My Fair Mistress written by Tracy Anne Warren
Publication Date: 2007
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He drives a hard bargain, but the pleasure is all hers.
London financier Rafe Pendragon has a reputation for ruthlessness, and exotic beauty Julianna Hawthorne is determined to clear the debt her brother owes him. Captivated by Rafe’s virile good looks, weakened by his intoxicating mix of danger and sensuality, Julianna boldly agrees to Rafe’s shocking terms: six months as his mistress. As Rafe’s intense green eyes pierce her body and set it afire, Julianna can only imagine what emotions his kiss may unleash.
Surrendering to the pleasures of seduction and carnal delight, Rafe never anticipated that love would be the cost of his bargain. When he realizes that a vindictive enemy may harm Julianna should their clandestine liaison be exposed, Rafe must choose between loving her and protecting her. To save his fair mistress, Rafe must risk what he has already lost: his heart.
The way Miss Warren weaves in romance, love, and lust in the book is believable in a sense that as a reader, you would think that this kind of situation would really happen in reality. I love how both characters grow in this story – most especially Julianna. She starts off as a very proper, sort of insecure widow and becomes this independent and strong woman. Although there is still a bit of damsel in distress in her, it is not as pronounced as other heroines I have read. Her ultimate devastation when Rafe leaves her is typically a reaction and again very believable. I can feel her anguish and to be honest, I always shed a tear when I get to this part no matter how many times I read it.
When they are forced to marry, I love how Miss Warren wrote in Julianna’s initial reaction. Julianna tries to show indifference to Rafe. Of course, she still loves him but she does show how hurt she is because of what he did.
I also love the hero, Rafe. Personally, I love reading about “rags to riches” heroes and Rafe is one of them. Rafe is also mentioned in other books (and I think other series) as one of the financiers that the gentlemen trust and use. He starts off as an uncaring, self-centered rogue. Later in the story, you see him develop into a hero worthy of Julianna’s love. I love how Ms. Warren wrote in his back story, how we the readers are slowly introduced to why Rafe is as uncaring as he is and we get to understand the reason why he left Julianna.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable read that I love to read again (and I have been re-reading it).