28 June 2016

Review: An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Recommended Romance Read

I read Krisit Ann Hunter’s debut novel, A Noble Masquerade, last year, and it was one of the best debuts I’ve read in a long time. Hunter writes Christian Regency romance, and it’s excellent (well, apart from a couple of minor language issues that American authors always slip up on when writing English characters).

Her characters are intelligent and witty and charming and engaging, her heroes are also intelligent and more than sufficiently swoon-worthy (a word you can really only use in relation to historical romance set in England), her settings are excellent, her writing outstanding, and her Christian themes strong without being overbearing. In other words, close to perfect.

An Elegant Façade is an interesting sequel, in that it starts part-way through A Noble Masquerade rather than after the conclusion. It’s focusing on two different characters, so we get to see some of the same events through different eyes. I’m not altogether convinced this is a good idea, but Hunter pulled it off well.

Lady Georgina Hawthorne has a secret (a good start. All good characters have a secret). It’s not explicitly stated what her secret is, so I’ll leave you to work it out yourself rather than tell you and possibly spoil the story. Lady Georgina is about to launch in to her first London Season, and is determined to be an Incomparable and to make an outstanding match, to ensure her secret never catches up with her.

She sets her sights on the Duke of Marshington, who has recently returned to Town. What she doesn’t realise is that her sister, Lady Miranda, is in love with the Duke, and he with her (and if you’ve read A Noble Masquerade, you’ll know this.) This misunderstanding is the source of a lot of humour and talking at cross-purposes in the first part of the book—it’s amusing to read conversations knowing the subtext, and realizing Lady Georgina doesn’t.  It’s excellent writing.

The person Lady Georgina is least interested in is Mr Colin McCrae, a nobody who seems to have many influential friends including the Duke of Marshington and her own brothers.  Yet he finds himself intrigued by the lady in white, both annoyed by her obvious intention to snare the Season’s most eligible bachelor, and captivated by the person he finds behind the elegant façade. Again, it’s excellent writing.

A Noble Masquerade was excellent, and now I’ve read An Elegant Façade I want to read both books again, back to back, to catch all the minor plot points I no doubt missed because there were so many levels to the writing. Recommended for all lovers of Christian Regency romance.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about author Kristi Ann Hunter at her website. 

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