Mezirisar Step by step, from brothel to being kept as a mistress to much more, they edge their way toward each other, both of them finding it very difficult to trust that they might have found love. I found myself chuckling constantly. But she had little money and was hungry. I love that the heroine is dxma prostitute and the hero is an average gentleman.
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Start your review of La dama col mantello Write a review Shelves: romance , steamy A lot of this story was people talking past each other. And that usually drives me up a wall. The thing is that Alistair and Stephanie are not only fundamentally different, but have fundamentally different backgrounds and expectations.
Add initial experiences that they interpret differently and A lot of this story was people talking past each other. Add initial experiences that they interpret differently and you have a world of mixed signals and bad assumptions to get past. Helping me along was how very much I loved Alistair. His actions in the beginning that get him into the mess are ignoble, but not unkind and he does the right thing in the end.
This is cemented in the last chapters when he has the unmitigated courage to open himself up completely to her review and judgement and does so without reservation—putting ultimate power over his fate in her hands.
For a Duke and fundamentally reserved person to start with, this is an incredibly brave thing to do and I found that powerful. And that he does it solely to save his marriage and the potential for respect and affection with no promises or guarantees just won my heart completely. And I loved Stephanie from the beginning too. I was engaged by her feeling so obliged to Alistair that she lets that bind her to twisting herself into the image of what she thinks she has to be.
Her determination to become "the perfect duchess" provides a lot of the conflict for the story. And a lot of the heartbreak headed for the couple. That imbalance of her changing herself to meet her idea of his expectations persists for a long time and could have become tedious beyond all reason. I admit I clung rather desperately to the genre expectations of a happy ending because it got a bit bleak with both of them misunderstanding each other and perfectly reasonably so.
I wondered how Balogh would reconcile it and I really enjoyed seeing how it played out. I have to admit that the five stars comes on the strength of the last chapters, once they are married and Alistair and Stephanie finally start moving towards emotional reconciliation. It was painful getting there, but the payoff was heartrendingly pure and I was absolutely delighted to see them coming together, finally. Emotional vulnerability and reconciling expectations and freedom and compromise and joining to be more than you are apart all resonated deeply with me and provided a happily ever after I could believe would last and provide both characters deep satisfaction the rest of their lives.
Man I loved that. A note about Steamy: There are two full-blown explicit sex scenes and a few passingly described, putting this in the middle of my steam tolerance. I particularly liked how Balogh handled sexual intimacy, actually, and how it was a factor, but only a minor one for two people who had so much ground to make up.
La dama col mantello
LA DAMA COL MANTELLO MARY BALOGH PDF