Investigate with Ellie in Love in Disguise by Carol Cox
|Love in Disguise|
by Carol Cox
Bethany House Publishers
Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.
Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can't figure out who's stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow... or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.
Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he's falling in love with doesn't really exist?
Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor, and mystery for a can't-put-down read.
Ellie Moore is left nearly penniless when the acting troupe she's with takes a new direction and lets her go. Seeing an opportunity to put her acting skills and the costumes she inherited to good use she applies for a job as a Pinkerton detective. Little did she know that on her introduction to detecting she'd be left to her own devices and be involved in a case that would become life threatening for her and her alter egos Lavinia and Jessie. With some help from a nosy little boy and a handsome mine owner she might find out who's behind the silver mine robberies but it's almost a certainty that she will lose her heart.
Following along with Ellie was certainly a journey. I was left breathless by the many near unmasking when she was masquerading as elderly Lavinia or her beautiful niece, Jessie. If you're looking for a historical with some twists and turns this is definitely it. However, if you're looking for romance you might find this book lacking as I did. In spite of the well developed characters and the interesting mystery I didn't really see the romance in this book. For one thing Ellie was playing a role, either Lavinia or Jessie, throughout the entire story. I was left wondering how a man could fall in love with a character, discover she wasn't really who she said she was, and simply brush it off and say something along the lines of, "We're a good match." How could you possibly know anything at all about a person who was being deceptive the whole time you were getting to know her? Granted the story didn't end in I love yous and a wedding which would have been totally unrealistic but I still was left hoping for a bit more talk between the real Ellie and the hero.
Love in Disguise is a historical book that really surprised me -- in a good way! It wasn't perfect but I liked Ellie, actress turned Pinkerton detective. This was a good story but the lack of real romance with depth killed me so I had to knock what otherwise would have been a four star read down to three.
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~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*