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The Mistress - Tiffany Reisz - July 2 edit -

This is the review I've been dreading to write for weeks. I think writing my college thesis was less nerve-wracking. It's not because I fear tomatoes being thrown my way (look, I gave it 5 stars) but rather, I worry that I wouldn't be able to express my thoughts coherently without breaking down into a sobbing mess.

The Mistress picks up immediately where The Prince left off. Nora is held captive by an enemy who wants to play games. And in case you're wondering who it is, well, let's just say that your hunch after reading The Prince is right. She is used as a pawn to lure Kingsley and Soren - the two people this kidnapper wants to hurt the most. And while Nora waits for a chance to escape or be rescued she buys time by telling tales of her relationship with the most important men in her life.

Even though the book takes place in a span of a mere few days it is not even slightly uneventful. I thought that I knew all there is to know about our beloved characters through The Prince but I was proven wrong, because this book allowed me to know them more intimately than ever. It is not just Nora who's reliving her past through her stories though. While her loved ones wait in despair, they each recall memories of Nora and share how those memories relate to themselves in the present. The narration was brilliantly done, and every few pages I'd find myself wanting to hold them close while they're bathed in worry and sadness.

It is not a tortuous book by all means. After all, where Nora is involved one can expect humor and sass. But there is definitely a good amount of thrill and heart-stopping moments, as there are plenty of sob-inducing ones. I CANNOT say enough how much I love Ms. Reisz's characters. Each and every person stepped up to the plate and carried out their important roles. If you think that it is impossible to love who you love even more then prepare to be schooled because every previous feeling you've felt will only be magnified here. I've never hidden the fact that I am a book crier. Nostalgia is my favourite torture device, and when I've barely made it past 1% and the waterworks have begun, then I know that the book is a winner.
"There is nothing I wouldn't do to protect you, Eleanor. Nothing I wouldn't do to help you. And nothing I wouldn't do to save you. Nothing."

Lastly, I want to discuss what I felt about the ending. My initial reaction after finishing The Mistress was dumbstruck amazement. And while I sat there waiting for the one-month-before-release-date-mark so I could post my review I thought about certain events and analyzed them beyond dissection. I began to doubt my feelings for one specific part and even went as far as making up these ridiculous theories on how it couldn't be possibly true. Theory 1: They didn't. They engaged in breath-play and she passed out before anything could happen. Theory 2: They did, BUT, the baby isn't his. After all, only the origin of his name was revealed, and it didn't say that he actually had hair of THAT color. My vanilla brain couldn't accept the truth that was staring at me in the facebut after Ms. Reisz confirmed what I doubted at first, I felt that the balloon I was in burst. I wallowed for a couple of days, but then I looked over the passages I highlighted and the feelings I initially felt resurfaced. I reread the entire book yesterday and now I can say with utmost conviction that everything that has happened can only be viewed as a gift. How can I possibly see a wrong in something that is so right? Have I not always mentioned in my reviews that I only want for my characters to be happy and have no regrets? And truly, there are no regrets here. I am happy for all of them and I cannot wish for this book to have ended any other way. My current sadness only stems from the fact that the series, chronologically, stops here. This truly is one of the best series I have ever read - best stories, best characters, best written, most captivating, most touching, most seductive, plus all the other superlatives I can't think of at the moment. Eventually, I know I'd have to move on just as my Sinners have, but for certain, this will remain a favourite for all time.
"If it's love, it's infinite."

*This advanced copy was provided by Harlequin through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Squeeeeee!!!!!! ARC request approved! Can I call in sick for the rest of the week?