Friday, August 1, 2008

His Lordship's Mistress - Joan Wolf

"Jessica O’Neill had made a desperate bid to save her family from ruin--and was likely to bring it on herself. Not only had she become a remarkable talent on the London stage, but she was sought by one of society’s darlings, the handsome, wealthy Earl of Linton--as his mistress. Oh, what a tangled web we weave… "

On her stepfather's death Jessica O'Neill discovers her family estate is mortgaged and will be lost if enough money is not found soon. Her sole family are her two younger brothers and to save them all from ruin she devises a plan. She will pretend to visit a new found relative but in truth she will go to London to work in theater and find herself a protector who will give her enough money so she can go back home and pursue her dream of raising horses.

Jessica does find work in the theater but instead of being cast in minor papers she becames a leading actress casting shadow in the great Kean himself. She also attracts the attention of several gentleman and eventually she becomes Lord Linton's mistress. Linton immediately realises Jessica is a inexperienced woman and although sensing a mystery he is unable to resist her and they become lovers. She is an intelligent young woman and Linton enjoys spending time with her so they are frequently seen together and eventually he presents her to some members of the family.

Linton´s sister and mother want him to get married and unable to give up Jessica he tells her of his feelings and asks her to marry him. Thinking that he will be ostracized by society if that happens and will loose his position she leaves and returns home. Linton is heartbroken but later finds out her whereabouts and convinces her, along with his sister who is a patroness at Almacks, that they will be accepted by society.

Although it seemed a big coincidence hou Linton finds Jessica and I have some doubts about her readily acceptance after being such a well known actress I did find this one a real romantic story and really enjoyed Linton's and Jessica's love story.

Grade: B

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