The Mistress Diaries (Avon Romantic Treasure)

The Mistress Diaries - Julianne MacLean Young widow believes she's dying & goes to Hero's family estate to plead for care of her baby daughter. She doesn't consider that womanizing Hero who she had a 1-night stand with a year before would actually take responsibility for their daughter & hopes his mother would instead. Engaged Hero surprises her by offering her & their daughter lifelong financial support & residence & agrees to heroine's contractual conditions even though she rejects his offer for her to be his mistress. A friendship develops b/w them during his frequent visits to their daughter. Heroine realizes how much more profoundly she feels for him this time around. Hero becomes increasingly drawn to the simpler life that heroine is living but he struggles with his desire to please his father & help his brothers by marrying his cold-hearted fiancé.

This was a meaty MacLean romance where a 1-night stand later develops into a believable deep love. This romance was unique in that Hero & heroine impulsively gave in to their instant & strong sexual chemistry but at their next meeting a year after they didn't care much for the other. So the love that developed b/w them was gradual & well-considered. Their sexual chemistry & love scenes matched their romance development. Good characterization & character development. Hero changed from an avid womanizer & commitment-phobic profligate (that continued after his & heroine's 1-night stand) to a more contemplative & mature man as he & heroine became friends & co-parents. I liked that MacLean didn't make excuses for his selfish & promiscuous behavior & the way his fidelity to heroine was tested convinced me that Hero did truly change.

Definitely recommended.