Title: Dangerous Masquerade
Author: Peta Lee Rose
Series: Regency Masquerade – Book 1
Page Length: 268
Publication Date: Nov. 8, 2019
Synopsis: Orphaned at 16. Married at 17. Widowed at 18. Destitute—or dead—at 19?
To avoid either fate Ria St. James has to thwart her deceased husband’s nephew who intends to marry or murder her—either will do! She must also contend with well-meaning matchmakers and evade the determined pursuit of the Earl of Arden. Though she yearns to succumb to his advances she can’t risk his discovering what she has had to do to foil the nephew. If she fails, she could lose her heart, her life, or both.
The Earl of Arden enjoys the life of a rake and has a particular liking for widows as they understand the rules of engagement. But his seduction of Ria St. James does not go to plan when he becomes captivated by the innocent widow. Then he realizes she has a secret and is in danger. She needs to reveal it so he can protect her. If he fails, he could lose her forever.
Dangerous Masquerade, the first book in the Regency Masquerade series, is a historical romance flavored with suspense, humor and a pinch of paranormal.
Recently widowed Ria St. James inherited a fortune when her husband Monty died, and Ria knows that her husband’s nephew will do anything to inherit what he perceives is rightfully his. What he doesn’t know is that Ria will do what she must to ensure that never happens.
Ria meets an old friend at a masquerade ball and seduces him, ensuring that she will inherit. She doesn’t plan on bumping into Luc again, and she certainly doesn’t expect him to continue to pursue her. What will Luc do when he discovers that Ria is the same woman who seduced him at the ball? Will her secret identity ruin a possible future for the pair? Not if Monty can help it.
The romance between Ria and Luc is my favorite part of the story. Ria’s been in love with Luc since childhood, and when they reconnect as adults, sparks fly. Luc, however, doesn’t recognize his childhood acquaintance, nor does he realize that she is the woman he rendezvoused with at a masquerade ball. Ria must decide if she can trust Luc enough to reveal the truth behind who she is and how they are connected.
Ria is strong, intelligent, and kind, and I love her independent spirit. Ria knows loss, as she lost her parents and her husband. Her past experiences and wounds make her a determined and thoughtful woman who thinks of others before herself. She sees the best in others, even in her husband’s nephew, who is murderous, greedy, and vile. This puts her in dangerous situations, much to Luc’s dismay.
What I like about Luc is that, even though he presents himself as a rake, his vulnerable side is evident from early in the story. He fears love and equates it with heartbreak, especially after witnessing his parents’ toxic relationship. He purposely keeps others at a distance so as not to be hurt again, and his feelings for Ria scare him because he knows that he could easily fall in love with her. Luc shows great growth throughout the story as he slowly learns to let people in, and his astuteness and protectiveness save Ria on more than one occasion.
I also loved the other characters in the story, especially Ria’s aunts. Older and wiser, they see the blossoming feelings between Ria and Luc and become conspirators in uniting the couple. They care deeply for the kind and compassionate Ria, and the feelings are mutual. Ria is determined to protect them from their ruthless and greedy nephew and provide them with the life they deserve.
The paranormal element is a unique and interesting addition to the story. Monty’s ghost counsels Ria and works with the aunts to solidify Ria’s future. He is a wonderful character, and I have a feeling the devious spirit has plans for other couples in future books, and I can’t wait to see what happens!
Readers who enjoy historical romance with danger and intrigue, a bit of the paranormal, and a lot of chemistry will love Dangerous Masquerade. Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
The romance! Ria and Luc’s love story was sweet, steamy, and filled with chemistry!
The paranormal element. I can’t wait to see what kind of situations her gets into in future books!
This is a great book for people who like historical romance and passionate love stories.