Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Masquerade by Nancy Moser
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishing for review. The views expressed here are honest and is in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.
They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...
1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. She wants a chance at "real life," even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares. As for Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt from the possibility of discovery and the presence of another love that will not die. Is this what her heart truly longs for? Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.
By now almost everyone knows of my love affair with historical fiction pieces. Thus when I got wind of Masquerade and learned of the period in which it was set, selecting a copy for review was a no-brainer. And let me tell you, I really enjoyed it.
Masquerade kept me up into the early hours of the morning following the stories of Lottie and her maid Dora. The story got intense at some parts and then at others it panned out but it continuously kept me interested in the story. I thought that the author did a good job utilizing a lot of emotions in order to get readers to connect to the story and by extension the characters. As a result of this I found myself cheering for Dora while being anxious as to whether the switch would last, all in one breathe.
Admittedly (and some readers might agree with me) I found myself more interested in Dora’s story rather than that of Lottie. After serving Lottie’s family and being so close (yet so far) to wealth and a lavish lifestyle, I felt like justice was served when both ladies traded places and Dora got a chance to live in opulence. Off course Lottie is put through quite a lot and the intention is to force Lottie to be more appreciative and to be independent but for me Lottie’s story did not come full circle. In fact when I was finished reading this story I still felt as though, out of all of the characters, Lottie did not learn all of her lessons.
This minor, personal flaw is but a minuscule blotch on Masquerades score sheet. I loved reading about the late nineteenth century fashions described by Moser (and later depicted in the appendix) and the current events which added to the validity to the story. Masquerade was an enjoyable read and I think that historical fiction lovers will enjoy it as well.
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