Enticing the Earl - Nicole Byrd I like a good historical romance book where the heroine becomes the hero’s mistress and this story is one of my favorites; I have read it several times. In this case she is not forced to become his paramour but offers herself to secure her father-in-law’s estate. Other things I like about this book: Lauryn comes from a loving family (this is actually part of the Applegate Sisters series, but IMHO is one of the best, and works well as a stand-alone).

Because he’s no dummy, Marcus figures out why she has consented to being his mistress early…but that doesn’t stop him from accepting her offer. As a widow, Lauryn isn’t a blushing virgin (one of the reason’s she seeks him out is because she hears he is a good lover); but, neither is she a trollop. While she’s listing the things she wants in exchange for becoming the Earl’s mistress (a small estate) she is smart enough, and has enough self-esteen, to ask for a new wardrobe too. Yet, she doesn’t seem greedy - as evidenced by later actions. The previous woman in his life becomes a fun part of the story and is not painted as typically bad just because she is a possible rival for the hero’s attentions (though he never thinks or acts so), and in the end she becomes a friend.

Lauryn is intelligent, quick thinking in a crisis, and still feminine. Marcus is strong and gentle and it fun to see him discovering he is coming in touch with never before felt emotions. I can see these two individuals falling in love as the pages are turned. Before any typical misunderstanding can take over the storyline there is a well-done mystery to be solved and Lauryn and Marcus are off on that adventure. Hopefully the enjoyable younger brother, used as cute comic relief, will have his own book once he matures.

Revised March 27, 2011