Temporary Mistress

Temporary Mistress

by Susan Johnson

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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The Tattler - April 1802 It wouldn't surprise you, gentle readers, to learn that Dermott Ramsay, the earl of Bathurst and favorite of all ladies, married or otherwise, has a new paramour. What may surprise you is her name. For she is none other than Isabella Leslie!  The same beauty of the sizable inheritance who prefers not the ton but books, maps, and the family shipping business.  You may wonder how a picture of innocence ended up in the arms of a libertine. Truth to tell, Isabella had to flee from her scheming relatives in the rain-soaked night and seek refuge in London's most infamous brothel. There, with the help of the madam, she devised an unorthodox plan to escape a dreaded marriage bed. She would simply have to become unmarriageable--even if it meant public ruin. And who better to utterly ruin her in a mere week than a handsome rake famous for seductive skills?  But gossip has it that Dermott may be developing a tendre for his temporary mistress. It makes for the most delicious speculation, does it not? For if it indeed is the case, what will happen when their week of pleasure is over? We urge you, dear readers, to do as we do--follow the affair closely, and with every hope that it will turn into this Season's most delicious scandal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553582536
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 294,521
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.84(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Susan Johnson, award-winning author of nationally bestselling novels, lives in the country near North Branch, Minnesota. A former art historian, she considers the life of a writer the best of all possible worlds. Researching her novels takes her to past and distant places, and bringing characters to life allows her imagination full rein, while the creative process offers occasional fascinating glimpses into complicated machinery of the mind. But most important...writing stories is fun.

Read an Excerpt

April 1802

THE STEADY DRIZZLE had turned to a downpour ten minutes earlier and the lady clinging to Dermott Ramsay on the high-lurching seat of his racing phaeton was not only thoroughly drenched but furious. Which meant he'd have to set her down at the next inn, practically ensuring Hilton a win in their race to London. Damn Olivia anyway. He'd not wanted to bring her along, but she'd coaxed with such enticing fervor as they lay naked in her absent husband's bed that morning, he'd found his better judgment overruled by lust.



He squinted into the driving rain, the road barely visible through the deluge, but his Thoroughbreds were running strongly despite the rough going, and if his racing phaeton didn't snap an axle, by the grace of God and some damned fine driving he would have won the race.

"Ram!" the countess screamed, her nails biting through the fine wool of his coat as the carriage hit a pothole and tilted crazily. "Put me down this instant!"

For a fleeting moment he was tempted to do just that, but he was a gentleman for all his faults and couldn't indulge his wishes and leave her in the middle of the muddy road. He raised his voice enough to be heard against the storm. "I'll set you down at The Swan in Chaldon."

"It's too far!"

While he agreed, it wasn't as though he had another option. Forcing himself to a politesse he was far from feeling with his chance of winning virtually destroyed, he shouted, "Just ten minutes more and you'll be dry!"

"I should never have let you talk me into coming along! Look at my bonnet and gown!" she cried. "And the state of my . . ."  Her voice died away, the glance he shot her way chill enough to silence even the overweening vanity of London's most celebrated beauty.

The rest of the wet, miserable journey to Chaldon passed in silence.

Bringing his matched pair to a plunging stop outside the entrance to The Swan, the Earl of Bathurst tossed his reins to an ostler and leaped to the ground. He was around to the countess's side in a few racing strides, his arms lifted to catch her. Carrying her inside, he bespoke a room, set her down, paid the innkeeper a generous sum over and above the required amount to assure his companion would have every comfort, and bowed to the lady who had cost him not only the race but a ten-thousand-guinea wager. "I'll send my carriage for you in the morning." Without waiting for a reply, he strode back outside.

Hilton had passed him, of course. He'd been close on his heels since Red Hill. Dermott didn't need the ostler's report to know he'd been bested. Softly cursing, he tossed the man a guinea, vaulted back onto the phaeton seat, and snatched up the reins.

It wasn't as though he'd not been behind in a race before, he thought, taking heart from the instant response of his powerful grays. Their will to win matched his, and his Thoroughbreds and custom-made phaeton had garnered more than their share of racing wagers in the past few years. "Come on, sweethearts," he crooned, leaning forward on the high-perched seat, knowing they recognized not only his voice but his urgency. "Let's see if we can catch them."

Their ears pricked forward, then twitched as though signaling their acknowledgment, and their strides lengthened.

A half hour later, Hilton's phaeton rose out of the gray mist, the outline faint in the distance. Dermott's nostrils flared as though catching the scented hint of victory. He'd raised his grays from foals and knew them as well as he knew his own family. Better, his mother would complain on occasion. "Here we go now, darlings," he murmured, letting the reins slide through his gloved fingers, giving his racers their heads.

It was a slow, laborious undertaking with Hilton's horses renowned for their speed. But Dermott's team slowly gained ground, and when they were within passing range, Hilton did what any driver who wanted to win would do. He moved squarely into the center of the road.

Boldness was required now, perhaps a rash tempting of providence as well with the possibility of an approaching carriage ever present. Not to mention the threat of a hidden pothole lying in wait to snap a horse's leg, or the critical question of passing space. But long celebrated for his audacity, the young Earl of Bathurst had been recklessly testing the limits of self-destruction for over a decade.

He began easing his grays to the left, the surface quagmire looking a modicum better on that side.

Hilton moved left as well.

The earl countered by directing his team to the right.

After a quick glance over his shoulder, the Duke of Hilton immediately blocked Dermott's attempt to pass on the right, and a continuing shift from left to right and back again ensued for the next several miles--at tearing speeds. Dermott watched Hilton's Yorkshire chestnuts for signs of fatigue, aware of Hilton's rough hands, his habit of hauling on the reins playing havoc with his horses' mouths and confidence. He could see Hilton's team jostle against each other several times, their momentary distress evident. And then suddenly Dermott saw his chance, the shoulder of the road ahead widening for perhaps a hundred yards. With boldness he swung his team over, forcing them into the meager space.

At times like this, nerve alone prevailed. Either Hilton or Dermott would have to give way. Dermott's grays valiantly obeyed his command, plunging forward as if they had the open downs before them instead of an impossibly narrow passage.

When the duke realized Dermott's intent, he held his ground, although his gloved hands nervously tightened on the reins and his mouth narrowed into a grim line.

"Get out of the way!" Exhilaration resonated in Dermott's cry, and a madcap triumph that overlooked all but the thrill of winning. The grays responded with a surge of power, mud flying from their pounding hooves, their courage and heart surmounting the foul weather and wicked footing.

The phaeton wheels inched closer and closer as Dermott began drawing even with the duke, disaster only a hairbreadth away now, the possibility of slipping sideways in the treacherous mire not only real but likely. It was a moment when a prudent man might contemplate whether such a race was worth one's life.

A second passed, two, then three, the racing horses neck and neck, the phaeton wheels slicing through the soft roadbed, the drivers so close, they could have touched whips.

The vehicles careened over the crest of a hill and the dangerous, infamous Danner curve suddenly loomed.

Death faced them head-on.

Hilton hauled on his reins.

Dermott smiled and shot past.

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Temporary Mistress 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was fun and interesting plot. A change from your normal historical romance. It really pulls you in and has you wanting to cheer, cry, and laugh. I would like to see more like this one from this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has got to be the most boring book ever. The plot was unique however the story itself was really bland. The characters were too plain and their foul language totally turned me off.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the reviews from other readers I was under the impression that Susan Johnson wrote great romance books with steamy, erotic love scenes. Definately not so in this one. I found nothing hot or descriptive about any of the scenes in this book. They were . . . somewhat boring. I also thought the use of certain words took away from the romance part of the book. The character development was horrible in my mind. Isabella starts out as innocent, but knowing the way the world works. All of a sudden, she's acting like a 'loose woman' with a dirty mouth. All in all, not a book worth buying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read more than my share of romance novels and had been told Susan Johnson writes more erotically than most of her peers. I have to say that this is the first novel I have read that used profanity, and dirty sex talk between main characters. I am used to the 'f' word in movies but the 'c' word is unacceptable. I am not a prude - I was just surprised. Usually a sex scene is more widening eyes and heaving bosooms and other euphamisms for body parts and sex acts. While this book was definitely more graphic, I felt that the time period the book was set in did not mix well with the graphic nature of the sex scenes. The plot has been recycled from so many other regency style romance novels. I usually circulate my books among friends but this one is going to have to have a warning label first.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
it was a good book that i liked to read. but i dont think it was very romantic. it lacked tender love. which i personaly like the best. but hey buy the book and see for your self. its worth the 5 bucks or so. it did hold my attention for the whole book. it did not have the usual parts that most would like to skip. go buy the book and find out how it ends -melissa
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isabella Leslie had just come into her fortune only a few hours before when her greedy relatives tried to marry her off to her cousin 'Fat Harold'. She literally ran into the rainy night to save herself..and straight into Molly's brothel! There she found a new life long friend who was wise in the ways Izzy was not. Isabella only wanted her independence. Together, they decided Elizabeth should become publically ruined so no one would want her as a wife. Enter Dermott!

Dermott Ramsay, the earl of Bathurst, had seen the woman rush into Molly's business establishment and wanted her immediately. That soon became possible. Dermott, being popular with all the ladies of the house, was chosen 'to ruin' Isabella. She would become his temporary mistress. Afterward, he could continue his sampling of the ladies in the world and she would have her independence.

*** Be forewarned of some extremely hot love scenes, Readers, because bestseller author, Susan Johnson, is back on the bookshelves beginning November 2000! This one has a great story line, is well written, back ground characters that you cannot help but adore, and a type of man that all women love to see meet his match! This one is sure to please those of us who like sexy scenes in our stories! ***
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate the book, it's extremely boring.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1802, Isabella Leslie inherits a fortune that her avarice uncle plans to possess. He informs his niece that she will marry his son. Instead of bowing to her relative¿s orders, Isabella flees and ends up in a brothel owned by Molly Crocker. The two women cut a deal that will ruin Isabella, but gain her freedom from her odious relatives.

Dermot Ramsey, Earl of Bathurst meets Isabella at the brothel and both are immediately fascinated with one another. He makes love to the virgin, but he still grieves the death of his wife and son several years ago. Though he hurts Isabella by throwing her out of his house and life,he realizes he loves her. Unless a miracle occurs and brings Dermot to his senses, Isabella will be free, but unhappy.

TEMPORARY MISTRESS is an entertaining historical romance, but readers need to realize that the story line is filled with many graphic sex scenes and profanity uttered by Isabella among others. The plot moves rather rapidly forward as the two lead characters and the supporting cast (her relatives and Mrs. Crocker) brings the Regency period alive. As usual, Susan Johnson continues to hold sway over the erotic historical romance sub-genre.

Harriet Klausner

ErocticTreasures More than 1 year ago
Dont believe everything you read what others say about this book it was really good, They might not like rakes, or brothals. But dont take my word read it for your self. I read alot on Ms Johnson an her storys has a great ending ALWAYS. And beside these 2 people are Anonymous. Go ask the real people that are in the reading. (I am sorry I dont like others on what they saying about the writers. All they have to say is it was ok or it need work).