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    Historical Romance

    Only a Mistress will Do by Joanna Jaxon House of Pleasure #3 This standalone historical novel set in 1761 deals with marriage, mistresses, societal and family expectations. It is also about where in the scheme of life love has a part – if it has a part at all. In the past women were commodities and as wives might have less affection from her husband than the same man’s mistress. When Violet Carlton reaches the point where she must choose to live or die she chooses to live and to do so she offers herself to brothel madam in exchange for food, clothing and a roof over her head. Tristan, Viscount Trevor, is to be her first and is set to deflower her only to hear something that changes his mind and instead puts her under his protection even though he is nearly affianced to a young woman that will bring him a great deal of property. Breaking and engagement can ruin both parties of the agreement, lead to a duel or…worse. There are other threads to the story that impact the characters in more ways than one but all in all it is a love story. What I liked: *The idea that Tristan wanted to remain true to his marriage if/when he married *The idea that Violet was strong enough to choose life over death even if it meant besmirching her reputation *The adherence to the fact that marriages were not born from love but instead were contracts – business contracts – and even being a mistress was contractual in nature *That eventually love won out What I didn’t like: *Tristan’s wishy-washiness regarding the women in his life *The ease with which a duel could be requested and the ease with which a man’s life could be taken *That Dora, a girl I ended up admiring, was a pawn. But then, most women were. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington – Lyrical Shine for the ARC – This is my honest review. NOTE: I would like to find out who Dora, Manning and a few others end up with if there are more books in the series. 4 Stars
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