The Mistress' Houseby Leigh Michaels
The rules are made to be broken...again...and again
Leigh Michaels is the author of nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels and more than a dozen non-fiction books. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published by Harlequin. A six time RITA finalist, she has also received two Reviewer's Choice awards from Romantic/b>… See more details below
The rules are made to be broken...again...and again
Leigh Michaels is the author of nearly 100 books, including 80 contemporary novels and more than a dozen non-fiction books. More than 35 million copies of her romance novels have been published by Harlequin. A six time RITA finalist, she has also received two Reviewer's Choice awards from Romantic Times, and was the 2003 recipient of the Johnson Brigham Award. She is the author of On Writing Romance, published in January 2007 by Writers Digest Books. Leigh also teaches romance writing on the Internet at Gotham Writers' Workshop. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Three novellas based on the inhabitants of Number 5 hold their own charm... The sweetness and appeal of these short love stories holds a certain delight. " - RT Book Reviews
"A delightful romp in Regency-era England... funny, sexy and entertaining. I couldn't put it down!" - History Undressed
"With deft storytelling, abundant humor and tenderness in all the right places, The Mistress' House will remain with you for a long time to come." - Linda Banche Romance Author
"A wonderful, enchanting story of love, magic of love, and happiness." - My Book Addiction and More
"Vibrant, fresh, and fiesty... brimming with sexuality. The love scenes are sizzling hot!!" - Minding Spot
"A truly delightful, romantic, historical read... One of the best historical romances I've read in a long while. " - Dark Diva Reviews
"Deliciously decadent from start to finish." - Seriously Reviewed
"Each story is filled with romance, as well as a few twists and turns, making it a fun and enjoyable read. " - The Royal Reviews
"A unique regency romance novel that is full of hot romance, great characters, and fun stories." - Laura's Reviews
"One novel; three love stories, makes for one intriguing display of romance, adventure, and everything else associated with the regency ton. " - Romance Fiction on Suite101.com
"Filled with fun, witty banter, heartache and emotion, a little mystery, romance, and twists that you don't see coming." - The Good, the Bad and the Unread
"Tender romance stories to escape in... Plenty of passion to spare..." - Read All Over Reviews
"Readers will be captivated by her sophisticated style and immense knowledge of Regency England. " - Debbie's Book Bag
"A wonderful book of what love at first sight can bring about... Deliciously vivid. " - Yankee Romance Reviewers
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- 4.02(w) x 6.82(h) x 0.88(d)
Read an Excerpt
The Earl Buys a House
The Earl of Hawthorne looked wistfully past his man of business. At the far end of the library, a pair of long windows stood open to a glorious autumn day, and in the distance he could hear the bark of a hunting dog. It was a perfect day to take a gun and a dog and go for a long tramp across the parkland and into the woods of his Surrey estate. But here he was instead, sitting at his desk and listening to Perkins prose on for hours about the benefits of investing in a canal somewhere at the far end of England.
Except, now that Thorne actually pulled his attention back to the library, Perkins appeared to have finished with the canal and moved on to the benefits of buying a house in London.
"Perkins," Thorne said gently. "I already have a house in London. A big house-right on Portman Square. You can't have overlooked that."
"No, my lord."
"Surely you're not suggesting I sell the house I already have and buy a different one?"
"No, my lord."
"And surely you're not suggesting that I need more space in London."
"No, my lord." With each repetition, Perkins' voice grew more wooden.
"Then you're suggesting I buy another house and lease it out?"
"Not exactly, my lord."
"But if I'm neither going to live in it nor rent it, what on earth would I do with another house in..." Thorne paused. "Perkins, exactly where is this house?"
"At Number 5 Upper Seymour Street, my lord. It's..."
"I know where it is. Right around the corner from Portman Square."
"The garden of Number 5 backs on your own, my lord. It is not a large house-only six bedrooms, four main reception rooms, and all the usual arrangements for servants. But the location and the situation are quite salubrious. Unlike the other houses in the row, Number 5 has windows all along one side, as well as in front and back, because it lies next to Berkeley Mews."
"With horses coming and going all day," Thorne observed. "Not every tenant would like that."
"Since they are mostly your own horses, my lord," Perkins observed, "I felt it likely this would not disturb you. The location alongside the mews, plus the large number of windows and the consequently high window tax, does mean that the house isn't in quite as much demand as it might otherwise be, and that has kept the price reasonable. And it is a very convenient situation, should my lord wish to come and go without being observed."
Thorne leaned back in his chair, tapping his index finger against his jaw. "You make me sound like some kind of spy, Perkins," he said dryly. "Surely you're not laboring under the delusion that I'm part of an espionage ring."
Perkins coughed. "Certainly not, my lord."
Perkins' tone, Thorne thought wryly, was unnecessarily acerbic. It wasn't, after all, that Thorne didn't have the right talents to be a spy. He'd just never been called upon to use them in that particular way.
"I merely meant," Perkins went on, "that your lordship is a figure of interest in London society, and therefore your... actions... are noticed and often remarked on."
"Actions? Why, Perkins, you old dog. You're actually volunteering to help me to keep my affaires under wraps? If I didn't know better, I'd think you were blushing."
Perkins shuffled his feet and looked down at the carpet.
He hadn't been mistaken; Perkins was blushing. Thorne had never seen anything of the sort before. He considered the idea. There was certainly merit to the notion of buying a house just off Portman Square. If he could tuck a mistress into a trysting place just a step from his own garden, he could avoid a long list of inconveniences. Kicking his heels for hours while messages were delivered and answers returned... Riding halfway across London for an assignation... Finding new, safe, and very secluded meeting places... Wandering around the halls of a country house trying to locate a particular lady's bedchamber... Keeping his horses, and the grooms who cared for them, waiting outside a private house on a cold day...
"Very well," he said and stood up. "Buy the house. I'll look it over when I come up to town for the Season."
"Yes, my lord. I shall put the transaction in motion immediately."
"I have the utmost faith in your judgment, Perkins." Thorne clapped his man of business on the shoulder and escaped to the gun room before Perkins could wax poetic about his canal once more.
Of course, there was one drawback to the scheme, Thorne thought as he started off across the lawn, a shotgun on his shoulder and his favorite hound rollicking at his heels. Once a mistress was actually in residence in a house right around the corner from his own, he might find it a bit of a tangle to move her out again when he tired of her. But he could deal with that when the problem arose.
Or, he thought with a twinge of humor, Perkins could.
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