This two-in-one edition of two of my older books is being released two months before their prequel, my new hardcover, The Secret Mistress.
More Than a Mistress, first published in 2000, is the story of the wild rakehell, Jocelyn Dudley, Duke of Tresham, and Jane Ingleby, in whom he meets his match. Jane interrupts a duel between Tresham and an aggrieved husband, and as a result the duke is severely wounded in the leg. When Jane is late for work at a milliner's shop and loses her job, she demands that Tresham provide her with a letter explaining that she was late because she stopped to help him. He flatly refuses, but he does offer her a replacement job—as his nurse. He promises to make her sorry she was born before the temporary job comes to an end.
No Man's Mistress, first published in 2001, is the story of Tresham's brother, Lord Ferdinand Dudley, and Viola Thornhill, with whom he comes into conflict when he wins a country manor in a card game but discovers when he goes to claim it that she is living there and insists the house belongs to her. Neither will back down, and each sets out on a vigorous campaign to drive the other away. But the stakes are high indeed for Viola, and she finally comes to the conclusion that the only way she can keep her home is to wager with Ferdinand that she can seduce him—the loser to quit the house forever.
Jocelyn and Ferdinand have a younger sister, who appears a number of times in their books. She is already married to the Earl of Heyward, a man whom they contemptuously dismiss as a dry old stick. However, they do admit that the two seem fond of each other, though that fact makes no sense to them. Heyward is quiet and dull; Angeline is loud and flamboyant and has atrocious taste in clothes, particularly in her garish bonnets. Readers started asking me for Angeline and Heyward's story, and I started to wonder about it myself! What brought such a mismatched pair together? And is it really a love match? Eventually, then, I had to go back to find the answers and write about them. And I discovered that they did indeed have a story to be told. The Secret Mistress will be published in hardcover at the end of July, 2011.
Dell Historical, ISBN 978-0345529046
More than a Mistress
Mary Balogh has a talent for creating lead characters whose conflicts
camouflage how right they are for each other....In Jocelyn and Jane the
author has created two of her best--and that's saying something!
...One of the satisfying aspects of the story is seeing how Jocelyn and Jane
perfectly complement each other and watching them slowly discover it too.
The sexual tension between them builds convincingly--their verbal exchanges
are better foreplay than pages of purple physical description.
Lesley Dunlap for The Romance Reader
Mary Balogh is an exceptional talent....The courageous, headstrong Jane is
a perfect match for the cynical, world-weary Jocelyn as they move from
antagonists to lovers, discovering the true man and woman behind the masks
they both wear.
Lenore Howard for Old Book Barn Gazette
In her assured hardcover debut, Balogh serves up two Regency-era characters
determined not to fall in love with each other..... The predictability of
their predicament is compensated for by an authentic London high society
setting and the smart, sexy dialogue between Jocelyn Dudley, Duke of
Tresham, and Jane Ingleby, the two attractive, headstrong protagonists.
Best-selling romance author Balogh makes her hardcover debut with this
luscious Regency-era delight....Balogh will delight fans and new readers
alike with her memorable characters and fast-paced, well-constructed plot.
Diana Tixier Herald for Booklist
An edgy tale that handles a sensitive subject with great style is combined
with an intriguing mix of suspense and passion. This romantic story is
hilarious in spots with characters who are well-rounded and lovable....a
sure-fire winner from one of this genre's finest authors.
Great story! I loved every minute of it.
Alice Moisen for Annie's Book Stop
Mary Balogh just keeps getting better and better. And there's no
unwarranted sex or violence, just interesting characters and great stories
to tell....an adventure well worth your time.
Helen Holzer for Atlanta Journal-Constitution
We love Regencies and this was a good one. It has an unusual set-up and
genuine emotion. Keep 'em coming.
Elizabeth Cook, Emerson and Cook Book Co.
Humor, drama, pathos, suspense, sensuality--I loved it! I am prejudiced,
though. Mary Balogh is one of my all time favorite authors. In my top three,
in fact! Her writing is exquisite.
Lisa James for Book Barn
Excellent read! Loved this book.
Kathleen Magarro for Tenafly Bookshop
To tell you how well I enjoyed it, I was up until 4:30 in the morning after
spending the day with my own kids and five extras! The twists and turns of
the plot were captivating!
Lyn Milner for Vintage Books
The depth and multilayeredness of her characters take readers on a ride
through the minds of some very complicated people. The haughty Duke of
Tresham can only be characterized as a lovable bull who has found the only
piece of unbreakable tupperware in a china shop. His frustration at being
unable to break plastic....is an amusing thing to behold....I absolutely
loved this novel!
Rubey Green, Book Hound
A wonderfully witty and touching romance is at the heart of this
Julie Flesner for University Book Store, Iowa City
Balogh captivates the reader with a profoundly deep, sensual, and witty
S. Fulton for B. Dalton, Atlanta
A stunningly good work of romantic fiction. Mary Balogh reaches deep and
touches the heart.
Joan Johnston, New York Times bestselling author
More than a Mistress is a winning, witty, and engaging tale that fulfilled
all of my romantic fantasies. A new Mary Balogh book is a gift every woman
should give herself.
Teresa Medeiros, bestselling author
Wise, witty and compassionate, Mary Balogh is an incomparable talent. I
never miss a book.
Jill Barnett, bestselling author
No Man's Mistress
Mary Balogh has a gift for placing ordinary people in extraordinary
circumstances. For many of her characters, life is about survival first, and love
becomes the reward for their sacrifices and hardships. This romantic and
intensely emotional story will cast its spell on you from the first page.
Lenore Howard for Old Barn Gazette
No Man's Mistress is an exciting Regency romance that is fun to
read because the lead characters are atypical of the sub-genre's
normal stars. The story line is pleasurable due to the antics of Viola and
Ferdinand trying to trump one another. The return of Ferdinand's
brother, the Duke of Tresham, and his wife adds a friendly tone to the
Midwest Book Reviews
A pair of strong, equally determined protagonists clash exquisitely in this
lively, passionate sequel to More than a Mistress. Balogh is a noted writer
of historical romances that feature strong, unconventional heroines and often
test the limits of the genre.
Kristin Ramsdell for Library Journal
I enjoyed the snap and sizzle in the heated discussions between the hero and
heroine, and the realistic challenges they face due to the differences in their
social status make for a lively and thrilling tale in which the author skillfully
weaves intrigue and romance to keep readers glued to the pages of this
Mary Balogh has a soaring range of emotion. This story begins as an elegant
comedy, with sparkling wit and cheerful flirtation. Then things become serious,
then tragic, and then soul-crushingly sad. Ms. Balogh can sweep from high
notes to low notes with impossible grace, making the sad and funny blend
into pure, aching joy....Mary Balogh turns old into new, sorrow into joy, and
popular entertainment into high art.
Larry Rogers for Reader to Reader