MISTRESS BY MIDNIGHT - Maggie Robinson
Kensington Books Trade Paperback
Laurette and Con had grown up together, and from that came a love that grew stronger as they left childhood behind. But Con, the Marquess of Conover, had a guardian who squandered Con's inheritance and then arranged for a lucrative marriage for his ward with an older, wealthy young lady who desired to move up in society. Because he knew that without money two villages in his care would come to ruin, Con reluctantly agreed to the wedding. Telling Laurette was the most difficult thing he ever did. They had had, on their own, a pagan ritual professing their eternal love, and a wedding night not to be forgotten. And then Con married Marianna Berryman.
Twelve years later, Laurette has business with the Marquess of Conover, as much as she dreads confronting him. Her brother is in dire straits because of his gambling, and only Con can help. And help he does, but with a stipulation…Laurette must become his mistress for six months. Although Con had proposed marriage soon after Marianna died, Laurette had flatly refused, hiding a secret that she didn't want anyone to discover. Now she has no choice. She will count the days of her agreement, then get on with her life. But Con has no intention of letting her out of his life again.
MISTRESS BY MIDNIGHT tells a story of two honest, honorable people who do the right thing by society's expectations. But it tears at both of their hearts, and each deals with the situation differently. Laurette embraced her future by starting a small school for girls in her community, trying, in vain, to forgive and forget the man she loved with all of her might. Con made sure he, too, did his duty and produced a male heir, then left his wife and child for travels throughout the world, hoping to avoid any thought of Laurette. How will these two star-crossed lovers work through their issues? Can Laurette ever reveal her secret? Or will Con wear her down with his love for her?
Nicely written, with well rounded, realistic characters, MISTRESS BY MIDNIGHT is a romantic, heartwarming, and at times heart wrenching story with a unique premise.