Kristi Ann Hunter. A Noble Masquerade. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2015.
I love the feeling of finding a great new author. Several months ago, I first read debut author Kristi Ann Hunter’s e-novella, A Lady of Esteem, and was very impressed with her ability to develop her characters within a Regency-era story. Based on that review, I leaped at the opportunity to read her first full-length novel.
A Noble Masquerade builds upon the events and characters featured in Ms. Hunter’s e-novella, A Lady of Esteem, including the Hawthorne family. Lady Miranda Hawthorne struggles to meet society’s expectations of a lady, a topic that her mother constantly lectures her on a daily basis. In a childhood act of rebellion, Miranda began a secret, one-sided correspondence with her brother’s school friend, the Duke of Marshington, in lieu of a diary. As she heads into her third Season, Miranda faces a new set of challenges, including her younger sister’s first Season and the appearance of her eldest brother’s admittedly unorthodox valet, Marlow. When Marlow sends one of Miranda’s letters to the Duke of Marshington, she is stunned to receive a response from him, as he has spent years hiding from society. When Miranda becomes increasingly involved in the dangerous world of the Duke, she must choose between fulfilling the expectations of a lady or embracing the uniqueness of her own personality.
Ms. Hunter joins an incredible group of acclaimed Christian authors in bringing Regency-era Britain to life. The Hawthorne House series offers enormous opportunity for Ms. Hunter to expand upon both A Lady of Esteem and A Noble Masquerade for future stories, while building a very promising career in the Christian fiction genre.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading A Noble Masquerade. Ms. Hunter’s writing style and storyline are easily accessible for a diverse readership, especially those who appreciate Regency-era fiction. Likewise, her characters are absolutely delightful! The Hawthorne family and their fascinating friends make for an engaging and entertaining story that will bring readers back to Ms. Hunter’s books again and again. In comparison to similar Christian authors in the genre, Ms. Hunter’s book aligns most closely with the style of Lori Wick, due to its light story and easy pacing. In comparison, Julie Klassen has a denser style that involves smaller casts of characters, while Ms. Hunter maintains an emphasis on an entire family of characters with a more humorous bent to the overall action of her story.
Readers who enjoy Regency-era fiction will definitely want to read Ms. Hunter’s stories, including both A Lady of Esteem and A Noble Masquerade. While A Noble Masquerade can easily function as an independent novel, readers who appreciate Ms. Hunter’s style and characters will also want to read the prequel novella. Currently, A Lady of Esteem is only available in a free e-book format.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the advanced copy of A Noble Masquerade!
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