December 14, 2011

His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander: Review

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In perusing my library's audio catalogue, I found His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander which sounded like it might be rollicking seasonal good times so I downloaded it.

Lady Veronica Smithson is going on a man hunt. She's been widowed for 3 years and wants some lovin' but without the strings that marriage brings. You know those strings, a man bossing her around, using her money, diddling the maid and there's nothing she can say about it, that sort of thing. Since this is Victorian England and there are no nightclubs, Veronica must find one through her friends. She thinks she has the perfect guy to keep tucked away for when she needs him: Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater. Despite his stuffy sounding title, he's a guy who gets around. A world traveller, an adventurer, a randy gentleman. He's also her bff's cousin so she can get all the deets on him easily.

Sebastian is home again in England. This time he's thinking for good. It's time to find a wife and start a family. Someone reliable but not boring. He thinks he may have found her in the form of the widowed Lady Smithson. She's feisty and apparently as attracted to him as he is to her. Surely she wouldn't say no to becoming his bride.  He's quite shocked when she tells him her plan but maybe he can get her to come around to his way of thinking. Maybe a Christmas rendezvous at his new estate will show her all that she'd be missing by not marrying him.

First off, I loved the premise of the story. I loved that Veronica was the sexual aggressor while Sebastian was picking out china patterns. It's sort of like She and Him's Baby It's Cold Outside where Zooey Deschanel is the pursuer. No "Say, what's in this drink?" from her. She has a point about losing her rights as a free woman but she did have a happy marriage to a man who let her have her own way. I'm not sure why she thinks she'll never find a man like that again. Like many romances, a good conversation would clear things up... but then there would be no story, right?

So sometimes Veronica bugged me but her friends are a riot. I did have to wonder at the mixed messages they sent Veronica: "No, the scandal!" "DO IT!" "I will have nothing to do with this!" Make up your minds people. I enjoyed the Sex and the City type scenes with her and her friends at the cafe. The uptight Portia would fit right in with Charlotte. Since this is a series, I suspect we'll be seeing more of Portia. I hope so.

Things rocketed right along until they end up with everyone and their dog at Sebastian's house over the holidays and then I got bored. I started thinking about Christmas cookies and wrapping presents. There was  a lot of talking, talking, talking and not much doing. They thought and talked too much. I wanted more high jinks. There was potential for high jinks but it kind of petered out. I knew that Sebastian and Veronica would get together but I didn't really care. The tension didn't interest me much at that point.

It was a good start and I liked the storyline though. I will look into the next in the series which appears to be about Sebastian's older brother and his wife.

About the Audio: Performed by Susan Duerden. What I'm finding about listening to audiobooks is that I can't listen to sexy-times. I can read them no problem but having them read to me... Blech. I'm embarrassed for everyone. Yes, my prudishness is very specific. Luckily, there is only one sex scene and once the narrator started describing love sticks and whatnot I fast forwarded right quick. It was like it never happened. :)

Ratings:

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2 comments :

  1. Now that you mention it, romance on audiobooks does make me feel a bit squeamish myself! But I really liked this review a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, I probably wouldn't be so keen on listening to steamy romance on audio. I would pass.

    ReplyDelete

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