Review: His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Is there an author that you really enjoy reading, are excited for their next book,  they write a good book, and you’re still a bit disappointed?  That’s my dilemma with Victoria Alexander’s new book, His Mistress by Christmas.  This is book 4 in the Harrington series.  I’ve really enjoyed this Victorian series, and I enjoyed the book.  There was nothing wrong with it, but I think it could have been better.

It could have been something more.

Yes, I know, that’s vague.

The plot is straight forward.  Widowed woman decides she wants a lover, not a husband, and sets her sights on the cousin of one of her best friends.  This confirmed bachelor decides he wants a wife, not a mistress, and sets his sights on the lovely widow.  Veronica, Lady Smithson, sets out to seduce him and Sir Sebastian, for once in his life, is determined to be upstanding.   He tells his sisters he’s going to marry Veronica by Christmas before asking for her hand.  Unfortunately, for him, she turns him down.  They compromise on their relationship, at least for the time being.

Sebastian invites Veronica to his country estate to celebrate the season, just the two of them, and where they can start their affair.  Unfortunately for them, his sisters and family are very excited to meet the new wife.

Thus begins a comedy of errors.  His family descends on his estate.  A couple here, a few there..  All of a sudden the holiday is no longer a quiet affair.

Pun intended.

Some of the family are made aware that they aren’t married.  The ones not aware are VERY excited about the marriage.  Then Veronica’s family descends after hearing about the marriage through the grapevine.  (This whole scenario was like a game of telephone.) There’s some scandal about Sebastian’s inheritance, which seemed tacked on to be used to momentarily break the couple up.

For me, the best part of the book was Veronica deciding that being a “mistress” wasn’t what she wanted (technically one can’t be a mistress to a single man).  What Veronica thought being a mistress would be like, and the actuality of being a mistress turned out to be two very different things.  And, truthfully, she’s never Sebastian’s mistress.  I enjoyed her journey of discovery of what she really desired.

So why am I a bit let down after reading it? I don’t know.  I liked it.  I recommend it, but don’t shell out $20 for the hardcover.  Wait until it’s released in paperback or pick it up at the used bookstore or get it from the library.



  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s possible that the undefinable objection is the silliness and lack of maturity in the female population of the book. I compare time spent reading with time spent with friends. I’d like to be friends with Mary Balogh’s heroines, or Elizabeth Thornton’s, or many of the other authors who write characters with depth and logical thought processes. I don’t find that in Victoria Alexander or Eloisa James, for example. So I tend to avoid them.

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