneath her wings. At least for the Falcon, the air had more substance than her foolish dreams of love.”

Indeed, this book is a delicate balance of budding love, hope, hopelessness, and unavoidable tragedy spun into a story that is not only plausible, but highly believable. It feels like a real story that happened to someone, somewhere.

“Madness to surrender, to allow hope to come rushing back with all its doubts and pain.” A quote that truly encompasses the difficulty of resisting feelings in a situation where you cannot avoid the object of your affections, and so “…you sit there every night trying to forget me in a bottle of brandy,” which may work for some, but not for the adorably complex couple that finally comes together in My Lady Mistress.

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