Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Blog Tour: Masquerade by Joanna Taylor; Review

Author: Joanna Taylor
Publisher: Piatkus
Release Date: 6 August 2015

1786: Regency London.
Everyone is hiding something.
But someone is hiding everything.

Lizzy Ward never meant to end up working the streets of Piccadilly. So when a mysterious noble pursues her, it seems her luck is changing. But though Lord Hays offers to grow Lizzy's fortunes, his price is unexpected. She must masquerade in the sumptuous gowns and social mask of a true lady.

With the stakes so high, love is out of the question. But as Lizzy navigates the fashion and faux-pas of the London elite, she finds her tough facade failing her. Lord Hayes wants to show her that nobility is more than skin deep. . . and as the connection between them grows, it's no longer certain who's wearing the mask. As the street-girl and the lord collide. Regency London is poised for scandal . . .

A love story of surpassing power and imagination, this is a stunning new British voice in Historical romance for fans of Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Stephanie Laurens and Georgette Heyer

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As I started to read this book there seemed to be elements of the story that seemed awfully familiar....and then it clicked! Pretty Woman. The story is loosely based around the movie, Pretty Woman, except set in the late Georgian era (not Regency as it says in the blurb). Its story follows the movie closely enough that you can identify the key moments that match up but not so closely that it's not original itself- so it's all good.

Lizzy Ward, like many country girls, travels to London in search of a better life just to find herself ruined. She falls into the life of a prostitute and works to harden her heart to protect herself. Lizzy has a kind of innocence that is wholly unexpected from a girl in her profession. She's also fun, lively and free; a complete contrast to the ideal society lady.
A chance encounter with the wealthy Lord Hays, Edward, changes everything for Lizzy. Edward's father came close to ruining his estate and his family through his profligate ways, and Edward has painstakingly restored his family fortune and name. This endeavour forced him to grow up too soon and too seriously, so Lizzy is the perfect antidote to Edward's sometimes staid demeanour.

This book wasn't quite what I wasn't expecting, but I most definitely enjoyed it. I loved that the relationship between Edward and Lizzy takes time to grow and develop into something more honest and true. It would have felt far too strange if it had been done any other way. I'll admit the ending left me slightly bemused and I just thought it was a touch unrealistic. Overall though, I found myself thoroughly engrossed by Lizzy and Edward's story and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. I'm particularly intrigued to see if Belle and her surly Lord Rivers will have their own story revealed...

*I received a review copy from the publisher for my honest opinion. Thank you!

To follow the rest of the blog tour, visit the blogs below!

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