Posted by: Jennifer | October 16, 2008

Trouble with the Mistress Diaries

I’ve been reading up a storm in October. By October 14, I had read 19 new-to-me books. I was having a great time, although will admit that I didn’t have time for much else – including writing any reviews for this blog. However, this mad reading rush came to a rather abrupt halt when I picked up Julianne MacLean’s The Mistress Diaries, which has been in my to-be-read pile for a month or two. Now, I want to say that I enjoyed the first book in the Pembroke Series, In My Wildest Fantasies. I really liked both Devon and Rebecca, even though I was frustrated with the lack of resolution I had to go back and read my thoughts on this book to refresh my memory about the characters and the mad-duke-trying-to-marry-off-his-sons-while-avoiding-the-curse plot. I bought The Mistress Diaries because I was indeed caught up in MacLean’s story.

However, I have now been reading this story for 3 days and am only on page 106. I pick it up repeatedly and always seem to find something that takes my attention away from it quite quickly. At this point, I HATE/DETEST/LOATH the hero, Lord Vincent Sinclair with some serious passion. In the first 106 pages, he has seduced and impregnated the widowed heroine, Cassandra Montrose, Lady Colchester. He has continued to be rude and obnoxious when she shows up at the Sinclair estate with baby daughter to plead for help because she believes she is dying of consumption. He goes back and forth between wanting to be involved in his daughter’s life to wanting both her and Cassandra out of his life. He has offered to buy Cassandra a home and pay for the upkeep of her and her daughter while mandating that she may never marry another man. Meanwhile, he is engaged to Lady Letitia Markham who was once his father’s choice of bride for his the aforementioned Devon – who is heir to the Sinclair dukedom. She is quite mercenary and as unlikeable as Vincent.

Seriously, I don’t recall disliking Vincent so much in the first book. In fact, I think he was more a tragic-type figure who had been betrayed by his older brother and then left to manage the family and the estate in his brother’s absence (because the Duke may or may not be mad). I think he seemed like an intriguing character. But now, I am having a very difficult time believing that any type of tragic revelation or character transformation can make his behavior towards Cassandra seem appropriate enough to result in a HEA.

In addition, I have a real bad reaction to illegitimate children in historicals – especially involving illegitimate children of peers. There was such an incredible stigma attached to illegitimacy. And, there is no way to reverse this plot device. It ruins both the unmarried mother and the child. At this point in the story, Vincent seems remarkably unconcerned about the fact that he has fathered a child out of wedlock. I have wanted to knock some sense into him several times already. I haven’t had much of a reaction to Cassandra, because I’ve been so annoyed with Vincent.

I do plan to continue reading the book. I don’t hate it, and I am curious about the curse and the mad duke. I can only hope that Vincent’s redemption is believable and that it makes him worthy of the love of both Cassandra and his daughter June.



  1. […] did finally finish this book. It took me about two weeks to do so because I had a tough time with this one. Vincent wasn’t my favorite hero. In fact, I rather hated him for the first […]

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