Published by Class eBook Editions Ltd. on July 26th 2016
FINAL DECISION: I really enjoyed the concept of this book and Balogh’s characters are always complex and imperfect. My only complaint is that I just could not suspend disbelief that a husband would not recognize his “mystery” woman as his wife. Putting that aside, I thought this was a very intriguing book.
THE STORY: Margaret Wells has loved Richard Adair, Earl of Brampton for years, but he has paid no attention to the quiet, mousey woman. But the time has come for Richard to marry and he figures that Margaret will do well as his wife and not interfere too much with his life. As the two settle into a quiet, if dull, marriage, Margaret cannot help but wish for the passion involved in her greatest secret. Six years ago, Margaret met up with Richard at a masquerade ball. While she was unrecognizable, she flirted and Richard was attracted. The two shared a passionate kiss that hasn’t appeared in their marriage. Desperate to change something, Margaret again dons her costume and ends up having an affair with her own husband.
OPINION: This is a complicated book. Richard is dismissive of Margaret in the beginning of the book and frankly acts like a jerk for a good portion. But Balogh doesn’t disappoint. Richard reluctantly begins to fall in love with his gentle wife. It is difficult to like Richard because he openly commits adultery, but Balogh’s characters are imperfect. I enjoyed the progression Richard makes — although I think he should have had to confess his transgressions to his wife.
The reason Richard works for me is because Margaret is also an imperfect mistake prone individual. She won’t speak up for herself and rather than speaking with her husband concocts a crazy disguise to rediscover the passion she knows is missing from her marriage.
I found this book enjoyable but I didn’t like that Richard commits adultery and never has to admit to it.
WORTH MENTIONING: Content warning that this book contains adultery. This book is also a reissue of a 1980s book.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A MASKED DECEPTION is a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.