Society often forces us to act in ways that goes against our innate sense of self. As hard as it is, it is sometimes easier to go with the flow than rebel and deal with the consequences.
In the new Regency romance novel, A Nobel Masquerade, by Kristi Ann Hunter, Lady Miranda Hawthorne lives like the daughter and a sister of a Duke should live, at least externally. But internally, she is screaming to rebel. Her only release from the internal tension are letters that she writes (which are never to be mailed), to an old friend of her brother whom she knows by name only.
At the same time, a new servant has entered the servant’s wing. Marlow is the new valet to Miranda’s brother. Despite the wide social gulf between them, Miranda finds herself starts to fall in love with Marlow. Then Miranda receives a letter from the man who she has been writing privately to for years. But Marlow is not what he seems to be. Neither is the man who is responding to Miranda’s letters. The only thing that is clear in this mess is that Miranda’s future is not the only one at stake, especially when secrets are brought into the light.
I thought the concept of this story was interesting. However, I’ve read enough of the genre to know that this particular story was merely mediocre. Neither the hero or the heroine were particularly inspiring or thrilling and the narrative could have used some punching up. Adding to that was the use of modern language which felt out-of-place in the Regency era. I understand that this is Ms. Hunter’s first novel and the use of modern linguistic terms could be dismissed as a rookie mistake. However, I will say that when writing and researching a historical novel, it is important to get all of the details right about the period that the story takes place in. That detail includes language.
Do I recommend it? I think I am leaning toward no.