Sunday, March 3, 2013

Moonlight Masquerade

Author: Ruth Axtell
Publisher: Revell
March 2013
ISNB: 978-0-8007-2089-6
Genre: Historical romance/espionage

Lady Céline Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need—or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte.

When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess's butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London's West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham's spell.

Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, what then will he do?

MOONLIGHT MASQUERADE is rich in description, rich in tension. From the first page when the “butler” is rifling through her jewelry, looking for a sign to that Lady Wexham is a spy, I felt the unease, the nervousness as he constantly looked over his shoulders. The opening in Lady Céline’s point of view did drag a bit, as the tension isn’t there, but the story does pick up again.

Regencies used to be my reading of choice when I was a teenager, and I remember wishing they were written for Christians, with faith messages. That was a long time ago, as I have a teenage daughter now, and I’m glad to see that there are Christian regencies. Ms. Axtell is one of the better ones, with a touch of intrigue, and of course a romance that makes the heart pound when the characters finally kiss (sigh.) If you like regencies, then don’t miss MOONLIGHT MASQUERADE. 352 pages. $14.99. 4.5 stars. 

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