As a confessed book addict, a free book is like a free hit of a drug to me. Who could possibly turn down a novel for free, much less one from the famous Harlequin romance novel series? (Thank you Barnes and Noble for your free Nook Books) Follow along as I share my unique experience in reading one of these intriguing romances, His Lady Mistress, and feel free to comment below if you share my experience or feel otherwise.
Our heroine, Verity Scott, is caught in a sad state of affairs. With her father recently deceased due to suicide, she has no inheritance to her name and she is awash with grief. Enter Max Blakehurst, an old friend of Verity’s father who comes to her aid in order to put his affairs in order to the best of his abilities. Verity comes to discover that her father was actually Max’s commanding officer, and she instantly takes to the man as he offers her comfort in her time of need. Fast forward five years, where Verity is now living in the care of her uncle, not as a member of the household but as a common servant. Her family has forced her to change her name, recognizing her as “Selena” only. She crosses paths with Max for the first time since her father’s death, as he comes to visit her uncle’s family but does not recognize her. Even so, he becomes enthralled with her and decides to take her as his mistress as a way to protect her from the mistreatment’s she endures. Upon finding out that Selena is actually Verity he forces her to marry him, claiming that she knew all along the line she was walking. His overall opinion towards her, however, is as changing as the weather, as the two constantly fall in and out of love with each other. What will become of them? Will Verity finally be able to convince him of her innocence?
While the concept of the book was originally intriguing to me, the execution fell completely flat. The entire novel felt like one giant roller-coaster flowing off the ebb of the same conflict. He hates her, she loves him. She hates him, he loves her. Back and forth and back and forth it went. It got incredibly boring an old after the third “misunderstanding”. Max’s jealous outbursts didn’t make sense in the context of the “I hate you” moments. When Verity reveals that she did not sleep with him to trap him into marrying her he believes her, then 10 pages later we’re back to him doubting her.
I’m not sure how I feel about continuing on with another Harlequin romance novel after reading this one. I’ve seen the titles of some others and have serious doubts about finding a good one. (My favorite title I’ve seen to date has to be Reclaiming His Pregnant Widow). Despite these shortcomings, His Lady Mistress did keep me entertained and both Max and Verity were definitely likeable at times. So, when taking into account that this book was free, it’s shortcomings are lessened slightly. Although not for everyone, Harlequin romances do still hold a particular place in the literary world that they fill quite well. Give one a try and decide for yourself.
PS – If you think you can totally change my mind about Harlequin Romances and have one you think I’d like, leave me the title of one in the comments below.
2 out of 5 Stars