‘A Noble Masquerade’ by  Kristi Ann Hunter

anm kahSTORY: 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 Marcus, 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 Marcus 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 Marcus 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.

REVIEW: Lady Miranda Hawthorne, whose father died when she was young, has a very strict mother who has constantly bombarded Miranda with comments like “a lady never” or “a lady always.”  Now it is time for her sister, Georgina, to have her first season and she is so excited.  Miranda has already had several seasons and is not at all thrilled about another one.  Their mother has since remarried and is Lady Blackstone.  Miranda and Georgina live with their brother, Griffith, the Duke of Riverton.  Griffith has also told her about his good friend from school, Ryland Montgomery, the Duke of Marshington, and what a support he was to him.  So, from the time she was quite little, Miranda would write a letter on her special blue paper to Marshington pouring out her heart and problems to him.  However, she never mailed these letters, but tucked them away. They were her way of blowing off steam.

While in London, Miranda and Georgina are staying with her brother, Griffith.  His valet, Marlow, is a very efficient man and when he finds one of Miranda’s letters to Marshington, he posts it.  Gah!  Oh the embarrassment.  Miranda is so worried but receives a nice reply.  As it turns out, no one has actually seen Marshington for a number of years.  So, curious by his kind note, Miranda is hoping to finally meet Marshington when she is in London.

In the meantime, Miranda and Marlow become better acquainted and Miranda cannot help but be intrigued by this man.  Who is he?

That’s where the story gets interesting.  Marlow is a man of mystery and to give out any more here would be giving out spoilers.  Suffice to say that the story is a good one with mystery and lots of humor.

A good book and one that I enjoyed very much.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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