Title: A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House #1)
Author: Kristi Ann Hunter
Genre: Historical Romance (with some comedy)
Publisher: Bethany House
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the book:
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. 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, the Duke of Marshington. Since she’s never actually met the man, she has no intention of ever sending the letter and is mortified when her brother’s mysterious new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters to the unsuspecting duke.
Shockingly, this breach of etiquette results in a reply from the duke that soon leads to a lively correspondence. Insecurity about her previous lack of suitors soon becomes confusion as Miranda finds herself equally intrigued by Marlow, a man she has come to depend upon but whose behavior grows more suspicious by the day. As the secret goings-on at her family’s estate come to light, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
A delightful historical romantic comedy!
This is Kristi Ann Hunter’s debut novel. She has really set a high bar for herself with this one. She does have a prequel novella out that is available in eBook only.
The characters are incredibly well developed and easy to connect with. The variety of personalities that are included are very entertaining.
Lady Miranda Hawthorne grew up with her mother constantly pulling her aside to give her “lady lessons” in proper conduct. She hated these little lectures because they constantly constrained her very nature and emotions. But they were needed to help her live in “polite” society. Throughout the book when she is struggling with wanting to act one way and knowing it is wrong she “hears” in her own mind her mother’s voice and the “lady lesson” that applies. I found each of these tidbits very amusing.
Interspersed through the book is a bit of mystery and intrigue. The book is set in 1812 England and they are currently at war with France. There isn’t much actual talk about the war but it is a backdrop for the story and there is mention of it and how it affects those in high society. Some of the more quirky characters are connected with the danger and intrigue.
Kristi Ann Hunter is now on my list of favorite authors and I am definitely looking forward to reading her next book. This one is getting a rating of 5 stars from me and I am highly recommending it.