Friday Night Mistress

Jordan Lake and Nick Thorne have a problem–they’ve been carrying on a weekly affair for some time now, but their fathers are bitter enemies, thanks to sheer stubbornness, and a tragedy in the distant past. They have to sit in court and stare malevolently at each other while their fathers battle out this latest lawsuit, but that’s not really what they’d like to be doing…

Jordan, a somewhat-spoiled socialite, has a hidden side, which Nick finds out about, and discovers a heart of gold in the tabloid princess. He’s the manager of his father’s business, and keeps pushing the old man to retire, and is used to being in control of his life. When they started their affair, they thought they had things simple and compartmentalized, but reality, as She always does, kind of gets in the way, when Jordan’s mother finds out what’s been going on every Friday–and she knows something about Nick that even he doesn’t know.

Friday Night Mistress is set in Wellington, New Zealand, with a brief foray onto the South Island. Truthfully, this story could be set just about anywhere that has a decent population, with the foray being four hours’ travel away; Wellington being–to a US reader like me–somewhat of an exotic place, I’d like to have seen a bit more descriptive text, or make Wellington’s notorious winds play a role at some point! Otherwise this book did a nice job painting a picture of the place and participants–unobtrusive, yet complete enough to be believable.

One uncommon facet of this tale is that Nick is a bit less “in-control” than many romance heroes; he’s got a major frustration in his life from the outset, in that his father continues to badger Jordan’s in court, and won’t retire to let him fully take the reins of the family business. He’s also very concerned–and rightly so–about what his father would think if he found about about his affair.  His playboy, globe-trotting brother is no help. He encourages Nick to get into an affair with Jordan as a mechanism for healing the rift between their families–not knowing that they’re already in one! Our heroine, Jordan, is entirely believable; she’s an only daughter, and just a little spoiled, but the things she does with her time and money mean a lot to her.

As is common with the It’s Just An Affair trope, the couple struggles somewhat when they start to realize that they mean more to each other than they can handle with just an affair, and the resulting series of misunderstandings is almost comic, since there are external actors at play that neither of them are aware of.

The intimate scenes are well-crafted for this series–explicit without being raunchy, and totally in-character. The development of Jordan and Nick’s relationship is logical and straightforward, and thus should be totally believable to the reader.

Overall, Friday Night Mistress is a satisfying read. It is not the finest I’ve ever read, but it’s a good tale, well told and very engaging.

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