Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House, #1)A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Romance

Content: Clean

At the age of nine Miranda Hawthorne is struggling with her mother constantly berating her behavior and drilling into her head how a lady should behave, or "lady lessons" as Miranda calls them. With no outlet for her frustrations she writes to her older brother, Griffith who is away at school, but he is more of a father figure to her than a confidant, and this isn't what she needs. In his letters, Griffith has told Miranda all about his school friend Marsh, who is a rule breaker. Marsh sounds like someone who would understand how she feels and Miranda begins to write a letter to him, pouring out all her secret frustrations and feelings. Miranda knows she can't possibly mail such a letter to someone she has never even met, but the letter writing proved to be a good outlet for her pent up feelings, so she continues to write to Marsh, locking the letters away in a chest under her bed.

Skip forward 12 years and Griffith arrives home with a mysterious new valet. One night Miranda leaves one of her letters to Marsh on the desk in the library and the new valet posts it. Miranda is very distraught over this and knows she is going to be ruined when the letter reaches Marsh, who is the Duke of Marshington. Oddly enough though, the Duke who has some secrets of his own, is fascinated and writes back to her.

I enjoyed the character Marsh, who I thought was rather swoon worthy, but I did get a little frustrated a couple of times with Marsh for not telling Miranda what was going on and for thinking that he had to protect her constantly, especially at one point near the end of the book when she flat out demands he tell her and he still doesn't. Instead he locks her in his study to keep her safe! In the end though, it seemed that he learned what a mistake that was.

A Noble Masquerade was a fun, delightful read. It is set in the Regency period and includes some mystery that involves spies, along with romance and a bit of comedy. I especially enjoyed the first part of the book when Miranda and the valet are interacting with each other, and I thought the epilogue was quite lovely. I think it was my favorite part of the whole book. The little notes were a sweet touch, but I won't say any more about them so as not to spoil anything.

This is a companion series. The next book will be about Miranda's sister Georgina, who I did not like much at all. After reading the description for the book I can see how it could be interesting though. I really wonder what secret Georgina is hiding that has caused her to behave the way she has. I also like the idea of the love interest for her in the next book, so I will be reading it.

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