Rees has worked hard to lift himself out of his middle-class upbringing, working to provide for his sister and mother and make them proud. So when he was offered an important job with the Foreign Office he took it.
However, it involves him masquerading as a temporary butler stand-in in a high-class household.
Essentially, he is to investigate, or spy on, Lady Celine Wexham – French by birth, but seemingly a model British subject. Widowed and beautiful in 1813, she remains unmarried and is inconceivably kind to her servants.
But she could also be passing along information to those in favor of Napoleon staying in power.
Commissioned to find out where Lady Wexham’s loyalties lie, Rees does his very best to fit in the fashionable London townhouse – and not be too enchanted by her.
What haunts him, though, as he watches her thoughtful eyes and graceful poise as she goes about her day, is what will he do if he does find evidence she is a spy?
Moonlight Masquerade has an interesting cloak and dagger concept that places our romantic leads in the positions of a high-class lady and her butler, or so he plays. I loved that idea; it provides extra tension and an initial blockade to any attraction that makes the novel feel unique.
As a LOVER of the regency period, I love that Ruth Axtell places the story in 1813. She gives delightful, but not overdone, descriptions of Lady Wexham’s gowns and the surroundings of a wealthy household.
The espionage and class differences make for a more attention-grabbing than usual romantic obstacle, and the characters are shown to have more depth that just surface beauty, allure and charisma. We get glimpses into their pasts; understand why they believe what they believe. I liked that!!
Rees can occasionally be stuffy, but it was good that he had flaws. Made him more real. Lady Wexham is shown, as well, to have her faults.
Moonlight Masquerade is an admirable romance with good drama over the choice between love and country. It’s a solid, different historical romance that encompasses a war – and two compatible people that stand, possibly, on opposing sides.
To know for sure, read the book for yourself!
*Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
*I received a copy of Moonlight Masquerade from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.