April 14, 2013

Book Review: Never a Mistress No Longer a Maid by Maureen Driscoll

At First Sight: Lord Edward Kellington met Jane Wetherby when they came across each other behind the enemy lines in or around the time of the Battle of Waterloo. Ned is an British Officer and Agent of the Crown returning to camp after a mission while Jane, the daughter of a surgeon and granddaughter of an Earl, was nursing the wounded.

Jane saves Ned's life and, after a night of passion between them, she never expects to see him again - and the fact that he offered to set her up as his mistress don't help the odds.

Seven years later, Jane is living in the countryside, trying to survive best she can even though her grandfather won't release her inheritance to her and she works as a doctor of sorts to the poor people of  the village of Marston Vale while trying to raise her daughter.

Edward has just returned to England and now his older brother William is pressuring him to go see about the business of his "agreed since childhood" betrothal to the daughter of a viscount. He's not excited about it but figures he might as well get that over with and call off the quasi-engagement.

But, soon upon arriving to Martson Vale, he comes across an accident and sticks around to help - partially because he's basically an OK human being, and partially because he doesn't want to get to his almost fiancée's house - and is surprised when the doctor called is none other than the woman who saved his life seven years before.

Second Glance: I'm going to come out and say it: This is a rather silly book. But that doesn't mean it's bad at all. I mean, it's not stellar, there are some serious clunky parts - the first transition Jane and Ned going from acquaintances to let's go have sex is not exactly smooth, for example - but it's a fun read.

Ned and Jane are basically nice people, Jane's daughter is nice too (She's not an annoying little kid, though she does tend to get in trouble fairly often) and there is a whole host of characters whose names I can't really remember just now but that were pretty okay.

I quite liked Ned's family and, to that point, Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid serves mostly as the set up book for Ned's siblings stories (of which I really want to read the one about his sister and about his oldest brother). Lots of the stuff going on is not exactly accurate, even by Historical Lite standards but meh, it was fun enough that I wasn't bothered by it. 

Bottom Line: Fun brain candy, Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid, it's not bad, even if it's title is rather non-sensical (Jane is NEVER A Maid, none of the main characters is ever a maid, why put MAID on the title?) but other than that it's cute, takes an hour or two to read, tops, and it's OK, or at least, it's not boring. 

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