What do you think of when you hear "A Noble Masquerade"? Do you think of regency, a ball, a mask or even possibly a duke? Well, you're right on and in Kristi Ann Hunter's new novel, "A Noble Masquerade", you get a little more. You'll get a very reluctant lady, Miranda, two handsome Dukes, Duke of Hawthorne and Duke of Marshington, and a handsome valet. All mixed in, are several outstanding characters, funny and supporting in their own way, from Lady Raebourne and Lady Georgina, to Trent, Price, Jeffreys, Colin and even Jessie.
That's not all. In any good romance novel, you'll want a good storyline (check), a good romance (check), good characters that you'll instantly fall in love with (check), and a little suspense and or adventure (check).
Then we have a little more you'll expect from inspirational authors - some inspiring Christian message (check). Even if this is marked as a Christian inspirational novel, it really can be market as mainstream and secular, since there isn't much mentioned of the Bible itself or any preaching thoughts. It falls under realistic in that aspect during the regency period.
As you can already tell, I truly enjoyed "A Noble Masquerade". As you read from Miranda's perspective, you find her relate-able, and easy to understand. Her attraction and dilemmas all made sense and the unfortunate events that follows her are actually quite funny from the point of an outsider. To fall for two man, one a Duke and one a valet, what do you think will happen, especially for a Lady in her station and social class? Something always to ponder about. Then there's Marlow, the handsome and mysterious valet. It's a toss up between who I like more, Miranda or Marlow. Miranda, as I said is relate-able and someone you can see yourself in her. Marlow, is the one that you're unsure of, but can't help feeling attached and want to rely on. Their interactions, especially with the letters are just plain hilarious. Makes you smile and sometimes laugh out loud. As to the supporting characters, I like a lot of them, but I think Trent Hawthorne deserves the honor of favorite with his humor and delightful sarcasm.The spy storyline tied in very well throughout and gives this novel a sense of mystery and adventure. Even though I find certain aspects of the plot predictable, it was still a very enjoyable read.
After this first full novel of the Hawthorne House series, I'm looking forward to her future novels. I also just found out about the e-novella (free on Amazon) of the first book of this series, "Lady of Esteem" (which will be about Lady Amelia Raeborne - also an awesome character in "A Noble Masquerade"). Will definitely check it out. If only her next book from this series will be out soon, but I'll just have to wait until next year. In the meantime, check out this book, and the free "Lady of Esteem" for a fun and charming read.
Paperback Release date: September 8, 2015
Digital Release date: September 1, 2015
NOTE: I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers through Net Galley for an honest review.
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|#1: A Noble Masquerade
By Kristi Ann Hunter / Bethany House
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother's old school friend, a duke--with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she's heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother's new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.
When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men--one she's never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda's heart is far from all that's at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.