Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Blast from the Past: Review of Mistress by Amanda Quick (1994)

Mistress by Amanda Quick
I thought I had pretty much read all of Amanda Quick's historicals, but I guess there are still a couple kicking around that I missed. I discovered this one in the romance section of Barnes and Nobles, and I was filled with glee. I adore Amanda Quick...she creates perfectly wonderful characters, well-paced, interesting story lines, and emotionally satisfying "moments of intimacy." Mistress follows the romantic adventures of Iphiginia (where does she get these names?) and Marcus, the Earl of Masters (and yes, he is masterful). Honest to God, Quick's dialogue is brilliant.  The witty banter between her characters is flawless.  Unlike other books in her collection, this one had a somewhat convoluted path to resolution. Not only is Iphiginia obsessed with antiquities, she also was headmistress of a finishing school, as well as a successful real estate developer. Marcus is a farmer, an earl, an inventor fascinated by machinery, and a would-be astronomer. Phew! Talk about multi-tasking. Halfway through the book, it appears that the villain blackmailer has been uncovered. Obviously, since the book is only half over, that is not the case. Quick takes us down various paths including illegitimate family reunions, murders of odious first husbands, a hilarious scene at Dr. Hardstaff's Museum of the Goddesses of Manly Vigor (Dr. Hardstaff, get it?), and confrontations with lecherous ex-employers. She really packs a lot into this book!  I am a fairly forgiving reader as long as I get my satisfying romance, and once again this well-loved author delivers with Marcus and Iphiginia. Although Mistress is not quite as good as some of her other stories (such as Ravished, one of my favorites), I still found it a fun affair. Grade: B+
Sincerely, Penelope