Review: The Mistress House by Leigh Michaels

Monday, February 28

Title: The Mistress House *
Author: Leigh Michaels
Genre:  Historical Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: mass market paperback & digital ebook
Date/Year:  February 2011
Reviewed by: Booklover1335

*This book was provided to me by the publisher for review

Summary from the publisher:

Three beautifully intertwined love stories…

The rules are made to be broken…
When the handsome, rakish Earl of Hawthorne buys the charming house across the back garden from his town home, he never expects the lovely lady he installs there to ensnare him completely…
After Lady Anne Keighley marries the earl, it seems a shame to leave the house empty, so she offers it to her childhood friend Felicity Mercer, who discovers that the earl’s gorgeous cousin is precisely the man she’s been waiting for…
and again…
Finally, feisty Georgiana Baxter moves into the house to escape an arranged marriage, and encounters the earl’s friend Lord Julian Silsby late one night in the back garden. The handsome soldier is more than willing to give her the lessons she asks for…

There is plenty of gossip, scandal, and torrid speculations surrounding the “mistress’ house”, but behind closed doors, passions blaze…

My Musings:

This is the first book that I’ve read by Leigh Michaels. I was drawn to the concept of the three romance stories revolving around a house...kind of a “if the walls could talk” kind of intrigue.

The first of the three novellas is the story of Anne, a widowed woman who wants to safeguard herself from ever having to marry again by setting out to completely ruin her reputation. So she approaches the Earl of Hawthorne to put her in a compromising situation thus ultimately gaining the freedom she desires. Predictably they fall in love and marry despite their initial intentions, and the reader moves on to the next novella in this collection.

Felicity is the second and most interesting of all of the three heroines. As a young and impressionable woman she met a man with whom she fell in love, who seduced her then abandoned her despite his protestations of love stating that they could not marry because his family did not approve of her. She comes to London to visit her childhood friend in hopes of gaining the one thing that she feels will help her cope with the loss of the man she loved....only to find out about his lies and deception, while falling in love with his brother...the man she’s blackmailed to gain her heart’s desire. But not to worry it all works out rather easily to everyone’s ultimate happiness.

The third and final mistress of the house is Georgiana, who is the youngest and most rebellious of the three heroines. She runs away from her guardian because of an arranged marriage to a man she’s never met and does not wish to marry. She finds herself attracted to a man she finds in the garden next to the house and decides that she wants him to teach her how to be a mistress. They are wildly attracted to each other, thus less than careful and are discovered in a compromising position. Little did either of them know that what they were dreading or avoiding is exactly what they inadvertently find with each other. What are the odds?

While each of the stories in this book was slightly different, they are all similar which creates continuity between them. The heroines proposition the hero, they become intimate, they fall in love, and they marry and live happily ever after. One of the things that I enjoyed about the circumstances the heroines found themselves in was that each of them approached their hero for seduction for their own reasons. They took control of their destinies, at least to the extent that they could in the world and society that they lived in.

The stories in The Mistress House were very likeable with sweet heroines, sexy heroes who each easily fall for each other with no great obstacles to overcome, no villains, nor unfortunately any significant character growth, and therein lays the biggest issue that I had with Leigh Michael’s latest historical romance. I love romances that involve a little more heart and emotional connection, that pull the heartstrings and makes me sigh, cheer for them, cry with them, or laugh with them and I just didn’t get as much of that as what I would have liked from this book. It's possible that if each of these stories would have been it's own book instead  of a novella that the characters and their emotions would have been able to be explored to a more satisfying conclusion.  As it was I felt that you barely got to know them before the story ended.  I enjoyed it, but I didn’t come away loving it with the desire to read it over again. That being said, The Mistress House has a pleasing style, and interesting plots that I am sure many readers will find to their liking. If you are looking for a light romantic diversion then you might find that Leigh Michael’s The Mistress House will appeal to your romance lovers heart.


Overall:  3.5 stars
Sensuality level:  2.75

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Jane February 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM  

This book sounds interesting. I might see if the library has it before buying a copy

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