More Than a Mistress

Written by Mary Balogh
Review by Trudi Jacobson

Mary Balogh has a reputation as being one of the very best Regency-era writers. Until now, I’d read only one of her short stories, which hadn’t overwhelmed me. However, after reading More than a Mistress, I realize that the acclaim is well deserved.

Jane Ingleby has run off to London after being accused of a crime in her native Cornwall. She manages to support herself for a short period by working for a milliner, but loses her job after arriving late one morning. On her way to work through Hyde Park, she had come across a duel and had shouted out in order to stop the proceedings. The pause caused by her interruption allowed one of the combatants to shoot the other in the leg. The wounded Duke of Tresham blames Mary for his injury, while she blames him for the loss of her livelihood. He hires her as his nurse, intending to make her life as miserable as his is while he is laid up. Of course, things don’t quite work that way. Balogh has crafted a tale that is hard to put down, with well-rounded characters and a surprise or two. Highly recommended to those who enjoy the genre.