The main characters were Lord Ferdinand and Viola. The novel starts with a festival in a small village where the two meet in rather romantic circumstances.
The conflict starts the very next day when Lord Ferdinand arrives at Pinewood Manor and finds Viola in residence. Having won Pinewood Manor in a card game, Lord Ferdinand was adamant in his efforts to claim his ownership. Viola who had lived there for the last two years after leaving London was scared of losing her home and the source of her income.
This report prepared by lipp78
Viola Thornhill has inherited Pinewood Manor. She has lived there happily for 2 years until the day that Lord Ferdinand Dudley arrives in the small village and informs her that he has just won the manor in a card game from the Earl of Bamber. Locking wills Viola refuses to leave until she sees for herself that the former earl's will has no mention of her and Dudley refuses to leave as he has paperwork on him that proves he won the estate. While waiting for the will or a copy to arrive they go about their own ways, both of them charming villagers and living their own lives. Dudley finds that he fits the role of country gentry like a glove and feels that he belongs for the first time in his life. Viola frets that the old earl who promised that he would give her the estate so she can change her life has forgotten to the legalities.
Dudley's brother, the Earl of Tresham, visits the manor and recognizes Viola for her past life-that of the most expensive and exclusive courtesan in London.He tells Dudley but by now Dudley has begun to fall in love with Viola.Knowing she has been found out she leaves for London, however Dudley follows her. He is determinded that she will not return to her former life. Whil in London she is blackmailed into returning to her former life and it is up to Dudley and his brother to rescue her from the blackmailer and present her to society as the Lady that she really is.
This report prepared by plnorth
Delacorte, Aug 2001, 19.95, 336 pp.
Because he believed in her and wanted her to have a second chance without the baggage of scandal, the Earl of Bamber bequests Pinewood Manor to Viola Thornhill. She relocates and quickly loves her quiet estate and rapidly earns the respect of her neighbors. However, her idyllic world crashes when Lord Ferdinand Dudley arrives claiming the estate as his, having won it in a card game from the present Earl of Bamber. He gives her one-week to vacate the premises, but she refuses saying the present Earl of Bamber could not lose what he did not own.
Though both agree to share the disputed Manor until a final resolution can occur, each tries to force the other to depart from the premises while waiting for the critical will. As they battle for supremacy, Viola and Ferdinand begin to fall in love. Still, the duo has problems that only this estate can fix, making it impossible that love or even a compromise can occur.
NO MAN'S MISTRESS, the sequel to MORE THAN A 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 Tresham, and his wife add a friendly tone to the delightful plot that shows once again why Mary Balogh is one of the best writers of historical romances.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner