Moonlight Masquerade

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Title: Moonlight Masquerade
Author: Ruth Axtell
Publisher: Revell
Released: March 1, 2013
Pages: 352

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Lady Celine Wexham seems like the model British subject. Born in France but enjoying life as a widowed English countess, she’s in the unique position to help those in need or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. She knows what she’s doing is dangerous and could potentially be deadly, but she believes in the cause she’s fighting for. Trusting no one but her maid and chef used to be easy until she gets a very handsome new butler and her whole world is sent into a tailspin.

Rees Phillips spent the past decade of his life decoding messages with little hope of moving up in the British Foreign Office. When he’s given an opportunity to potentially move up, he jumps at the chance even if it means he must don the garb and persona of a butler and spy on a woman who seems to be nothing more than a beautiful socialite. Determined to find where her true loyalties lie, his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to fall when he starts to fall for the captivating widow.

The more they spend time with each other the more they try and fight the attraction sizzling between them, but with each of them on different sides of the war it seems unlikely that they will be able to stay together. Celine must decide if her cause is worth her freedom or, worse, her life and whether she really believes that Bonaparte is best for France. Rees must decide if his loyalty to the Crown is above his newfound loyalty for Celine or whether he will lie and give up everything for her.

Will Celine’s spying pay off or will Rees’s spying catch her? Will Rees and Celine be together despite the odd or will circumstance and viewpoints tear them apart? Will Rees give up England for Celine or will he turn her in despite his feelings for her? Will Celine find out I’d her butler is a spy or will se be caught unawares by his antics? Is Celine’s loyalties and spying worth her freedom or life or will she decide that it’s not as important as she thought?
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I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any previous books by this author until now and, frankly, I intend to remedy that. Particularly if she has anymore books involving spies. It’s a subject that’s not used too often and is a glorious treat when found. Though this book wasn’t perfect, it perfectly displays this author’s experience and passion for her topic, making this an enjoyable read.

This romance was one of the best I’ve ever read. It had the right amount of passion and discretion. It sizzled but you never forget or wonder whether this book is in the Christian genre. Very few authors do that successfully and this author was one of them, making this romance more than enjoyable and an unexpected treat. I do wish that there could’ve been more overtly romantic moments throughout the book, but despite that this romance flowed really well, didn’t really lag and was near perfect.

The storyline of this is amazing, in premise. The first chapter of this book was amazingly nail-biting and nerve-wracking, but the chapters after that were a bit of a let down as they didn’t exactly hold to their suspenseful predecessor. I expected an action packed, nail-biter and I got it but only in the first chapter. Unfortunately, the rest of the book wasn’t as exciting, but the storyline did flow well and was a good story, it just wasn’t what I expected.

Every aspect of this book flowed together really well showing this author’s experience and talent. The cover of the book is incredible and is just eye catching on its own add a spy story as you have readers hooked, however, the actual content of this book doesn’t really live up to the cover or synopsis. It’s a little disappointing, but it’s still an enjoyable read and is a story that is a little off the beaten path and isn’t something that’s seen everyday. That alone makes this book a good one.

This author, though new to me, isn’t new to the published book world and it shows in every page of this book. Though this book wasn’t what I originally expected and hoped for, her attention to detail and the flow of her books makes her an author that I fully intend to read more from and look forward to her next book. I recommend this author and this book.

Overall, this is a good book, by if your looking for an intense nerve-wracking book, look elsewhere. This book is perfect for people who love regency fiction, historical fiction, romances, or just books that are slightly different. I think this book is best kept to the adults. I give this book a three and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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