HIS PARISIAN MISTRESS by Tracy Cooper-Posey
Scandalous Family—The Victorians, Book 1.0
Victorian Era Historical Romance
The family faces financial disaster, social ruin and much more…
When Richard Devlin’s older brother, Vaughn, is imprisoned for fraud, the consequences tear apart the Great Family, bringing ruin and more. Richard’s future is also destroyed. Penniless and angry, he wanders Europe, until he finds himself in a Paris café watching a pretty singer…
Eve Martel Davies, posing as a café singer called Evelyn, barely recognizes her second cousin. Eve’s family take Richard in, but Eve knows Richard needs more than a warm bed and new clothes. She devises a way for Richard to assist her with her work for the Sûreté, which she suspects will help Richard find himself again. The scheme involves Eve posing as Richard’s mistress, but the truth is very different…
This book is part of the Scandalous Family—The Victorians. This is the second spin-off series to feature a new generation of the Great Family, who are now scattering across Europe and beyond in search of adventure…and love.
A Victorian Era Historical Romance
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I am 100% a Francophile so I immediately knew I'd enjoy this newest title from Tracy. I was again swept away and dropped into a world far away. His Parisian Mistress was all the best of Tracy's historicals. The sights, the smells and even the temperature of early morning on the Seine was experienced as though there with the characters. Without spoilers, there was a scene where the tention was so palatable, I swear I felt sweat on my brow and my heart beat much faster. This is another winner and I can't wait to meet the third generation of The Great Family.
Tracy Cooper-Posey has a magical talent for catching the heartstrings of any reader. His Parisian Mistress is perfection. Between Richard’s redemption and Eve's need to make her world a little safer there is excitement, danger, love and passion. And the ending zings!
When “the Great Family” of England from this fabulous series is suddenly in disgrace our main character Richard travels to France hoping to escape the notoriety, which has rubbed off onto him. In rather desperate circumstances he meets up with Eve who is on an important mission.
Given a new purpose they conspire to infiltrate a dangerous group of anarchists.
Danger, intrigue, survival and relationships intertwine to create a fascinating story. As always, the characters in these series come alive for the reader. You are transported back in time and feel each struggle and joy as the story unfolds.
I was sad to see the end to the Scandalous Scions series. Ms. Cooper-Posey has such an intimately detailed way of writing that you can’t help but become immersed into each story and emotionally attached to the wonderful characters. Thankfully, though, those wonderful characters happened to have a LOT of children whose stories of love and adventure we can discover now, while still catching glimpses of the previous generation, albeit a little older and grayer as time has passed.
His Parisian Mistress has a heart-wrenching beginning I was not prepared for. My heart broke for poor Richard essentially becoming a pariah and forced out of England through no fault of his own.
I liked Éve from the start. No-nonsense, practical, self-assured and worldly, I found her to be inspirational.
Richard and Éve work together in a dangerous undercover operation to disband an anarchist organization. Éve makes Richard feel worthy again and he shows her that having a man by your side doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence.
I really appreciate how none of Tracy Cooper-Poseys stories are cookie-cutter-everything-works-out-in-the-end books. Square pegs don’t magically become round to fit in. Yes, they all live happily ever after, but you know there are going to be hurdles along the way, just as in real life. I think that is what makes this series so relatable for me.
Long story short: read this
How nice to continue writing about those great families in the Scandalous Series. Start off with a scandal that ruins a family, leaving them cast out of the class that they are accustomed to. Then jump right into Paris during the Victorian age and you have the makings of an exciting story. This was a well written and enjoyable story, as most all of Ms. Cooper-Posey's are.
The only real flaw in this book is the slightly pasted on nature of the story of Great Aunt Annelies and the North Allerton twins. Otherwise, the fall and probable revitalization of the Great Families in the Victorian age is wonderfully and quite originally done. I'm looking forward to subsequent books.
The atmosphere of this paragraph is lovely and alive with scents and sounds.
This kind of manipulation and power dynamic described in this book is not in the spirit of anarchism as a philosophy at all. Unfortunately, many people who identified as anarchists at the time embraced manipulation and power plays as a means to a rather unclear end - liberation for those deemed worthy, rather than liberation for all. As far as 'anarchists' of today are concerned, talk is something they are unbelievably good at, as long as there is no chance it will result in action!
The Scandalous Families series is back! A great start to another spin-off of the captivating historical series by Tracy Cooper-Posey that leaves us wanting to read the next book as soon as possible.
We begin with the family celebrating the engagement of Vaughn Devlin continuing the family traditions, but unfortunately their happiness is short lived because Vaughn is arrested and accused of fraud.
A few years later, we find his younger brother in Paris, trying to escape the notoriety that came with his brother’s conviction. Richard is a bitter man, drinking and spending his time in Parisian bohemian cafes. One night he meets a singer that is actually one of his cousins and gets himself mixed in an anarchist plot.
As usual adventures and plot twists make sure this is a very enjoyable and thrilling read. And the best part is that there are still many more books to read and the author lifts the veil on the next stories to come…
Tracy Cooper Posey never fails to deliver an amazing story. After starting off the story with the recounting of a family misfortune, Tracy immediately delivers us to a world full of introspection and personal fulfillment that is not easy to obtain but that is filled with color, light, love and laughter. As always, I feel like I am actually part of the scenes and I can totally relate to all of the characters.
One thing is for sure, this is not your usual Victorian romance. This story has a great, and at least for me, and unexpected plot. Combine that with action, intrigue, great settings, and multidimensional characters and you have an impossible to put down adventure just waiting for you. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. Thanks Tracy!
Tracy Cooper-Posey's books never cease to amaze me, truly.
His Parisian Mistress is the third generation series since the first Scandalous Sirens books, nevertheless she has managed to turn this story into something fresh and new! This story opens the new series Scandalous Scions: The Victorians. Always keeping the standard quality writing of her other series. And she has no qualms in dealing with characters, either. It teaches us about love and family and courage.
Unlike any other romance book the author has no compunction in writing about impoverished peers and how they struggle in their newfound situation. It's a completely new scenario and I love it. Richard and Eve are a delightful couple and I can't wait to learn more from the rest of the very extended Great Family!
A wonderfully written story of man beaten down by a moral society, even though he's done no wrong. He, at one of his lowest moments, runs into a distant cousin. Now begins the plot which will bring them together and will entail lies, subterfuge, danger and glorious pleasure they never expected. The story reminds me of the excitement one gets reading a novel of espionage and undercover agents. It is so much better as we also have the sensual feelings that two people working so closely together, especially when one has been forced by his former peers to expect only the worse of people, and suddenly finding acceptance and caring. As always, the author has given us a magnificent story, one that shows us the unfair standards of Victorian society, that through the ruin of a this unconventional family, hope and love will never be denied.
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EXCERPT FROM HIS PARISIAN MISTRESS
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2020
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
La Floraison Moderne, Latin Quarter, Paris. March, 1888. Four years later.
The songbird on the tiny stage was both colorful and musical. Not that Richard cared about either quality. While his French was good enough to maintain a conversation, sorting out lyrics was beyond him. He let the warbled notes wash over him. The song sounded sad and wistful. As it matched his mood, more or less, he drank and listened with slightly more patience than he normally could muster.
There were a great many cafés in Paris, which pleased him. Cafés were a good place to get lost in. This particular café he had never been to before. It was deep in the Latin Quarter and was appropriately filled with bohemians and people who lived on the fringes of society.he songbird on the tiny stage was both colorful and musical. Not that Richard cared about either quality. While his French was good enough to maintain a conversation, sorting out lyrics was beyond him. He let the warbled notes wash over him. The song sounded sad and wistful. As it matched his mood, more or less, he drank and listened with slightly more patience than he normally could muster.
Richard was glad he had not bothered changing into a tuxedo for the evening. In his tweed day suit, he was almost overdressed for this crowd.
He wasn’t entirely sure where his tuxedo might be, anyway. Probably buried at the bottom of his valise, which lay in the corner of his bedroom in the pension where he had been staying for the last month. So far, his landlady had not insisted upon him paying the rent he owed her. It was just as well, because he was down to his last few francs. When she did ask, he would have to admit he could not pay her, then find yet another pension.
There were far more salubrious characters at this café than usual. They clung to the tables at the edge of the room, in the dark corners. They kept their heads together as they talked earnestly.
Bohemians, on the other hand, were easy to spot. The painters and writers and poets enjoyed the brighter lights. They gulped at life, laughing a lot and smiling even more. Richard could not stand them. Still, they left him alone. And that was all he could ask of life these days.
The song ended on a quivering note. The entire café got to its feet to applaud the songstress. She gave a deep curtsy, looking pleased. Someone threw her a rose, which she caught and blew the man a kiss. French women were so much more forward than English women. In the Latin Quarter they were even more so.
Richard didn’t bother clapping. It would require letting go of his glass. He reached around the lantern on his table, grasped the bottle and pulled it toward him. Only two inches remained. It was still early. He could always order another.
Then he remembered how many francs he had left in his pocket, and scowled. This would be the last bottle for the night. That was unfortunate. He needed more than one bottle to sleep.
“Can you spare a glass for a thirsty singer?”
Richard looked up. The pretty songbird stood in front of his table, the beads on her evening dress glittering in the light from the lantern on his table. She was even more beautiful, this close, and worth a moment or two of study in appreciation. Like all Frenchwomen, she had creamy skin, pure and smooth. She wore a minimum of jewelry, letting the dress speak for itself. Rosebud lips, very blue eyes, black hair. A faint line between her brow said she was used to getting her own way.
Her waist was agreeably small, and her arms slender. She wore no evening gloves, but instead wore a small charm which dangled from a slender chain about her wrist.
“Ah, if only this was not Paris,” Richard said, regret touching him.
“You do not like Paris?”
“I like Paris. Paris is wonderful. When I can remember it.”
“Perhaps I can help you remember some of it.” She pulled out the black chair opposite him and sank onto it with a graceful movement. She lifted her hand toward someone behind Richard. Silently, a glass was placed in front of her. She pushed the glass towards Richard. “May I share even a small glass with you?”
Richard considered the last two inches of the bottle, then shrugged and poured one of those inches into her glass. Her forwardness was a novelty. In a sea of nights he could barely remember, she provided a new experience. She deserved an inch of his wine.
He poured the last inch into his own glass and pushed the bottle aside. “Why do you want to share wine with me?”
“Why would I not?”
He just stared at her. He had no patience for flirtations and empty conversation.
She must have sensed that. She gave him a small smile. “When I sang, you were the only man who did not appear to like it.”
“You believe every man should love your singing?” Richard scowled, as he realized she was drawing him into the silly conversation after all.
“I do not have such an inflated opinion of myself. I merely wondered what weight of troubles would stop you from enjoying even a small moment of pleasure. Or why you sit here by yourself, when there are more than two people at every of the table.”
“Perhaps I do not enjoy company.” He stared at her, for she was company.
“Or perhaps you can take no enjoyment in the night, because you have none.”
Richard took a deep swallow of the wine. It burned the back of his throat. “It appears I have you.” He wasn’t sure if he was annoyed by that fact or not. His gaze drew back once more to the clean line of her jaw and the point of her chin. It was a small face, but strong. Her clear eyes matched the rest of her.
As he studied her and she sipped her wine, a fat Frenchman in shirtsleeves and wrinkled trousers staggered to the table and bent over her.
“Mlle. Evelyn, you have captured my heart. Kiss me, or I will die.” He bent even further. His hand groped at her knee, through the lace of her evening gown.
Before Richard could decide if he should do something about the lecherous man, Mlle. Evelyn picked up a spoon from the napkin on that side of the table, and rapped the back of the spoon sharply upon his knuckles.
The man howled and released her knee. He shook his hand, blinking at her.
“I think, perhaps, you must die without my kiss. I regret, monsieur.”
The man stumbled away, still shaking his hand.
Richard realized he was smiling. “I would have punched him.”
Mlle. Evelyn rolled her eyes. “A punch is too soon forgotten. I broke one of the blood vessels on the back of his hand. By tomorrow, his hand will be blue with bruises. They will not fade for days. Every time he tries to use his hand or looks at the bruises, he will remember his foolishness.” She picked up the wineglass and smiled at him. Her eyes twinkled with wicked humor.
Richard lifted his glass towards her, in a small salute. “To you, Mlle. Evelyn.”
“And to you… May I have your name?”
Wariness spread through him. He was not sober, but he was not drunk enough for the habitual caution to be repressed. “This is Paris. Why do we need names?”
“If the café was to suddenly burst into flame, how would I warn you? I cannot call to you without a name to use.”
She did not understand, of course. If she did know his name, she would not want to use it, even if the café did burst into flames. “Then you must hope such an emergency does not arise in the next few minutes,” Richard replied. “Why did you sit at my table, Miss Evelyn?”
“Miss? Then you are English.”
“Which you knew the moment I spoke. My accent is abominable, which every Frenchman points out.”
She smiled. “I thought it was merely the wine slurring your words. Why are you in Paris, Englishman?”
“Because it is not England,” he growled.
Her eyes widened.
He shook his head, vexed at his lack of control. “Never mind. Forget I spoke.”
“I would rather not,” she said softly. Her gaze was thoughtful. “Perhaps we should use English,” she said in English.
Richard shook his head. “I’d rather not,” he replied in French.
“Sad memories?” she asked softly.
His heart shifted uneasily. Before he could answer, though, a shrill whistle sounded and thudding upon the door to the café.
“Police! The police!” someone cried.
The café became a room of instant chaos as the guests leapt from their chairs with alarm, snatching up hats and coats and purses.