No Man's Mistress by Mary Balogh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Viola Thornhill has owned her home, her refuge, for two years, and then one day a tall, dark, handsome stranger arrives claiming that Pinewood Manor is actually his, and the battle of wills begins. She is determined to show Lord Ferdinand Dudley that he is just not cut out for country life...except that it seems he is.
The premise of the beginning of the book seemed so familiar to me that I almost stopped reading it, thinking I'd read it before (it was first published in 2001). I'm glad I kept going because it turned out to be quite an interesting story and one I had a hard time putting down at the end of my lunch breaks.
I still need to figure out the book it reminded me of--all I can remember is that it was an historical romance set in Regency England (I think) where the main character was a steward or something, and she went by the name of Henry. There was a scene where she tricked the hero into mucking about in the mud with...pigs??? If anyone remembers, please let me know so it'll quit gnawing at me!
If the ending hadn't been somewhat improbable, I would have rated No Man's Mistress 5 stars.
For readers' advisors: story and character doorways, and setting (Regency England). There are some steamy sex scenes, just FYI.
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