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Wolf Joan : His Lordship'S Mistress (Signet) Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1982

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: New Amer Library; Reissue edition (Jan. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451114590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451114594
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,135,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed the heroine, Jessica, in this book. She was in the unfortunate situation of having been taken advantage of by a gambling stepfather who basically stole her inheritance. When he passes away, leaving her with a mortgaged home and two young brothers, she eventually decides she must take drastic steps to protect the family’s stud farm so it will produce enough income for her family’s needs.

Those steps include taking out a high interest loan while she works as an actress in order to gain the attention of a wealthy protector. In truth, I thought the whole “mistress” thing was going to be a sham. I had no idea that Jessica would actually become the mistress of the Earl of Linton or I might not have read the book. For reasons I find difficult to understand, I can’t enjoy books that deal with the heroine being in the position of a mistress - probably the reality and sadness of this type of life just isn't where I like to see my heroines placed.

Nevertheless, I was sunk once I began reading and curious how Jessica’s life would turn out. She was not the type of heroine that one would normally place in that kind of life. In fact, her very independent nature was, in the end, what made it possible for her to make the decision to become the Earl of Linton’s mistress. She felt that being someone's mistress temporarily trumped being someone's wife - after all, once married in those days, you had no say whatsoever in your own destiny, unless you were married to a temperate, kind man with a very progressive world view. Her experience with her wastrel stepfather's ways contributed to her willingness to become a very temporary mistress.

What Jessica never planned to do, of course, was fall in love with the Earl of Linton.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
One of My Favorites 8 July 2008
By 30 Book A Month Reader - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jessica O'Neill had mortgaged her family's horse farm to the hilt in an effort to buy time for the stock's reputation to become known to the fashionable world. With 2 brothers to take care of and her parents both dead, Jessica was at her wit's end. To make matters worse, the kindly neighbor who held the deed to the farm, died and his heir was a lecherous creep. Jessica knew the only way to save her family was to marry him, but she just couldn't make herself do it. Jessica takes to the London with a vague idea of employment and falls into the idea of going on stage. Because of her beauty, speaking voice and creativity, Jessica gives fabulous performances, and her legion of admirers grows. Jessica is so unique that she eventually captures the admiration and attention of the handsome, wealthy Earl of Linton. Soon he convinces Jessica to move in with him and become his mistress. Both fall madly in love with each other, but Jessica especially realizes that the Earl of Linton can look as high in the land as any peer and his family would never approve of an actress.

Really, what makes this book so wonderful is the focus is almost totally on the relationship between Jessica and the Earl. I love a romance where the couple are featured constantly, and the rest of the story is just used as a backdrop. You can see the feelings grow between Jessica and Linton and you can absolutely understand why each other falls in love. When she is on her game, Joan Wolf can say more in a couple of sentences than most authors can do in pages of descriptions. I have always been amazed at her understated writing style which simply sparkles with feeling and emotion. I quite love a great number of Wolf's romances, but this is one of my favorites.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Simply the best 10 April 2011
By MP - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
To me, this was the quintessential Regency romance. The weight of society, the tender affection, the impediments to true love. Saying this book has no plot is like saying Moby Dick is a book about a fish. The construct (young woman forced to take to the stage in order to save her beloved home) sounded trite in the brief description here, but the main character's actions are made clear and admirable and the love she shares with the hero is delectably real. There are no lost letters or crossed wires; they must simply and honorably overcome the very real barriers to their happily ever after. I also appreciated lots of timely references to politics, international relations, and economics of the period. Great!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A 'Real' Regency! 28 Feb. 2011
By chb-book addict - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was originally released in 1982 - it was very racy for the time period in which it was relased. I have read Joan Wolf's books for years and this is one of my favorites. I'm delighted to be able to purchase this as well as her other Signet books as e-books.

Jessica is determined to save her family's horse farm for her brother. They have lost everything and she is determined to care for her family. Instead of accepting an offer from a replusive neighbor who has inherited the mortgage on her farm, along with her neighbors estate, she decides to earn the money in the only way she can. She will go to London, accept a role as a minor actress in the theatre and become the mistress of a wealthy patron. She would rather pick the man, she will give her body to than become the wife of a man she hates. And there begins a tale...

Jessica becomes the hit of London and accepts the Earl of Linton as her protector. He is a wonderful gentleman who respects women and treats his mistress with courtesy. She sets the price for her 'services' and plans to save everything she receives to pay off the mortgage, then she will return home with a inheritance from the 'wealthy relative', she is supposed to be visiting.

This is a wonderful romantic story, Jessica is a very independant woman but she is not headstrong or foolish, she makes a plan and sticks with it. I admire her determination! She didn't look for someone to rescue her family she did it herself and she was aware that her choice would ruin all her chances of marriage for the future. This story doesn't have a lot of silliness and poor decisions that so many books have now. This is a woman who knows herself and is willing to make sacrifices for her dreams. I love it!

These books were the step-up from Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland, the sex scenes are not graphic or overly explicit.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Passionate and moving 19 Sept. 2003
By Soyini - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a typical Joan Wolf regency plot, in that the hero and heroine face some very real life issues and obstacles to their love. It is in the vein of "A Difficult Truce" and "Highland Sunset". If you like those, you will probably like this one. One of my favorites because the hero and heroine are both people of great character and personality.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Clear-eyed and warm-hearted 29 Nov. 2012
By H Waterhouse - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok, I am officially adding Joan Wolf to my "will buy on sight" list of authors. Happily, because they are so old, the Kindle versions are only $4, which is within my impulse-buy range.

This book features a remarkable heroine. When she is financially ruined by actions beyond her control, she looks cooly at her resources and decides to make a go of raising horses. And she works her ass off. And then she encounters another problem and needs to pay her mortgage off right away, and it is at this point that most Regency heroines enter into marriages of convenience and happily fall in love with the guy.

Jessica, on the other hand, decides that she is unwilling to make the bad bet her mother did, and she would rather explicitly than implicitly sell her body. It is a very clear and rational decision.

"The world would condemn such a course of action, she knew. But then she had no intention of letting her world know what she had done. And Jessica, who had highly ethical but unusual standards, found the idea less distasteful than swearing to love, honor, and obey someone she hated and despised."

So she lies to her family and goes to London to take to the stage and become a kept woman. In the way of books, she is an amazing hit, and I think the experience of this book would be improved if you've ever watched Shakespeare, but mostly she lands the protector she was looking for.

And then of course she falls in love with him, and vice versa. But there are some pretty obvious impediments with an earl marrying his mistress. Complications! Heartbreak!

Through it all, I never lost respect for either character. I thought they were both people I would like to get to know, and they deserved each other. It's a good feeling.

Read if: You enjoy romances that have more-realistic depictions of growing relationships and economic constraints. You appreciate people with a sense of duty and responsibility.

Skip if: You don't like romances. You would rather pure froth with no Corn Laws or enclosure discussions.

Also read:
Civil Contract for a poignant and nuanced romance about a man in the same tight spot.
More Joan Wolf!
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