Published by Garden Avenue Press Genres: African American, Contemporary, Fiction, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance
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Will their arrangement ever be enough? Relationships are not a priority for restaurateur Esteban Galiano, and when he sees Sonia Kennedy at a party, he plans to make her a conquest in a long line of many. But she rebuffs his advances and forces him to adjust—determined to meet the challenge and do whatever he must to make her his. All her life, Sonia’s beauty has caused unnecessary problems, and right now she needs a job, not a suitor. When Esteban makes an indecent proposal, her first instinct is to turn him down. But soon she’s rethinking her response. Maybe it’s time for her to use what she’s got, to get what she wants.
I must admit when I first saw the title, More than a Mistress, I was a little apprehensive. The synopsis leaves a bit to interpretation and so before reading, I thought this book would be about an illicit affair between a woman and a married man. As it turns out, this was not the case at all which made me give a huge sigh of relief.
Esteban is used to having things his way; when he wants and how he wants it. Once he determines that he needs something, he will go after it with single-minded focus. In this case, what he really wants is Sonia Kennedy, a gorgeous sommelier in training. He’ll do anything to get Sonia in his bed, even if that means to offer her an obscene amount of money or remove certain ‘obstacles’ aka her boyfriend out of his way.
What I liked: There was just enough backstory for both of these characters that I didn’t feel left out. Delaney Diamond has always had a way of making me root for characters I wouldn’t necessarily like. Esteban is extremely arrogant and chauvinistic. Ordinarily, that would turn me away from him very quickly. However, every now and then we saw a little chink in his armor that made him vulnerable and gave us a peek into his inner thoughts.
What I didn’t like: It was all about the money for Esteban, even to the very end of the novel. I had hoped that Esteban would learn that money wasn’t everything and that it couldn’t buy him love, but unfortunately he did not. He didn’t have to because Sonia pretty much bent to his will whenever he needed. As someone who was initially against his grand gestures of money, she got used to it pretty quickly, and it became all about money to her in a lot of ways as well. I wanted to see her be a bit more assertive with Esteban. While she did that a bit in the beginning, as time went out and they were together, her resolve on a lot of things seemed to weaken.
I’m very interested in Esteban’s assistant, Abena’s story. Though she is engaged in this story, something tells me that it won’t last and it’ll have a lot to do with Esteban’s associate, Santiago. I am hoping that they will be the next story.