on August 30th 2016
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USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke is back with the latest in her dazzling An American Heiress in London series, in which a reformed rogue finds all his honorable resolutions tested by the only woman who ever broke his heart...
After spending his youth as one of the wildest rakes in the ton, Lord Denys Somerton has devoted the past six years to putting his past behind him. He is determined to fulfill his duties, find a suitable wife, and start a family, but that plan changes when Lola Valentine—the red-haired temptress from his past—returns to London, sparking the same irresistible desires that almost ruined his life once before.
Lola is a woman with no romantic illusions. She knew love would never be enough for a British lord and an American girl from the wrong side of the tracks. For Denys’s sake, she walked away from him and the glittering life he offered. But when an unexpected inheritance brings her back to London, Lola discovers the passion between them is as hot as ever. Can they vanquish it, or will it burn out of control again and destroy them both?
The earl interrupted Susan’s groan of reply by setting down his knife and fork. “Forgive me, ladies,” he said, rising to his feet, “but I fear I must be off. Denys, might you join me in my study for a spot of business before I go?”
“Of course.” He rose, but Susan’s voice interrupted before the two men could depart.
“Was the letter very bad news, Papa?”
“No.” The reply was terse, and the earl must have sensed it, for his expression softened as he looked at his daughter.
“It’s nothing to trouble you with,” he said, but even before Susan spoke again, Denys could have told his father that sort of pacification never worked with his sister.
“Don’t you want to pat me on the head before you go?” she called after him, as he started for the door.
“He likes patting you on the head,” Denys told her as he circled to her side of the table.
“So let him.”
“But it’s silly,” she grumbled, tilting her head so he could kiss her cheek. “Why do men always feel impelled to shield women from the slightest hint of reality?”
“Because we love you, that’s why.” Denys turned to give his mother’s cheek a kiss as well. “It’s our duty to protect you.”
“Rot,” Susan pronounced, as he straightened and started for the door. “The truth is, you men like keeping all the important information to yourselves because it makes you feel superior.”
He didn’t reply, but Susan was not deterred. “We shall ferret out this secret,” she called after him. “We always do.”
Both men ignored that rather aggravating fact of life and crossed the corridor to the earl’s study without a word. Once inside, the door safely closed behind them, Denys was able to reopen the topic. “Now, tell me what’s happened.”
Lord Conyers moved to sit behind his desk and pulled the envelope from his jacket pocket. He started to hand it across the desk, but then, for no discernible reason, he drew back.
“Father, what the devil is it?” Denys asked. “I’m beginning to find your reticence alarming.”
“It’s about Henry Latham.”
You can follow the An American Heiress in London series on Goodreads.
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~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
No Mistress of Mine is the fourth book in the ‘American Heiress in London’ series by Laura Lee Guhrke. I haven’t had the opportunity to read the previous books but this one can easily be read as a stand alone one.
This is the story of Lola Valentine and Lord Denys Somerton. She is an American woman who makes her living as a show girl. He is a Lord and eventually will become an Earl. His family have high expectations of him and of who he will marry. Six years ago Denys didn’t care about his family’s expectations, he thought himself in love with Lola and was determined to marry her. Lola on the other hand knew he could never cope with the fall out if they were to marry and when an opportunity to escape Paris to go to New York and have her own show, while also learning to become a proper actress, arises, she jumps at the chance. She knows that Denys will be better off without her so when he comes after her in Paris and proposes to her, she tells him no, and that she’s had a better offer. Leaving him to believe she is going to be another man’s mistress. Broken hearted Denys spent the next six years sewing his oats, and not taking relationships seriously. He realises though that he has to marry and is settling down to that fact, and making moves to court the woman who it has been expected he marry since they were young. Life is now good for him, and he feels settled. That is until the unthinkable happens. Lola comes back into his life!
Her friend, Henry, the man who looked after her and took her to America, has died. He was joint owner with Denis’ father of a London theatre. Henry was just a silent partner and left all the decisions up to Denys who managed the theatre for his father. When Henry died he left his half of the theatre to Lola. He thought she could follow her dreams, by using the theatre to showcase her acting skills that she had worked so hard to learn.
When Denys learns what’s happened he can’t help but be angry, he doesn’t want Lola there, and definitely doesn’t want her acting in what he considers his theatre. He wants her to be a silent partner just like Henry was, but she refuses. Can they possibly work together, can he ever forgive her for leaving him, can they get past what happened and at least have a good working relationship together. Denys doesn’t think so. And among all his feelings of anger and betrayal, in the back of his mind he still has to fight his attraction to her. All of a sudden all his plans, and his readiness to settle down and marry his childhood friend come into question. Lola still doesn’t feel good enough for him, so even if he does decide she is worth giving up his plans for, will he be able to convince her that he doesn’t care about the fall out if they get together?
I absolutely adored this story, the love that Lola feels for Denys is so strong. To be able to leave him, making him hate her so that he could move on with his life, was the ultimate sacrifice. She’s such a strong character, at least on the surface, but inside she’s a fragile butterfly. Denys, well he has had a lot of growing up to do, and that starts with trying to curb the anger at Lola that is so quick to surface when she returns to London as half owner of the theatre. This is truly a tale of class wars, and the growth of both main characters was a delight to read. I am definitely going to go back and read the other books in the series because if they are all as good as this one then I have got some great reading coming up.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.