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No Man's Mistress (2006)

No Man's Mistress (2006)
3.74 of 5 Votes: 2
0440243238 (ISBN13: 9780440243236)
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No Man's Mistress (2006)
No Man's Mistress (2006)

About book: For the past two years Viola Thornhill life has been peaceful and calm. After picking up the pieces of her life and starting anew, Viola’s life seems almost perfect. Until she meets a handsome stranger at a May Day celebration and is warned by a fortuneteller there, to beware of him as he could destroy her life if she doesn’t snare his heart first. Not taking the warning to heed, Viola finds herself attracted to this stranger and at the end of the fair, kisses from him. Thinking nothing more of this stranger, she’s surprised to see him at her door and telling her that he’s the new owner of her home! Lord Ferdinand Dudley has always had a wild streak in him, always willing to take up any challenge. After he wins in a card game, no less, the picturesque Pinewood Manor, he feels mighty happy for himself. That is until he goes toe to toe with the resident and so called owner of the manor. With the owner scheming along with the neighbors to have him booted out, Ferdinand charms, and outwits anything thrown at him. While trying to fight the growing temptation to his unruly opponent. But when a wager is thrown down by Viola between her and Ferdinand, there’s more at stake then the manor but their hearts are now on the line. It’s hard to have a sequel that can hold up to it’s beloved predecessor, No Man’s Mistress does this and more, holding it’s on. The story takes place four years later after “More Than A Mistress” with Ferdinand the younger brother of Jocelyn. The first half of the book is charming as Viola tries to protect her home by pulling childish pranks to get Ferdinand out, but time and again she can’t help but admire his will to prove her wrong, as slowly she sees he’s not the big bad wolf she thought him to be. Viola’s past haunts and torments her deeply, and to save not only her family but her sense of self, Viola throws down a wager she quickly regrets. I liked Viola, at first I thought she was very childish in trying to kick Ferdinand, then later just down right bullheaded that I wanted to smack her upside the head a few. I felt her running away to many times somewhat tiresome and really dragged down the story toward the end. Plus, how she kept throwing hurtful words into Ferdinand’s face was a low-blow (although the first time he did deserve it!) But as the puzzle pieces fall into place, Viola wasn’t thinking about herself or even her well-being but her beloved family and the shame she felt she would bring to Ferdinand if he knew the truth about her. Ferdinand, Ferdinand...I adore his name as much as I adore him. While his brother was cold and sometimes coming across as unfeeling. Ferdinand is happy-go lucky, but has had his share of past hurts from his parents but mostly his mother which caused him to look at sex differently. Carefree and charming with a innocence about him made him such a great hero, I totally fell in love with him, cried when he cried and hurt when Viola turned him away. Ferdinand was a lot stronger than he first appears, and willing to sacrifice even his heart for his lady love to be happy.. I cheered for Ferdinand when he finally was able to get through Viola’s thick skull. It made me mad that she had such little trust in him, after all he did for her. But leave it to Ferdinand to win any challenge he puts his mind to! The love scenes between Viola and Ferdinand were so touchy and sweet, they were true love scenes in ever form and fashion. Together, both are great and bring something to the table the other lacks. The love between them gives you that warm fuzzy feeling long after. It was also great to revisit the Dudley family, Jocelyn has become a totally different man, showing how much he loves his family and his brother whom he’s very proud of. Makes me wish to see the next gen of Dudleys! I was also happy that the villain got his just desserts by the hands of Ferdinand with some help from his brother.Overall: one of those books that surprise and delight you, that makes you smile and get a little teary eyed at the end as you read the happy ever after of this beloved couple.

Lord Ferdinand has won a small country property, Pinewood, in a game of cards. The day he goes to check it out he finds the town is very quaint and enjoys himself at a carnival. It is there he meets a very beautiful and mysterious woman. The next morning he arrives at Pinewood expecting a run down property and instead finds it thriving and occupied by the very same mystery woman, Viola Thornhill. Ms Thornhill is a woman of many secrets and refuses to leave her home, but Ferdinand believes he has won the property fair and square and insists on moving in.The story is a sequel to More Than a Mistress.Perhaps this is why the story really did not work, to be fair it did start out well. But then by chapter 3 or 4 Viola decides the best thing is to run Ferdinand off by making his life miserable and telling everyone in the town how awful he is and how he is out to destroy her. She fights for her home by acting like a petulant child, because you know mistreating people is more important than oh say a deed or the law. I am not so sure the book ever really recovers from here. Viola is very unreasonable, nasty, petty and stupid...did I mention REALLY NASTY?? Her and her maid seem to have some deep rooted issues, I mean I get trust is hard to come by but the one guy who is willing to help or compromise you treat like this? Viola tell Ferdinand that he just is not "man" enough for her as if that is not enough after she has kicked Ferdinand like a sad puppy she then proceeds to get pissed off because he does not come running to her. Alas Ferdinand is the true fool because he keeps coming back. What I did like about this story was the male virgin with the female courtesan nice change of pace. I also liked seeing the Duke (Jocelyn) as a daddy. While I liked Ferdinand I was looking forward to seeing his transformation of dealing with childhood demons similarly to what the Duke went through in More Than a Mistress. That transformation did not occur in this story Ferdinand remained a constant character never really changing and to this reader he never quite became the hero he strives for. The writing was good, but there were quite a few holes in the plot, for example the mother actually believes she was a governess?? No one had any idea of the step-father's debts? The ton would befriend a high class courtesan, men and women alike...can you see it at a ladies brunch "I say dear, Charles just does not seem very vigorous whatever do you suggest??" To me as a historical romance it does not really work, to me it felt more like a contemporary romance based in Regency England. In this time period women just did not have a lot of rights but Viola seemed to think she and Ferdinand are on equal footing...said another way the bastard prostitute is on par with the son/brother of a Duke. Go figure this one just did not work out well for me.
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This book has a big plot twist and I did not see it coming! The premise seemed straight forward and I was very aggravated at how things were playing out. I hated the hero and I found myself wound up like a top with frustration. Then... As the story unfolds, I became frustrated with the heroine's decisions. SIDE NOTE: It drives me nuts when authors implore secrets and misunderstandings to add momentum for the climax of the story. I much prefer a direct shot to the conclusion... maybe add a secondary plot climax in lieu of the bad decisions and nonsense that the characters go through before everything falls in to place.There is also a secondary plot twist that reinvented our hero from one kind of man to another. I had just finished the first book "More than a Mistress" and I found it really hard to sync the man from that story to the man we discover in this one. I don't feel like it was a necessary addition to the story but maybe because it seems so unrealistic to me. I enjoyed the story overall although I was frustrated with situations a lot while reading it. It was a sweet love story with moderate steam.
I enjoyed this book, it started off real nice - the characters were engaging, our heroine was different and Lord Ferdinand was wonderful. The way things turned out, the misunderstanding of the estate really gave a nice twist and I quite enjoyed all the verbal battles and stubbornness. But I loved the fact how Ferdinand was such a gentleman really. He played all the games Viola threw his way and he came through with class. It was such a shocker to find out the real identity of Viola! I felt the r
The heroin ruined this entire book. Though she had no reason to be, she was a haughty harpy who become meaner and meaner as the book progressed. Ferdie deserved much better. I loved Ferdie but I couldn't understand his infatuation with her, she demeaned him at every chance, insulted his manhood, personality... just about everything she could insult she did. Yet he continued to fawn after her like she was a you know what in heat and he the alpha dog. I usually go for the underdog (people with less than desirable pasts, bastards etc...) but I couldn't in this book. As a matter of fact I was cheering her downfall, hoping that she would get shunned or at least called out once for her atrocious behavior. I will grant that she made some sacrifices for her family but that is no excuse to be a mean shrew. I hated her and I hated her HEA even more. She was undeserving.
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