When it comes to books set in the Regency Era, I can be more of a stickler than I really should be. Sometimes even incorrect costuming (blatantly incorrect) on the cover can totally turn me off of a novel even before I’ve given the written word a chance. At least I haven’t run across a heroine wrapped in stretch velvet quite yet…
Kristi Ann Hunter’s An Elegant Façade brought me back to the Regency period and made me want to remain there with her characters.
The publisher’s blurb:
An Exciting New Voice in Regency Romance
Lady Georgina Hawthorne has worked tirelessly to seal her place as the Incomparable for her debut season. At her first London ball, she hopes to snag the attention of an earl.
With money and business connections, but without impeccable bloodlines, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. When he first encounters the fashionable Lady Georgina, he’s irritated by his attraction to a woman who concerns herself only with status and appearance.
What Colin doesn’t know is that Georgina’s desperate social aspirations are driven by the shameful secret she harbors. Association with Colin McCrae is not part of Georgina’s plan, but as their paths continue to cross, they both must decide if the realization of their dreams is worth the sacrifices they must make.
From the back cover:
Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.
With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.
But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina’s social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden–and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they’ll be forced to make?
What did I think of the book?
This book is the sequel to A Noble Masquerade, but you really don’t need to have read the first book to completely understand the second story. They actually overlap, and kudos to Ms. Hunter for pulling this off so well!
For three years, Georgina and her lady’s maid, Henriette, have been keeping tabs on the ton, recording gossip and observations about the most eligible of the bachelors in secret. Georgina is determined that her first Season will be the most successful London has seen in an age, and by the end of it she will be betrothed to a man with high standing, good pedigree, and great wealth – all to make certain she will be protected if ever her shameful secret is revealed.
Now, before you assume you know what that secret is – it’s not what you’re thinking. Georgina has not given herself to some cad who promised her a fine wedding and an even finer house. Neither is she illegitimate and raised by a kindly family who never let on about her tainted birth. I won’t tell you her secret shame, but believe me, it works so well with this story!
Then we have Colin. Georgina’s beauty catches his eye first, naturally, but that beauty is soon offset by her shallow and petty ways. Georgina admits to herself he’s handsome enough, but he’s a nobody. He’s not got a title, and he’s certainly no catch, though he somehow gets invited places he shouldn’t. Their growing attraction might be hidden from each other, but they can’t hide the fact from themselves, however much they wish they could! I know this part sounds as though it would lead to a regular, run-of-the-mill romance, but it’s written so well that it’s nowhere near that.
The only scene that really seemed forced to me was one with Colin, Georgina, and a Bible in the library. Unfortunately, I can’t explain what my trouble was with it without giving away too much of the story, and I hate when people do that to me! It’s certainly not enough to throw the entire story into disbelief-mode, for which I’m grateful. I enjoyed this book too much for that to happen.
**I was sent this copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**