30 January 2016

His Favourite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren

Hey everyone,

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve been on a massive historical romance binge at the moment. The book that started it all was His Favourite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren, the third and final book in her Mistress Trilogy.

The book:
Vivacious Gabriella St. George is penniless yet proud. Thanks to the benevolence of a generous relative, she gets a chance for a new life in London, never dreaming that it will entangle her in a sensual battle of wills with an irresistible rogue who doesn't believe in love. With one scorching caress, Anthony Black invites Gabriella to share his bed. But she wants his heart and his name, so the determined beauty embarks on a daring game of seduction to win both.

My thoughts:

His Favourite Mistress starts with Gabriella attempting to kill the uncle she’s never met for the death of her father. Of course, being a Tracy Anne Warren novel, the heroine instead aims her gun on our hero Anthony Black, a close friend of Gabriella’s uncle. Not exactly an ideal first meeting, but certainly a memorable one. Anthony being a classic regency rake, quickly seduces Gabriella into dropping her gun and kissing him instead. Not without some defiance from our heroine however.

And you will find that I am well used to the blandishments of smooth talkers and confidence tricksters. I doubt your efforts will prove any more successful than theirs.

It is at this point that I should mention that Gabriella is seventeen to Anthony’s thirty-five. For the Regency period this was an acceptable and common age-gap, but I know some people will find the age disparity uncomfortable. Yet Gabriella doesn’t act like a typical Regency seventeen year old. Born illegitimate she was raised by her actress mother and travelled all over the continent, making her more worldly than most girls her age. However she is naive about the Ton, so when her uncle offers her a chance to join the world of polite society Gabriella reluctantly accepts. Rather stupidly on her uncle’s part he entrusts part of Gabriella’s care with Anthony. You know the man she has off-the-scale chemistry with, is a known rake and as sworn of marriage forever. Sure good plan uncle. Real smart.

Meeting her gaze, he watched her pupils dilate, her lips parting on a nearly inaudible sigh. Tracing their movement, he wondered if her mouth tasted even half as delicious as he remembered, like the sweetest, most satisfying delicacy ever made.

Yet for Anthony, Gabriella is different; she’s interesting, unexpected and sweet. He doesn’t just like her appearance, he grows to like her personality. As he escorts her around the social events of the season he starts to feel protective and proceeds to rescue her from some messy, potentially ruinous social situations. Unfortunately for Gabriella, Anthony is good at avoiding emotional entanglements, and fails to recognise what his growing connection to her means. Anthony’s inability to get in touch with his inner feelings is the biggest barrier to their HEA.

As he well knew, her spirit was every bit as lovely as her face and figure, with the warmth and vibrancy of a perfect summer day.

Anthony definitely has the biggest character development in His Favourite Mistress. I really enjoyed reading his transformation from a detached and cold bachelor to an attentive and caring husband. Gabriella had a less radical character development, and rather than a fundamental ideological shift, she instead became more confident in her own self-worth. Considering her age I thought it was really important to see her standing up for herself. To refusing to give into Anthony until she was convinced he had changed; I really admired her strength of character.

It’s all in the past. Forgiven now, if not forgotten. Think only of the good memories, since you had naught to do with the bad.

Overall I really enjoyed Tracy Anne Warren’s last instalment in the Mistress Trilogy. I liked how she wove the idea of mistresses into the novel and I thought Gabriella and Anthony were wonderful characters. Perhaps the drama dragged on a little longer than necessary but as a whole this is a great book.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!