A Regency Romance Review: Moonlight Masquerade by Ruth Axtell
by Ruth Axtell
Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are the cat or the mouse.
Lady Céline Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need-or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte.
When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess’s butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London’s West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham’s spell.
Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, what then will he do?
Since having discovered Ruth Axtell's novels 10 years ago I've been a fan of her regency romances. She knows how to write a well-rounded character and usually her tales are very romantic and interesting from cover to cover. Unfortunately, I wasn't so enthralled with her latest book, Moonlight Masquerade but she is still one of my favorite Regency writers.
Moonlight Masquerade is the story of French born Celine Wexham who is under surveillance by a British Foreign Office agent Rees Phillips who is posing as her butler. She's under suspicion of spying for France and Rees has to dig up whatever dirt he can find to report back to his superiors so he can get a promotion. Kind and beautiful, Celine is hard to resist and Rees is not immune to her charms. His mission evolves, to not just spying, but protecting her from those who seek to bring Celine to harm.
While you might think that this would make for an adventurous and intriguing story this was anything but. The first chapter is an edge-of-your seat nail biter but the rest of the book falls flat. I wasn't even sure where the climax of the story took place. I think since there was so much of an adrenaline rush in chapter one I kept hoping that things would escalate even more from there but it didn't. I do love Ruth's characters and Celine and Rees are no exception. I could find something to relate to in each of them but this Regency just wasn't for me. If you're interested in a book by this author, I highly recommend her first book, Winter is Past which is one of my all-time favorite Regency romances.
~ My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (It was "OK") ~
“Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
To learn more about the author visit her WEBSITE.
*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.*