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As usual, Leda Swann delivers a sizzling treat that indulges the senses as well as - shall we say, heats up a tad more than just the heartstrings.

Emily's story is like a molten chocolate cake, decadent with a smidgen of bitterness and the somewhat unexpected all demurely hidden under a smooth facade. It's the age-old story with a twist. Emily knowingly sets out to sell scandalous postcards, with an eye at catching a well-heeled gentleman to take her to mistress. Her intelligence and grit is what sells the story, that and Eric, who may just be a prince in disguise as a frog.

I adored this story, and if the ending was a bit too neat for my liking, it is still a fantastic read. Recommended whole-heartedly.

Book Blurb for Mistress

"Usually life changes slowly, almost imperceptibly, as one day slides seamlessly into the next. And sometimes life changes in the blink of an eye, with only the turn of a door handle to demarcate the end of one life and the start of another. Emily Clemens stood dead in the street, an island of stillness amidst the scurrying crowds, and stared at the wooden door in front of her. Clutching her reticule before her like a shield, as if to buffer herself from the change that turning the handle would bring, she twisted the straps around with cold fingers until they dug cruelly into her flesh. Should she open the door and go inside? Or turn tail and walk away again through the crowds, her dignity intact, back to the school where she worked as an assistant teacher." So begins the story of Emily, Caroline's younger sister, continuing the saga of the Clemens children, orphaned at a young age and left to die in the poor house with nothing but their wits to make themselves a better life.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2008 4.50