The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mary Balogh manages to take a young, wide-eyed ingenue and make her interesting, sympathetic, and endearing. Angeline's excitement and restless energy born of her enthusiasm for her first London Season are adorable. She finds everything thing fresh, new, and wonderful, and that makes those around her see the world through new eyes, too.
Likewise, Balogh takes a proper, stiff-necked young man and turns him into a startled romantic. His good manners win Angeline's heart, but her impulsive behavior has him bewitched, bewildered, and befuddled. She forces him to reexamine his perspective of the world and himself. It is an utterly delightful take on a tale older than time.
For readers' advisors: character and story doorways primarily, but also setting, as it's set in 19th century England
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