Wednesday 4 December 2013

Masked Love (A Christmas Regency Novella) by Nicole Zoltack - Book Review

From the Blurb:

Isabelle is content being a maid, and will do anything for her lady--even accompany her to a masquerade ball. Lady Theodosia needs extra support and encouragement on this night, for tomorrow she will meet the man her parents have pledged her to.

Isabelle has never had occasion to attend such an event, and is at first ill at ease. But meeting an enchanting young man during the course of the evening makes her wish for a life she can never have. Thinking she won't ever see him again, she returns his flirtation and even reveals her face. Imagine her shock when he shows up the next morning, announcing his claim on Lady Thedosia.

Isabelle does all she can to avoid Lord Adrian Wingave, but then he not only sees her, he recognizes her as the enchanting woman from the night before. To make matters worse, Isabelle fears her feelings are not one-sided.

Torn between duty and desire, Isabelle hopes for something more this Christmas.

The Review: 

Isabelle is a devoted servant to Lady Theodosia, so when her mistress asks Isabelle to accompany her to a masked ball as a friend, she dresses up beyond her station and does her best to fit in amongst the upper class. Little does she realize that her night behind a mask will lead to her falling for her mistress’s betrothed, Lord Adrian, and an unexpected Christmas romance across the classes.

Masked Love is a really sweet Christmas romance. At 75 pages it is a quick read and part of me really wanted more of Isabella and Adrian’s romance, but by the same token for a Christmas read it is just about the perfect size for readers to fall in love and get into the Christmas spirit.

Isabelle and Adrian are a really cute couple. I liked the fact that Isabelle is a maid as it made a nice change from the lords, ladies and scandals combo that is much more common in my reading list at the moment, and it added another element in the web which Isabelle and Adrian have to confront in their developing relationship.

There is a fun mistaken identities storyline that results from the masquerade involving the secondary character Theodosia, and I enjoyed the way this plays into Isabelle and Adrian’s romance, adding a little mystery element. It also shows how honorable these characters each are, not wanting to betray Theodosia despite their growing passion. I so sympathized with their plight even as I desperately wanted them to stop being so nice and just throw honor to the wind and hook up. Of course, despite screaming at my tablet as I turned the pages, I’m glad Isabelle and Adrian did not listen to me.

I recommend Masked Love to anyone looking for a historical romance Christmas read that is not excessively steamy but has a definite and wonderful Austen-vibe.

Masked Love by Nicole Zoltack was released by Swoon Romance on October 28, 2013, and is available from Amazon.