I enjoyed this book over the other two in Tracy Anne Warren's "Mistress" series. There was TAW's typical segment of discord but, although it got old by the end, it didn't feel completely inorganic to me as others have. For one thing, the typically sweet heroine didn't become a raving shrew to the hero. That's something that Warren sometimes does to keep the discord going when there's obviously no reason for it to continue, and it works a lot better when the insults don't fly.
The heroine, Gabriella, is the illegitimate niece of the hero from "My Fair Mistress" and she comes to his home to shoot him for supposedly hounding her father to his death. She meets up with Tony, the Duke of Wyvern, who disarms her and, of course, thinks she needs a lusty kiss before the uncle she's never met enters the room. He then unloads all the dirty laundry she's never learned about her father right on her head.
So, it's a fun start.
The heroine is very young. Only seventeen. Which my modern morals object to, but I have to remind myself of the times. She's a very mature seventeen, as well, being the orphaned wrong-side-of-the-sheets daughter of a peer and an actress. But she's naive in the ways of society and her uncle, Rafe (who has generously and lovingly made her part of his growing family), asks Tony to look out for her when she has a season. Um ... silly uncle.
No, it's not at all likely that the known bastard daughter of a known murderer would enjoy a season. Nor would she "take" as well as Gabriella does. But, if life were fair in the regency era, she would. She's really very sweet and clever and beautiful and there's no reason not to like her. It was easy enough to suspend my disbelief.
Tony is a rake who seems heartless to the women he leaves behind. His back story provides the reason for his seeming coldness, and intention to let his title pass to his cousin rather than ever marry, and it works well enough for me. We've seen him in the other books, and he's a decent guy. He just has a very distorted view of relationships between men and women.
That view is the cause of all his problems later and, although the inevitable point where you say "enough of this!" does happen, it's not all that tedious in this case.
Poor Tony. He deserves five stars for his excellent groveling alone, but he's sexy and manly and almost always sweet, if a bit emotionally under-educated. Lucky for the reader, Gabriella is perfect for him and this is a very romantic end to the trilogy.