Cosima “Cozy” is staying in Bath with her younger sister and their sick mother. It is because of their mother’s health that they left Ireland. The situation is rough, only their basic needs are attended. But one dark and stormy night fate opens a window of opportunity. Cozy is shrewd enough to take them where she can find them.
Sir Benedict Wayborn tires of London and arrives in Bath. His own circumstances have changed making it so that he must find a wife to provide him with an heir. He loses his way in a storm and enters Cozy’s house instead of his own. Ben thinks she is the housekeeper. His immediate attraction for her causes him to decide to fire Cozy and make her his mistress. It wouldn’t do for him to rendezvous with a servant. Miss Cozy will be a perfect mistress, if she can keep her acerbic mouth under control. All of this, of course, is decided without discussing it with Cozy.
The meeting between Cosima and Benedict is indicative of the relationship to come. Mistaken identities, arrogant pride, and self-preservation rule the day for these two independents. During a time in history when it was the thing to respond blindly to society’s beck and call, Cozy and Ben are their own leaders. Unfortunately, Cozy can’t seem to control herself around Ben and ends up pushing him away. In her ever resourceful manner, Cozy finds a way to have her cake and eat it, too.
Rules for Being a Mistress is the latest offering by Tamara LeJeune. This funny romance is so full of characters it is easy to get lost. The writing was confusing at times as well. I was not always sure who was doing the talking. Although I didn’t always like the heroine there was something about this book that made me come back to it. I did enjoy the historical aspect of this story and some of the secondary characters are hilarious. Be warned, however, that there is the issue of sexual abuse that casts a shadow over Rules for Being a Mistress.