Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey
Paperback: 336 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 26, 2020)
Genre: Historical fiction/romance
In this new Regency romance, Elizabeth knows she must protect her heart from the charm of her new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life.
When the widowed Lord Torrington agreed to spy for the crown, he never planned to impersonate a highwayman, let alone rob the wrong carriage. Stranded on the road with an unconscious young woman, he is forced to propose marriage to protect his identity and her reputation, as well as his dangerous mission.
Trapped not only by her duty to her country but also by her limited options as an unwed mother, Miss Elizabeth Cantrell and her infant son are whisked away to Middlecrest Abbey by none other than the elder brother of her son’s absent father. There she is met by Torrington’s beautiful grown daughters, a vicious murderer, and an urgent hunt for the missing intelligence that could turn the war with France. Meanwhile she must convince everyone that her marriage is a genuine love match if her new husband has any hope of uncovering the enemy.
Determined to keep her son’s true identity a secret, Elizabeth will need to remain one step ahead of her fragile heart, her uncertain future, and the relentless fiend bent on her new family’s ruin.
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I went into this book with expectation of historical fiction with a dash of romance and quickly found myself falling down the rabbit hole of the sub-genre of Regency romance.
I had not read much from this time period but was captivated by the history of the Napoleonic Wars. If you are looking for historical fiction from another time period, here is one to try. I was not disappointed.
Because I am a bit of a romance novice, the marriage of convenience trope was a stretch at first. But as the story developed, the well written characters came to life, and with the two protagonists having so much at stake it quickly became believable.
I found it especially easy to connect with Elizabeth as she sought to create a new and stable life for her son while protecting herself and him after even her own family turned her away.
There were several twists that I won’t get into to avoid spoiling the story but I will say that with every turn, I grew more invested in the history, the characters, and the danger they were in.
At a few points towards the end of the book, there were a few turns that felt like a reach and that is my only reason for knocking this down to a 4 star read. But overall, this book was a fantastic escape.
I am so glad I gave this book a chance. The only time I could put it down was to research something about the time period which only left me more impressed. The author’s historical knowledge combined with her sharp writing made for a great reading experience. One of my reading goals for 2020 was to try new genres and this will certainly not be my last Regency romance or book by Abigail Wilson – who happens to be a fellow Texan and graduate of my alma mater. What a small world!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours, Thomas Nelson, and NetGalley for a physical copy as well as an eBook in exchange for my honest review and promotion.
About Abigail Wilson
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A registered nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the national parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.