Monday, March 9, 2015

REVIEW: "The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress" by Erica Ridley

The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress (The Dukes of War #2)
The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress by Erica Ridley
(The Dukes of War #3)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance

Intrepid Reads -- Published on March 2, 2015
eARC, 250 pages
Read in March 2015
Received from Netgalley

Tortured Hero, Bluestocking Heroine, Cabin Romance

Captain Xavier Grey’s body is back amongst the Beau Monde, but his mind cannot break free from the horrors of war. His friends try to help him find peace. He knows he doesn’t deserve it. Just like he doesn't deserve the attentions of the sultry bluestocking intent on seducing him into bed...

Spinster Jane Downing wants off the shelf and into the arms of a hot-blooded man. Specifically, the dark and dangerous Captain Grey. She may not be destined to be his wife, but nothing will stop her from being his mistress. She could quote classical Greek by the age of four. How hard can it be to learn the language of love?

"Under normal circumstances, Miss Jane Downing would have been eager to alight from a chilly carriage and rush indoors for a welcome respite from the brutal winter.'

The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress is a short, but fairly entertaining historical romance.  It is the second in the Dukes of War series which focuses on a group of men who went off to fight in the Napoleonic Wars and returned with emotional and/or physical scars.  While it was not particularly memorable, I did enjoy the story and am interested in the other members of the group getting their happy ending.

Captain Xavier Grey was introduced in the first installment (The Earl's Defiant Wallflower) as a man who was pretty much catatonic.  Now his mind has returned to reality, but he still feels uncomfortable away from home.  So imagine his surprise when a curvy spinster shows up on his country home's doorstep asking to be his mistress.  I did like Xavier and was very sympathetic to his experiences during the war.  He has returned with major guilt issues and requires somebody to gently bring him back to happiness.

For me, Jane Downing was the heart and soul of this book.  She is considered a spinster and has the misfortune of seeming invisible to everyone around her.  There were some heartbreaking scenes where people introduce themselves to her despite the fact that they have been in the same social circle for years.  I enjoyed how determined Jane was to find some semblance of passion since she never sees herself as being a married woman.  I also loved how smart she was though the whole "running away to a stranger's country house" was not a good example of her intellect.  Her bookish nature was very relatable to me as well.

The main reason for the rating that I gave this book was the limited page length.  I liked both the characters and Ms. Ridley's writing style.  I just found myself wanting so much more out of it.  There is a ton of potential here and it didn't reach its height for me.  For example, Xavier has some issues to work out and the page length did not allow for things to develop naturally with that scenario.  And, of course, the romance happened pretty quickly for two people who had rarely seen each other beforehand.

But, The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress was an easy read that kept me interested from beginning to end.  I will probably continue with the series, but will be prepared for a possible lack of development on the part of the romance if the rest of the installments prove to be the same page length.

I received a free copy of this book from Intrepid Reads via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


"He's gone from Captain Crotchety to 'missish harpy' in less than an hour and there was only one explanation: she was absolutely mad."

1. The Viscount's Christmas Temptation
2. The Earl's Defiant Wallflower
3. The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress
4. The Major's Faux Fiancee (Coming 2015)
5. The Brigadier's Runaway Bride (Coming 2015)


  1. It's always a bummer when characters you like aren't developed as much as you want. Sounds like this one just needed another 100 pages or so. But glad it isn't enough to deter you from picking up the rest of the series!

  2. I was just reading about one of her other books and thinking they sound good. Shame it didn't feel quite long enough. Hope the next one is a little fuller for ya.

  3. oh I so enjoy reading books from this era. I keep seeing this author pop up just about everywhere, and I would love to try her out. I do love those stories that keep you interested.

  4. This seems pretty interesting, Jennifer. But I do know what you mean. It's really frustrating when you read a book, and you see so much more potential in the story and characters than are actually there.


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