Loved this book.

Lady Jessica Andover needs money to keep her beloved home after her stepfather has frittered away all of her money.Thanks to a governess who has a love of literature and Shakespeare and, who today would be considered a vocal coach, Jessica has a deep and abiding love and understanding of dramatic literature and the voice to move people.

She embarks on a desperate scheme.Telling her family a great fib that she is going away to visit friends in Scotland, Jessica instead goes to London and using the name Jessica O'neill, becomes an actress with an eye to actually becoming a well kept mistress to some wealthy man.

Jessica's scheme works only too well.She becomes an overnight sensation and she catches the eye of the Earl of Linton.

She becomes his mistress, and to the dismay of his friends and family, they can see the two become even more deeply involved than is wise.What else are well meaning friends and family are supposed to do? Interfere for everybody's own good so that Linton doesn't ruin his life.

At first I thought Jess was a little too high on herself.And to be fair, she realized how arrogant and wrong headed she was about her feelings of love and marriage.But over the course of the story, I absolutely came to enjoy Jess.

And then there is the Earl of Linton.Yummy hero.He and Jess fall in love and begin to realize because of her having been on the stage that they may not be accepted by polite society if they marry.Linton is determined but Jess is more pragmatic.

She decides to save him from himself with heart wrenching results.

The love affair was so lovely to read about.these were two people who absolutely adored each other.The emotional upheaval when they realize they possibly can;t marry is the stuff that romance novels were made for.

Lovely, lovely read!