Mistress by Amanda Quick (1995)
Description: After being trapped in a little country town for twenty-six years, Iphiginia bright lost no time in closing down her academy for young ladies to set off on a life of grand adventure. But after a year of touring the classical ruins of Italy and Greece she returned to England to discover that the real excitement was there at home. Its seems that her Aunt Zoe has fallen victim to a sinister blackmailer and only Iphiginia can hope to stop the culprit before he can do more harm.
Her plan is inspired: Imitating history's most legendary beauties - Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Aphrodite - the former schoolmistress will remake herself and descend upon London society as the dazzling mistress of one of the ton's most powerful men, Marcus Valerius Cloud, the infamous Earl of Masters. Rumors hint that the enigmatic earl has disappeared at the hands of the blackmailer, and by posing as his unknown mistress Iphiginia is convinced that she can ferret out the villain.
From the white feathers in her hair to the white satin slippers on her feet, Iphiginia is transformed into a vision. And overnight she is traveling in the ton's most glittering circles and being sought after by a host of eager admirers, including one she does not expect - the Earl of Masters himself, who strides into a shimmering ballroom one evening to coolly reclaim his "mistress."
He is everything they say he is - arrogant, attractive, devastatingly deductive - and Iphiginia can't help but be enthralled. But when Marcus agrees to play along with her charade, she doesn't know that the determined earl has plans of his own: to tease and tempt her, until the beautiful deceiver becomes more than his mistress in name only.
And just when Iphiginia begins to fear for her heart, the blackmailer turns his vengeful threats on her, and she and Marcus must uncover the maze of scandal and treachery behind the criminal's schemes... or forfeit the chance to learn whether their passion is a masquerade or the tumultuous evidence of a love that can last for all time.
Review: Most definitely a fun read. I really enjoyed the characters of Marcus and Iphiginia. It was most interesting to see where the story was going to go and what they were going to do next. Like always, Quick does a great job with her research and makes a really believable story. I really enjoyed it and think you will too.
Score: 4 out of 5