Hello, and welcome back! I hope you're all finding ways to stay cool if it's as hot where you are as it's been here all summer. I'm so ready for fall, and it seems so very far away. Even staying inside the air-conditioning isn't much fun, though it's certainly better than being outside in the heat and humidity here. A little fresh air would be fantastic. Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn't making that happen.
Good thing I've had plenty of reading material land on my desk for this month. This time out, I have the latest from one of my favorite historical authors Mary Balogh, The Secret Mistress
(Delacorte, purchased). Lady Angeline Dudley is set for her first Season, and everyone expects she'll make a good match. On her way, though, she meets a most intriguing gentleman, Edward Ailsbury, Earl of Heyward, and she hopes to meet him again in London. Edward finds her equally intriguing, but when he learns what family she belongs to, he knows he must resist the urge to seek her out further. Her family is well-known for their scandalous ways, and he needs a more sedate wife than Angeline will surely be. Yet everyone believes they're a perfect match, and he finds himself in her company far more than he'd anticipated. And he enjoys almost every moment of it. But when she refuses his proposal, he has to rethink his plans and strategy. Angeline is delightful: she knows what she wants, and when she doesn't see a way to have it, she sets out to help a friend get what Angeline believes she wants. That means arranging for her new friend Eunice and Edward to be thrown together so Edward will propose instead to Eunice, whom Angeline believes he loves. I adore Ms. Balogh's storytelling, and this pair is a lot of fun. There are some unexpected twists and turns along the way, but the happy ending is well-deserved for Edward and Angeline, and fantastic for the reader. I'm borrowing four and a half of Cupid's five arrows for this one.
Until next time, happy reading!