Series: An American Heiress in London #4
Published by Avon on August 30, 2016
‘He’d been ready to sacrifice everything dear to him, to turn his back on everyone else he loved, in order to keep her. And then, she had left him.”
FINAL DECISION: This is my favorite book of the series. I loved just about everything about this book. The characters were good people, intelligent and demonstrated growth in the story. The romance was difficult and there was no magic solution for these two but rather a mature acceptance of the painful things that can go with love.
THE STORY: Lord Denys Somerton has finally regained the respect of his family after a wild period where he fell for a cancan dancer and thought to make her his future countess until she abandoned him for another man. Now Denys is considering marrying his childhood friend while managing his family businesses. Then Lola Valentine walks back into his life. Having inherited half a theater from the man she left Denys for, Lola has returned to London to fulfill her dream of being an actress. Denys finds himself an unwilling business partner of Lola. Denys knows that Lola is bad for him but he has never been able to resist her.
OPINION: I don’t if I can express how much I loved this book. A fallen woman. Class differences. Hero is a genuine nice guy. Heroine is smart. Setting someplace other than the ton balls. Second chance at love. Accepting love requires sacrifice. This hit so many of the points that make my heart soft and gooey.
I loved Lola. This woman is a survivor. Intelligent and self made. She has taken risks and brought herself so far. And yet she is haunted by the choices she has made to get where she needs to be. Being with Denys challenges her because she feels unworthy because of her past and because of their class differences. She let Denys before in order to protect him from the sting of their relationship, but she also wanted to save herself. She has returned, older and stronger and perhaps willing to try harder.
Denys is adorable. I love that he acknowledges his mistakes and tries to remedies them. He is also completely devoted to Lola. Even when he is hurt from her actions, he still treats her with more respect than other people. I like that he attempts to understand her. When he realizes that he did not know Lola as well as he assumed, he takes actions to remedy that. It takes a brave man to toss everything he loves away for a woman and an even stronger one to try and convince those he loves to support her.
The romance between Denys and Lola begins in this book with them being equals in a way that they were not in their prior relationship. Lola, especially, feels the inequality between them so it means something for the two of them to be equal business partners. Their equality in business which Denys accepts become a proxy or a more equal personal relationship. Their equality also refreshingly comes into their acceptance of their sexual history. Denys realizes that he cannot condemn Lola for her sexual experience in light of his own. He cannot judge Lola and that allows him to see her in way that is personal and meaningful.
I adored that this book is about two people recognizing their mistakes, learning to trust and talk to one another and then just jumping into love with all it’s complications and pitfalls. At the end of this book, Denys and Lola know that not everyone will accept their love but the important ones will.
WORTH MENTIONING: I hope Pongo eventually gets his own story.
CONNECTED BOOKS: NO MISTRESS OF MINE is the fourth book in the An American Heiress in London series. While characters from the other books make appearances, it is not necessary to have read those books to enjoy this one. This book can be read as a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.