This is a question I was asked on Goodreads, her’s my answer:
    It's not easy to answer, for many reasons. First I'm French, and my  English is not good enough to explain delicate or precise things. So  maybe you should also ask this question to Jane Hentgès,     Mistress Mine's translator, who's from UK.
    An English reader reviewed that some parts from this novel made her  blush while reading it during break at work. An American reader thinks  it can be read by a 12 years old girl!
    I wrote this book in French four years ago, and my daughter who's a  reader wanted to read it, but she was 12, so I hesitated. I let her  finally reading Mistress Mine when she was 14, because she     asked me everyday! She loved it! Only one paragraph bothered her a  little. Teenagers knows things, but they don't always want to really  read or see them. I would say this novel can be read from     15 years old.
    I didn't want to write sexual things, because the novel is about the  search of love. The preliminaries in love can be tender, beautiful,  even a bit hot, but I always stopped there. After, we're     supposed to know how it works and I didn't see the interest of  writing it.
    But definitly the novel is not about sex, it's an adventure and love story.
    The title maybe is confusing, but it's been suggested to me by Jane  Hentgès my translator, who took it from the Shakespeare sonnet. Jane  wrote on my website about Mistress Mine:
    "The reader can’t help getting attached to the heroine and all the  men who cross her path during her travels. Louise Saint Quentin not only  becomes their much desired “Mistress Mine” but she is     above all her own “Mistress Mine” as she has to learn all about life  and how to fend for herself from a very early age, something unusual  for a girl at the time. The numerous, often pithy,     dialogues throughout the novel show her personality and how it  evolves. They bring both Louise and the other characters to life and  together with all the little, well-observed details, create “a     reality effect”. In a word, Mistress Mine is a good read as we are  drawn into the novel from the start and find it hard to put down."
    The heroine lives life to the full, as she likes hearing music,  eating good foods, watching beautiful paitings, she likes loving too.  This is for the "sexual" part of the question.
    About historical romance or historical fiction, these words don’t  have the same meaning in French. So what I can say is: it's a lovestory  that happens around 1880. Except one chararcter, all the     others are fictional. But the countries, historical details, way of  life, way of thinking of the characters are true. I read only 19th  century authors, known or unknown, I read and checked a lot     about history. So this is a story that could have happened!
    I hope this answer the question, forgive my English, dear readers, and don't hesitate to ask me more questions.
    Gabrielle Dubois © 

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