Customer Reviews for

The Secret Mistress

Average Rating 3.5
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A delightful historical romance

Sister to the Duke of Tresham Jocelyn, Lady Angeline Dudley wants a prim and proper gentleman as her husband after being surrounded by rakes. As she waits impatiently for Jocelyn to arrive, fiendish rake Lord Windrow assaults her; Earl Edward Ailsbury rescues her. His...
Sister to the Duke of Tresham Jocelyn, Lady Angeline Dudley wants a prim and proper gentleman as her husband after being surrounded by rakes. As she waits impatiently for Jocelyn to arrive, fiendish rake Lord Windrow assaults her; Earl Edward Ailsbury rescues her. His family thinks Lady Angeline is the perfect match for him; she agrees with their assessment.

No one asked Edward for his opinion. If they did he would reveal his secret love for Eunice Goddard. However Hurricane Angeline refuses to back away from her choice although she hides her doubts. He proposes but she demands passion and feels once she jumps his bones he will not be able to resist. As Angeline brings out the love and beast in her man, Edward brings out the need and desire in his woman.

The latest marvelous Mistress Regency romance (see A Secret Affair) is an amusing coupling of a rationalist with a romanticist. Edward cannot understand why logic fails to work in his dealings with emotional women while ardent Angeline cannot understand why her beloved remains prim with her. His behavior amplifies her insecurities. Fans will enjoy this comedy of errors as the proper noble and the spirited lady fall in love.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on June 28, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

22 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

BOYCOTT THIS PRICE!!!

Everyone, please start boycotting the prices greedy bookstores and greedier publishers are charging for nookbooks. B&N told me when I bought my nook last year that e-book prices would be much cheaper. This store needs to stand by what it advertised a year ago.

posted by Bandito on May 3, 2011

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Not her best!

    I was super excited to read this book, as I read the previous installment (which featured Angeline's brother, the Duke's story, and takes place after TSM) and enjoyed it. This one to me however, was boring, dull, and flat. The hero, Edward, is boring! I don't know how Angeline was so enamored of him when I just wanted to give him a big wedgie and muss up his hair. And, like 15 chapters in and being 3/4 done with the book they had only kissed once. Excuse me?? The secret mistress comes in, when?! Also, I didn't feel chemistry. It may be because I've been on a Harlequin Blaze streak, but I felt nothing between these two. Often, you'll read about the heat they constantly feel, the pull, the attraction, his constant state of half arousal, the need to kiss all the time, but with this book there was nothing like that. They interacted, he'd bemoan the fact that his family was pushing him at her and that was it. Maybe she'd question why the room was suddenly warm but that was all we got as to how they affected each other. And Edward is no where near a rake. In the book they say it's because his brother was too much of one, but we don't really know much about Edward's personal life. He says he's been with a few women, but we don't know sordid details, we don't know if he's still sleeping around. We don't know if he stays awake at night dreaming of Angeline's lips or if he's crushing whichever object is nearest when he's around her in an attempt to keep his hands to himself. It's flat.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A delightful historical romance

    Sister to the Duke of Tresham Jocelyn, Lady Angeline Dudley wants a prim and proper gentleman as her husband after being surrounded by rakes. As she waits impatiently for Jocelyn to arrive, fiendish rake Lord Windrow assaults her; Earl Edward Ailsbury rescues her. His family thinks Lady Angeline is the perfect match for him; she agrees with their assessment.

    No one asked Edward for his opinion. If they did he would reveal his secret love for Eunice Goddard. However Hurricane Angeline refuses to back away from her choice although she hides her doubts. He proposes but she demands passion and feels once she jumps his bones he will not be able to resist. As Angeline brings out the love and beast in her man, Edward brings out the need and desire in his woman.

    The latest marvelous Mistress Regency romance (see A Secret Affair) is an amusing coupling of a rationalist with a romanticist. Edward cannot understand why logic fails to work in his dealings with emotional women while ardent Angeline cannot understand why her beloved remains prim with her. His behavior amplifies her insecurities. Fans will enjoy this comedy of errors as the proper noble and the spirited lady fall in love.

    Harriet Klausner

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Is anyone actually going to "review the book"?

    When looking at buying a book, detailed reviews are helpful, particularly when someone doesn't like the book or likes some aspects of it, but found others lacking. Unfortunately, this review thread is disappointing.

    It looks like there is only one ACTUAL review and that is sketchy at best. "it was a disappointment". How? What about the writing was different than her other books? It what way was it too slow? Not enough conflict? Not enough comedy? two-dimensional characters?

    "A waste of money" is NOT a review. Neither is "Boycott this price." Which has nothing to do with whether or not the story is well-written and the characters well-designed.

    Has anyone read the book who can give an actual reason behind their opinion instead of broad statements and exclamation marks? It would be helpful for the rest of us.

    For now I'll give 4 stars because it is required, but I have not read the book. However, I have found that Mary Balogh's books tend to average 4 stars with some in the 5 range and some in the 3 range for her genre. She tends to have well-developed characters and story-moving conflict. At times her conflict can be a bit contrived, but she has some books where the motives between two characters is deep and meaningful to them and has to be overcome in order for any understanding to come about. These are her 5 star books. Any thoughts of where this one lands?

    6 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    I loved it!

    I hesitated in buying this after reading one of the reviews--but I love it! It's refreshing, sweet and fun; she is delightful, he is endearing. And still quite strong and interesting--which is nice for those of us very happily married to endearing, 'ordinary', strong and interesting men!

    The issue of Nook prices is complex, and quite different from the value of the book itself. Authors who are less well-known--and who could certainly use the money--are charged at a lower rate, while already best-selling authors get higher prices. I fully agree that an author is worthy of her hire, and deserves to be paid. Perhaps instead of charging more, they could be paid more of the e-books retail price, since the total work of the book seller is in providing us with a place to make the purchase.

    That issue will take years, and will not be resolved here. But--I loved the book!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2012

    I never leave my recommendation BUT this time I had to let every

    I never leave my recommendation BUT this time I had to let everyone out there to purchase this book. I could not put this awesome, wonderful book down. I was so enthralled with all the characters and what happened each time I turned the page. To be loved by such a person as each one in this book did, would be a dream!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Excellent Conclusion to Mistress Trilogy

    I loved this book. It is a rare book that has laughing out loud one scene and tearing up during the second. Angie and Edward were a perfect pair and it was delightful getting to know their story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Cute!

    Sometimes it got a little blah, but it was a good and cute story.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    great read

    The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh
    Angeline enjoys getting out riding the horses when it's been raining, going at full speed, no care for being harmed. She thought she was helping him when the night of her coming out party in London and she was dancing with him she pretended to twist her ankle so they'd not have to dance at all but talk. Edwoods's fallen in love with her and had upon first sight of her.
    She needs to get married and he needs a wife.
    Balls and weddings abound for all to enjoy.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Ok

    This book is not like baloghs ithers. It is really slow... it has taken me two weeks to get through it!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    Was this book a Contractual Obligation?

    This book departs from Balogh's usual well-crafted characters that share a connection with each other and overcome inner conflicts.

    Perhaps the story is there, but since Balogh changed up her writing style for this one, I cant' find it. It reads like a Julia Quinn novel (who freely admits that she spends about four days writing her books- and it shows).

    Loads of telling.

    No showing.

    Trying to be glib. And cute.

    It's not working. Where is the Balogh of the Slighty Series or Simply Series??

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    I LOVED this book!!!! Both Lady Angeline Dudley and Edward Aisle

    I LOVED this book!!!! Both Lady Angeline Dudley and Edward Aisley, Earl of Heywood, became  very sympathetic, lovable, & enchanting
    characters, TOTALLY opposite from the vacuous, shallow characters they'd been presented as in "More than a Mistress" & "No Man's
    Mistress. Plus,. after the epilogue, one is treated to an update concerning all 3 Dudley Siblings and their families!! Again, I found "The
    Secret Mistress" a thoroughly charming, delightful read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Great read

    Fun story, Mary Balough at her best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2012

    If you like Mary Balogh

    This was not one of her better books. The conversations were not as witty and I found the main female character to be a bit annoying.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    The first romance novel I ever read was Mary Balogh (The Huxtabl

    The first romance novel I ever read was Mary Balogh (The Huxtable Series) and I loved all of them. This book, however, was very boring. I am about 19 chapters into the book and I am having a hard time finishing it. This book is not a typical Balogh novel.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I love Mary Balogh’s work. She creates stories that draw you in, making you laugh and cry she leaves you wanting more

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Book

    I havent read it yet but should i

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Awful

    Dialogue simplistic and predictable occasionally interminable.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Do Not Recommend

    Very unhappy with this purchase. i read the reviews before i purchased and should have then them more seriously. Book started really slow. i had to force my way through it. It was not worth the price. I am sorry i purchased it. Disappointed because this book was not up to the standard that I expect from Ms. Balogh. We received an inferior product compared to her other books and we paid more money for it! Unfortunately we have no recourse. We cannot return the e-book. I will never reread it! I felt it was a waste of my hard earned money. I gave the benefit of the doubt and I regret it. So buyer beware! You may want to wait on this one!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2014

    Review is based on a CD version read by Anne Flosnik. I haven┬┐t

    Review is based on a CD version read by Anne Flosnik.
    I haven’t read much by Mary Balogh—only the Mistress trilogy—though I know she is one of the huge historical romance authors writing today. Her writing style is beautiful and descriptive, with humorous inner dialogue, witty social situations, clever plotlines, and realistic and likeable characters. I just prefer a little something more in my historical romance, and I can’t even quite put my finger on what that is. It’s that quality that makes me want to read every single book an author has written. The first book I read by her, More Than a Mistress, comes closest to my preference but it is still missing a certain something that makes it work for me; I actually felt that book ended too abruptly.
    Lady Angeline Dudley, the younger sister of the Duke of Tresham, is kind of a ditz, a proper and wealthy lady, to be sure, but she has a sort of Charlotte Palmer* quality about her with her constant good humor, inane chatter, and neglect of decorum in social situations. I suppose you could say she is the ideal socialite of her time. She is a silly young miss excited about her come out and wants to marry a man unlike her father and older brothers, rakes all of them. This is an admirable trait as at least she knows what kind of man she wishes to marry. Still, she seemed all of her immature twenty years.
    Yet I could feel Angeline’s  loneliness, especially when it’s revealed that she has no female friends. I related to this instantly, and it somehow warmed me toward her. I love her obsession with bonnets, too, and her sunny personality is infectious.
    Edward, the new Earl of Heyward after his brother’s untimely demise in a curricle race, is a gentleman to the core. He’s a definite beta hero, with his serious demeanor—Tresham calls him a “dry old stick”—his awareness of social decorum and expected behavior, and devotion to his old friend, Edith Goddard, a university don’s daughter. Like Edward Ferrars from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, he wishes to honor his understanding with Edith even as he is drawn to Angeline and Edith is attracted to Lord Windrow, a renowned rake and Edward’s nemesis. Even though Edward isn’t an exciting rake, he’s a genuinely nice man, the sort of man a lady wants to marry.
    The relationship between Edward and Edith is sweetly portrayed, as they are rather like siblings, and Edith’s covert plans for both Edward and Angeline are clever even as Angeline herself comes to befriend Edith. In a funny twist, Angeline thinks Edward and Edith belong together and tries to bring them together. I just love these little nuances in novels of manners and it’s one of the many reasons I love Jane Austen’s works.
    Lord Windrow is an unexpected character. He’s an aggressive rake with a smooth style. I especially liked his provocative sparring conversations with Edith and how he becomes enchanted by her calm and lovely personality. Edith’s attraction to him, while very understated, is obvious.
    The pacing of the story felt a bit slow to me, but I listened to this on CD over a month (read by the wonderful Anne Flosnik) so that might have made the story seem slower than normal. The story takes place in about a month’s time which, given all that happens, seems surprisingly short.
    But it is a testament to Balogh’s skill as a writer that Angeline and Edward—and even the secondary characters—are so colorful and  interesting and their situation so farcical, that I just couldn’t stop listening.
    Anne Flosnik, a narrator who has read several books I have enjoyed, does an admirable job with her clear, crisp, and engaging voice. I especially liked her lighter, younger girlish voice for Angeline and her deeper, more cultured and elegant voice for Edith. Secondary characters including Tresham, Angeline’s cousin and chaperone, Rosalie, Ferdinand, and Edward’s family members are all easily differentiated as well as expressing apt emotions at logical points in the story.
    A sweet and poignant novel of manners, fans of Georgette Heyer, Samantha Grace, Julia Quinn, and Amanda Forester's Marriage Mart series might enjoy.
    *From Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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