The first time I read this book I feared it would be just another aristocratic highbrow duke coming off as too perfect at everything, too smart for his own good and boring the hell out of me; I was also afraid that Jane would 'wimp out', tremble and weep like any good lady should. I must have forgotten I was reading a book by Mary Balogh! I am repeatedly surprised at her resourcefulness and her creatively unique characters. Both Tresham and Jane are likeable and very human.
Jane ends up as Tresham's nurse for three weeks during which she challenges and stands up to him as no one else has ever attempted to do. In More Than A Mistress, Balogh exposes the main characters personalities steadily and in a progressive manner by introducing them as if you were getting to know them in person. There are a surprising number of supporting characters who are more than passing acquaintances, including a number of scoundrels.
The fun is just beginning once you get to know the characters as Balogh continually presents interesting twists and turns. I have always loved the way her books describe the regency era without boring me to tears with minute details irrelevant to the story. Don't miss the few descriptions of Tresham's fashionably dressed sister.
I do wish she had described that last surprising twist in more detail. Although this is neither my favorite nor the best book she has written, it is a very good book. And, as with all the books I have by Ms. Balogh, More Than A Mistress will remain on my bookshelf to be revisited from time to time.