More Than A Mistress by Debra Glass
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Length: Full Length (274 Pages)
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Honeysuckle
She knew she was playing with fire...and was eager to burn.
The very thought of an innocent young woman donning a man’s uniform and joining the Prussian Army is scandalous. But on the run from an arranged marriage, Erika von Ecker’s destitute circumstances have left her little choice. She expects to earn enough money to buy her way out of the marriage. She does not expect to fall in love with Gregor Altmann von Breidenbach, the handsome heir to a vast duchy.
Prussian law forbids Gregor to marry beneath his title, so he seeks to make the brash beauty his pampered mistress. Erika’s refusal only stokes a fire within that spurs them both toward ever-greater heights of sensuous abandon. But as war looms, Gregor realizes he must do anything in his power to get Erika out of harm’s way--even if it means making her more than a mistress.
“I cannot consent to less than I deserve.” Erika von Ecker believed what she said to Gregor Altmann with her whole heart but would she be able to hold to her principals when it meant she would never be a part of Gregor’s life?
Prepare to be swept away to a tumultuous time in the history of Prussia, or modern day Germany. The year is 1740 the Prussian Army is headed to war and Erika von Ecker, daughter of Baron von Ecker, has made the only decision she could live with to salvage her future and that of her innocent little sister. She would join the Prussian Army under the disguise of Lieutenant Erik von Ecker, her deceased brother, and earn the money to repay her father’s debts. Erika is very aware of the punishment for portraying an officer but in the scheme of things it is the lesser of two evils when her only other alternative is to marry an odious man twice her age. Was it luck or fate that had her literally collide with Gregor Altmann, son of Duke von Briedenbach the same day she joined the regiment? I like to think it was a little of both.
Ms. Glass’s brilliant setting of 18th century Prussia is breathtaking. You can see the bright colors in the uniforms and practically smell the gun powder and horses when the cadets are training or marching. Ms. Glass has written some poignant historical romances that show her love for history and More Than A Mistress is stunning example. One of my favorite scenes takes place at a masquerade ball in Berlin. Erika and Gregor have both been fighting valiantly to not give into the chemistry that has been steadily building between them. When Erika steps into the ball room and Gregor truly sees her as a woman for the first time my heart literally skipped several beats! My other favorite scene is near the end when Erika has an audience with King Frederick. You don't want to miss the exchange. One word : Courageous!
Like Erika, I fell in love with Gregor Altmann. He is such an honorable character and once he discovers Erika’s identity he quite literally goes out of his way to save her. He’s willing to give her the funds she needs to cover her father’s debt, he takes a beating for her and wants more than anything to give her the life she deserves even when it’s not within his power to do so. He admires her courage and blunt honesty even as he tries to convince her that her actions are foolish and dangerous. However, I have to point out that Gregor also demonstrates that a man can only be so honorable before it becomes his downfall. There were a couple of different times, if I had been Erika, I think I would have cheerfully choked him with his tiresome honor!
One of the major themes of the book is in regard to the differences in the class system. Gregor was in the highest echelon while Erika, though a lady and a Baron’s daughter, was just above the working class. The differentiation in the titles and stations was a true cultural barrier during the 18th century and it gave the story a feel of realism and added powerful tension to the plot. Would they be able to overcome their heritage? Does Gregor find the courage to take love over title and inheritance? Can Erika give up her honor to become his mistress? You won’t want to miss the exciting conclusion!!
Some writers have such a talent for story telling that a book will literally play out as a movie in your mind while you read. If you enjoy a story that inspires your imagination you will truly enjoy More Than A Mistress.