BN.com Gift Guide

The Accidental Mistress [NOOK Book]

Overview

He will expose her masquerade, but she will expose his heart.

To escape an arranged marriage, spirited Lily Bainbridge has staged her own death, and, disguised as a boy, she fled to London and a life of freedom. Yet her plans to live masquerade as an independent widow are thwarted by an encounter with a powerful and dangerously attractive marquis who wants to make her his ...
See more details below
The Accidental Mistress

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price

Overview

He will expose her masquerade, but she will expose his heart.

To escape an arranged marriage, spirited Lily Bainbridge has staged her own death, and, disguised as a boy, she fled to London and a life of freedom. Yet her plans to live masquerade as an independent widow are thwarted by an encounter with a powerful and dangerously attractive marquis who wants to make her his mistress. Lily is afraid that if she gives him her innocence, he’ll steal her heart.

Having agreed to a marriage of convenience to honor his family duty, Ethan Andarton, the Marquis of Vessey, has no intention of abandoning his rakish ways. Then fate intervenes in the guise of an impetuous young lady–a woman bold enough to scheme her way to London, who tempts him with her mystery and her sensuality. Kiss after kiss, caress after tender caress, Ethan vows to discover all of Lily’s hidden secrets. For beneath the layers of her clever ruse lies a burning passion that will ignite a tempestuous love neither of them can deny.


From the Paperback edition.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345502438
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/27/2007
  • Series: Mistress Trilogy Series , #3
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 121,192
  • File size: 486 KB

Meet the Author

Tracy Anne Warren is the author of the Husband Trap, Wife Trap, and Wedding Trap trilogy. After working for a number of years in finance, she quit her day job to pursue her first love–writing romance novels. Warren lives in Maryland with a trio of exuberant young Siamese rescue cats and windows full of gorgeous orchids and African violets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and dreaming up the characters for her next book. Visit her website at www.tracyannewarren.com.


From the Paperback edition.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

April 1814
Cornwall, England

Only a few more yards, Lily Bainbridge told herself. Only a little while longer and I will be safe. I will be free.

An icy wave struck her dead in the face. Gasping for breath, she pushed on, arm over arm, as she fought the unrelenting drag of the rough, rolling sea. Above her, lightning flashed against a viscous gray sky, slashes of rain hurtling downward to sting her skin like a barrage of tiny needles.

Arms quivering from the strain, she put the discomfort out of her mind and kept swimming, knowing it was either that or drown. And despite the suicide note she’d left back in her bedroom at the house, she had no intention of dying, certainly not today.

Many would call her insane to plunge into the sea during a storm, but regardless of the danger, she’d known she had to act without fear or hesitation. Delay would mean marriage to Squire Edgar Faylor, and as she’d told her stepfather, she would rather be dead than bound for life to such a loathsome brute. But her stepfather cared naught for her wishes, since marriage to Faylor would mean a profitable business deal for him.

Slowing, she scanned the jagged shoreline, and the waves that crashed in thunderous percussion against the rocks and shoals. Although she’d swum these waters for nearly the whole of her twenty years, she’d never done so during such a seething tempest. Alarmingly, nothing looked quite the same, familiar vantage points distorted by the dim light and the churning spray of the surf.

Treading fast, she fought the clinging weight of her gown, the sodden muslin coiling around her legs like iron shackles. Doubtless she would have been better off stripping down to her shift before taking to the sea, but her “death” had to look convincing, enough so that her stepfather would not suspect the truth. If she lived through this and he discovered she was still alive, he would hunt her down without an ounce of mercy.

With her heart drumming in her chest, she swam harder, knowing she dare not let herself drift and be swept out to sea. A knot formed in the base of her throat at the disquieting thought, a shiver rippling through her tired limbs. What if I’ve miscalculated? she worried. What if the storm has already carried me out too far?

Her apprehensions evaporated when a familiar sight came into view: a narrow fissure, black as coal, that cut its way into the towering cliffs that lined the shore. To the casual eye, the opening appeared no different from any of the other sea caves in the area, but Lily knew otherwise. For beyond its foreboding exterior lay protection and escape.

Giving an exuberant pair of kicks, she continued forward, crossing at an angle through the waves. With the tide now at her back, the surf pushed her fast. For a moment, she feared she might be dashed to pieces against the rocks, but at the last second the current shifted and washed her inside with a gentle, guiding hand.

Darkness engulfed her. Tamping down a momentary sense of disorientation, she swam ahead, knowing better than to be afraid. The cave was an old smuggler’s pass that had fallen into disuse, a secret retreat that had once provided a perfect hideaway for inquisitive children, and now for a truant would-be bride.

With seawater eddying around her at a placid lap, she glided forward until she brushed up against the cave’s perimeter wall. A small search soon revealed a ledge that told her she was in the right place. Dripping and shivering, she hoisted herself up onto its surface, then paused for a moment to gain her breath before rising to her feet. Careful of each step, she followed the cave’s gentle bell shape until the interior gradually widened to provide a pocket of natural warmth and dryness. When her foot struck a large, solid object, she knew she had arrived at her ultimate destination.

Teeth chattering, she leaned over and felt for a wooden lid, opening the trunk. Her fingers trembled as they curved around the lantern she knew lay inside and the metal matchbox set carefully to one side. With the strike of a match, light filled the space, flickering eerily off the rough walls and low stone ceiling. Stiff with chill, she stripped off her clothes, then reached again into the trunk for a large woolen blanket, wrapping herself inside it.

Thank heavens she’d had the foresight to secret away these supplies! After her mother’s death six months ago, she’d known she would eventually have to flee, aware that as soon as the mourning period ended, her stepfather, Gordon Chaulk, would likely decide “to do something about her,” as he’d been threatening to for years.

And so, while out on her regular daily walk, she had slowly filled the smuggler’s chest with necessities, including money, food, and a set of men’s clothes she’d altered from old ones of her father’s. As for boots, she’d had no choice but to steal a pair from one of the smaller stable boys. Not wanting the lad to suffer for his loss, she’d anonymously left him enough coin to purchase new ones. He’d grinned about the odd theft and his propitious windfall for weeks.

To her knowledge, no one but a few old-time smugglers knew about this hideout, despite the thriving business of sneaking contraband tea and French brandy past the noses of the local excise men. Certainly her stepfather wasn’t aware of the caves. To most Cornishmen, he was still considered an outsider, despite having lived here for five years—ever since marrying her mother and taking up residence at Bainbridge Manor.

Five years, Lily sighed. Five years to wear the life out of a good woman who’d deserved far, far better than she’d received.

A familiar lump swelled in her throat, a single tear sliding down her cheek. Ruthlessly, she dashed it away, telling herself that now was not the time to dwell upon her mother’s untimely demise. If only she’d been able to convince Mama to leave years ago. If only she’d been able to keep her from falling prey to the blandishments of a handsome charmer, who’d turned out to have the heart of a poisonous viper. But having been a child at the time, her opinion had not been sought, nor would it have been heeded.

Toweling dry the worst drips from her hair, Lily crossed to a pile of kindling stacked against the far wall. Using some of the wood, she built a small fire. Blessed heat soon warmed the space, calming the worst of the shivers that continued to rack her body. Returning to the trunk, she dressed in a shirt, trousers, and coat, the masculine attire feeling strange against her skin. At least the clothing is warm, and—even better—dry, she mused. And until I reach London, I had best get used to being dressed like a boy.

She wasn’t so foolish as to imagine she could journey to London on her own, at least not dressed as a woman. A female traveling without escort would invite comment, but worse, she would be subject to all manner of predators wishing to make her their prey—out to steal her reticule or, shudder the thought, her virtue. And in addition to providing her some measure of safety, the ruse would allow her to leave the area without detection. Rather than accept help of any kind, she planned to make the long walk to the coaching inn at Penzance. That way, should her stepfather question anyone later, they would have no cause to remember a redheaded girl matching her description.

Nerves made her wish she could leave now, but until the worst of the storm subsided, she knew she would be better off staying here inside the cave. Pulling on a pair of long woolen socks that eased the cold from her toes, she reached once more into the trunk for a cloth-covered wedge of cheese. Belly growling, she broke off a chunk and ate, enjoying the sharp, satisfying flavor.

Minutes later, her meal finished, she prepared to complete one last task—an act she had been dreading. Just the thought of proceeding made her cringe. But the deed must be done.

Locating her ivory comb, she drew the teeth through her damp, waist-length hair, careful to remove every last tangle before tying it back with a thin, black silk ribbon. Drawing a deep, fortifying breath, she lifted a pair of scissors and began to cut.

Three days later, Ethan Andarton, Fifth Marquis of Vessey, swallowed a last bite of shepherd’s pie, then set his knife and fork at an angle on his plate and pushed it away. Reaching for the wine bottle, he refilled his glass with a dry red of questionable vintage—apparently the best The Ox and Owl in Hungerford could provide.

Crowded full of men come to town for a nearby boxing mill, the public room hummed with noise and the occasional raucous burst of laughter. Drifting in spirals near the ceiling lay an acrid blue cloud of pipe smoke, combined with the yeasty scent of ale and the heavy aroma of fried meat. With the inn’s only private parlor already occupied, Ethan had decided to sit among the locals, tucking himself into a surprisingly comfortable corner table. From his vantage point, he could see all the boisterous goings-ons. But such matters were not on his mind as he quaffed another mouthful of wine.

It will be good to get back to London, he mused. Good to return to my usual amusements and haunts now that I’ve taken the necessary first steps to see my future arranged.

Not that he was eager to have his future arranged, but a long span of serious reflection on the matter had convinced him he could no longer afford to put off his duty. At thirty-five, he knew he must wed. He had a responsibility to his lineage, an obligation to sire sons who would carry on the family name and title. And in order to do so he must have a bride—whether he truly desired one or not.

Of course, were his older brothers, Arthur and Frederick, alive, he wouldn’t be facing this particular dilemma. Arthur would be marquis now, no doubt long since married with children of his own. But by some cruel twist of fate, both of his brothers had lost their lives during an attempt to save a tenant’s child from drowning in a storm-swollen river. Frederick had dived in first; then, when his brother failed to emerge, Arthur had followed. In the end, all three had perished, both men and the child.


From the Paperback edition.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Excellent read.

    This is another hit by Tracy Anne Warren. I read the paper back years ago and have just purchased for my NOOK. I highly recomend this book, in fact all books by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 29, 2011

    This book certainly had potential

    I liked this book well enough. The story started out exciting and held my attention. I liked Ethan and Lily and thought they were good together. What I didn't love was how Lily was content to be Ethan's mistress. It kind of lowered my opinion of her. Some parts of the book dragged and I kind of skimmed through a bit. This wasn't a bad book, I'll probably follow the series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Can't help but love the heroine!

    When given the choice between death and marriage to the squire, Lily Bainbridge finally realizes she has no choice but to commit suicide -
    or at least make it appear that she did. Lily barely manages to survive making her escape but her plans weren't for naught and she narrowly esapes death - and her step-father.

    Dressed as a boy, Lily manages to make it nearly to London without anyone looking past her disguise to the lady underneath but a chance encounter with a man who makes her insides quiver begins Lily thinking that maybe not all men are the same. Will this man be able to change her mind before someone finds out that she's not quite as deceased as she'd have them believe?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Liv

    This+book+is+fabulous+i+recommend+it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)