Memoirs of a Millionaire's Mistress
Memoirs of a Millionaire’s Mistress features an intriguing mix of old-school Harlequin Presents premise and more modern characters. The heroine really is the hero’s kept woman to a certain extent, but the story has a much more contemporary feel than it sounds. Though uneven in spots, I found it basically a fun read and I enjoyed the flavor of the Australian setting.
The hero and heroine have a tumultuous meeting at the beginning of the story. Didi O’Flanagan works as a waitress in Melbourne to make ends meet while trying to establish her art career. While working an event, she learns that the businessman responsiible for the redevelopment of her apartment building is present. Deeply upset about her eviction and those of her fellow tenants, she lets Cameron Black and the others present have a piece of her mind.
Not surprisingly, this little interlude leaves Didi without her waitressing job on top of the impending eviction. A few weeks later, Cameron finds Didi locked out of her apartment in the rain – and steaming mad. Though Didi is far from gracious, Cameron inexplicably finds himself offering her a place to stay for the night. When he sees her artwork, he also offers her a commission to produce a piece for an upcoming gallery opening. This quickly moves from a strictly professional relationship to a personal one – albeit with a very businesslike setup. Cameron will be Didi’s protector until the gallery opening.
As the two spend time together, it becomes clear that their relationship is not just sex (surprise, surprise). In addition, Didi and Cameron realize that they actually like spending time around each other (another big shocker, I know). It’s not the world’s most unpredictable story, but the details make it fun. For instance, Didi is not your usual HP heroine. She’s far from meek and demure, and instead of having sensible dresses for all occasions, she tends to favor leggings and spiky hair.
In addition, Cameron, while self-assured and successful, is definitely not one of the overbearing, super-alpha heroes one sometimes encounters in this line. He can be commanding, but he also listens to Didi and shows much more of a gentle side than one might expect from reading the back cover blurb. The author throws in a few deep dark secrets for Cameron that help explain why he is the way he is, even if they are a bit more melodramatic than needed.
One aspect of Cameron’s character that shows through in his relationship with Didi bears mentioning, and that is his maturity. At 32, Cameron has seen more of the world than Didi who is in her early 20s, and the author shows this. One can tell a marked difference in the maturity of the two, particularly in their early interactions. Cameron has imperfect moments, but he basically comes across as an adult. Didi, quite frankly, can be a bit of a brat and it’s not until later in the story that readers see her really start to mature and act more like an adult. Though Didi annoyed me at the beginning of the book, I did find the characterizations a little more believable than what I’m used to seeing and I appreciated that the author showed the difference in maturity levels as an issue in communication between these two.
The characters have a few secrets that really aren’t all that necessary to the plot, there’s a touch of melodrama and as I mentioned above, Didi isn’t the world’s most mature heroine at the outset of the book. These items do annoy, but the love story is fun and overall Memoirs of a Millionaire’s Mistress is not a bad escape.