A marriage of convenience…full of inconvenient secrets.
Jocelyn Townsend’s life as a courtesan bears no resemblance to the life she envisioned in girlish dreams. But it allows her and her eccentric mother to live in relative security—until her protector marries and no longer requires her services.
Desperate to find a new benefactor, one kind enough to accept her mother’s increasingly mad flights of fancy, Jocelyn is nearly overwhelmed with uncertainty when a lifeline comes from an unexpected source.
Leo Sherbourne’s requirements for a wife are few. She must mother his young daughter, run his household, and warm his bed. All in a calm, dignified manner with a full measure of common sense. After his late wife’s histrionics and infidelity, he craves a simpler, quieter life.
As they embark on their arrangement, Leo and Jocelyn discover an attraction that heats their bedroom and a mutual admiration that warms their days. But it isn’t long before gossip regarding the fate of Leo’s first wife, and his frequent, unexplained absences, make Jocelyn wonder if the secrets of Merrivale Manor are rooted in murder…
Warning: Contains mysterious incidents, a mad mother who screeches without provocation, scheming relatives, and a captivating husband who blows scorching hot and suspiciously cold. All is not as it seems…and isn’t that delicious?
Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.
Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at http://www.shelleymunro.com.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Munro/e/B001JOWGNK
I am really starting to enjoy a good bit of historical romance. Mistress of Merrivale is written very much like a ‘Jane Eyre’ style, only brought up to date – I know that sounds crazy as it’s historical fiction! I found it easy to read and hard to put down.
From a writer’s perspective (and this is my only criticism) is that Jocelyn is described by both the author, and other characters, as being plain in looks, and to me it doesn’t ring true when you look at descriptions of real-life courtesans. A courtesan was always considered a great beauty and accomplished in some art form. As nice as it is to write about a ‘plain’ lady (and some publishers even demand this in their guidelines now) I much prefer my fictional characters to be at least pretty (I know I’m soooo shallow) I read to escape the mundane, not to be faced with it.
The front cover is lovely and captures the essence, time period of the book – which is really all you can ask.
Overall, I’d give Mistress of Merrivale 4out of 5 stars, a historical romp with heart.