Review of Moonlight Masquerade by Ruth Axtell

About the book:

Lady Celine 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, will he do the right thing?

My review:

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I really enjoyed this Regency. The era when Napoleon waged war with the rest of the world is a fascinating time in history. I liked the French and English settings in the book and the theme of spying for either side in the midst of war. This was well done. The tension was so delicious it was even palpable at times.

I read this book in a few days. The best part was probably the setting. It had a definite Regency feel to it, but that was what I wanted. There have been other Regency novels that I’ve read in the past that didn’t feel nearly as authentic when it came to the setting. Somehow the author even made the romance believable. The difference between stations was no easy hurdle, but it worked the way she put it all together.

Oh, speaking of romance, there was a lot of tension between characters. Though they didn’t have much physical contact, you could feel the pull between them. And when they did kiss, well, fireworks went off in the background. Okay, that’s a bit of an overly dramatic description, but the kisses were intense enough to melt my heart. I wanted them to be together despite their many obstacles. The hero was a good guy and he did the right thing. The faith element was believable as well and I found myself quite inspired by it. All in all, a very good read. I would definitely recommend it to Regency lovers.

Moonlight Masquerade was published by Ruth Axtell and released in March 2013.

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