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Book Review
Overall: 10
Sensuality: 10
Historical Element: 10

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This is a romance community member review

Review for Mysterious Miss M, The (UK)
Author: Diane Gaston
Date of Review: 02/15/05
Reviewed by: MaryGrace Meloche

Reviewer Comments: Absolutely, wonderful! Not many debut writers would undertake this project: to choose a whore and invent a heroine. Amazingly, new author Diane Gaston not only tries but succeeds! And what a success! Gaston’s The Mysterious Miss M is charged with sensitivity, feeling, and love. And the reader gets to bask in the emotions.

Lord Devlin Steele is a younger son – the younger son of the Marquess of Heronvale. As a youth he is reckless, carefree, and unruly. When he is of age, he defends England against Napoleon’s evil. In the days leading up to Waterloo, in a seedy gaming house, he enjoys the charms of a beautiful soiled dove. Four years later their paths cross again, this time the fallen angel is Steele’s, in lieu of a gambling debt.

Madeline is the victim of circumstance and the evil of one man. She lives her youth servicing men, men who have earned her - earned her by gambling. Now she is free, thanks to the tenderness of one man - her fantasy man - a man who has lived in her heart for four long years.

Diane Gaston has written The Mysterious Miss M with a gentle hand. Her words flow effortlessly across the pages. The characters, the setting, the storyline mesmerized this reader. Besides the romantic detail that swirls throughout the pages, Ms. Gaston allows her characters to live without romantic conflict. Here the reader will find none of the usual bickering that is so prevalent in many romance stories. Instead, Gaston solves disagreements promptly and for that I am grateful.

During the last few years, I have read countless romance books. I have given the perfect 10 to only one book: Lisa Kleypas’ Where Dreams Begin. Today I give my second perfect score. Diane Gaston has written a masterpiece. It has every element needed in a true romance book - love, sensuality, and merit.

  • Overall Rating: A+ (Phenomenal read)
  • Overall Sensuality: Lovely
  • Overall Sexuality: Warm.

Overall: 10
Sensuality: 9
Historical Element: 10

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Official Review This is an Official Review by a Historical Romance Writer Official Reviewer

Review for Mysterious Miss M, The (UK)
Author: Diane Gaston
Date of Review: 05/28/04
Reviewed by: Marilyn

Reviewer Comments: Setting – London, 1816 --- Lord Devlin Steele having survived Waterloo has been cutting a swath through London as well as through his quarterly allowance doled out by his oldest brother the Marquess. As the youngest son, he has no real prospects although he does inherit a fortune and an estate on the condition that he marry – a state he has no intention of entering as long as he can win a few hands at the gambling tables – enough to keep his head above water. Winning heavily one evening at the gaming hell run by the dubious Lord Farley, he is compelled to save the Mysterious Miss M as compensation for the IOU owed to him by Farley. Four years earlier he had spent a passionate and memorable evening with the very alluring and sensuous prize Farley used to bait unsuspecting gamblers – and encounter after which she had warned him of Farley’s crooked gambling traps. What he was not expecting when he assumed responsibility of her was the surprise baggage she carried in the form of her maid Sophie and daughter Linette.

Miss M was in actuality Miss Madeline a name assumed years before to disguise herself from anyone recognizing the person she had once been before her ruin at the hands of Lord Farley. She remembered well the handsome soldier that had given her the one and only night of treasured memories that was the single golden memory that helped her endure the life she had been forced into. Finding Devlin in her life once more was a blessing but she warred with emotions of that long ago night and the distrust she now felt towards all men. Devlin, wanted to do the right thing in protecting her but in order to do that he would have to marry a respectable and suitable woman before he could gain his fortune and the funds he needed. The only problem was that in doing so he would lose the woman he had come to love with his heart and soul.

Wow, what a very pleasant surprise to discover a new author in her debut novel to deliver such an unusual gritty regency packing such an emotional punch. Normally, when I’ve picked up a regency book I tend to expect the usual fluff and humorous ton nonsense, but that is not what you will find here. Instead, it’s a real emotional roller coaster ride with fascinating characterizations of both lead protagonists that the reader will find hard to forget and their story will linger long in your thoughts. This is one of those books that once you start you simply cannot put down – absolutely mesmerizing! If this new author continues to deliver such substance in this vein, I predict a very shining future. ---

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