"A Lady of Esteem" by Kristi Ann Hunter is the novella prequel to "A Noble Masquerade", also from Bethany House. Even though it is a prequel, both novels can be read on its own, but be warned. You'll enjoy either one so much, you'll want to read about the other characters in either of these novels. That's just what happened to me! Since reading "A Noble Masquerade", I was quite impressed and enjoyed it so much, I had to check out Ms. Hunter's other works. "A Lady of Esteem" is her first series novella, and "A Noble Masquerade" is her first full novel. Enough about the background, let's talk about the book itself.
Since I'm reading backwards, being first reading "A Noble Masquerade", I already know a little about the characters, and Amelia is one of those that you find intriguing throughout. Not to mention, all the other characters also shone in their own light. There's Miranda, Griffith, Georgina and my favorite Trent. Their personalities continued or were cohesive in both novels, which is always appreciated. There are some series, because of who the focus is in that particular book, the characters' personalities does not tie in well with the other books of the series. I'm glad this one stayed the same or at least connects. Trent is one character I'm so glad is still the same funny and charming man as ever.
Amelia Stalwood is one lady you'll come to respect. Yes, she was a slight mystery in "A Noble Masquerade" and having read "A Lady of Esteem", I understand what that combined "respect" you feel when she's in the pages of either novel. Her demeanor and way of thinking, and her sense of equality with everyone, no matter their stage or class in life gives way to a lady anyone will esteem. For who she is, will radiate and rub off on all those around her, even if it's a snooty gentleman of the higher social class.
"A Lady of Esteem" is everything I said about "A Noble Masquerade" - it has plot, it has romance, it has humor (not as much, but still there), it has lovable and interesting characters, and it has a message. Learn from Amelia or just enjoy a good short read. (It's currently free on Amazon.)