The Mistress


A highborn woman whose only life choice was to marry a man three times her age, Davina chose her own path and became a famous royal courtesan.  But poor choices ruin her position and  she is once again forced to make tough decisions.  Now she simply tries to survive, and is very close to being destitute.  When Davina hears of Raphael Rothwell's search for a wife to run his home and help with his unruly children, she offers herself up for the task.  It is quickly apparent that she has taken on more than she bargained for.  Rafe is a lonely widower with a man's desires and a survivor's guilt, and his wife's death left him riddled with self-doubt and barely able to function.  

Davina is a hard woman to like.  Her entire life is built on utilizing her beauty to get what she wants, she is an arrogant and conniving sort of woman.  She professes to despise children, yet as children do, the Rothwell brood starts to melt her heart.  Family dynamics and the way the children reacted to the loss of their mother was well portrayed and heartbreaking.   The brevity of this particular story was a hindrance to both character development and deeper emotions that could have come from a more in- depth look into both Rafe and Davina’s characters and their growth. Davina could have become more humble and thankful, Rafe more content and confident.  The story itself was a wonderful look into two unconventional characters learning to mesh their lives and learn to trust. But most of the emotions were only surface level, leaving the intensity feeling slightly melodramatic.  

Nicole Duke