Masters of Disguise
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
The Masqueraders is a Georgian Era novel about an adventurous family of escaped Jacobites. After the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion, Prudence and Robin follow the orders of the their father and travel to London under the guise of Peter and Kate Merriot. The twist is that Prudence is disguised as the youthful buck, Peter Merriot, and Robin is dressed as the flirtatious young beauty, Kate Merriot. Prudence and Robin have had years of experience and practice in the arts of deception and disguise under their father’s tutelage and this isn’t their first dangerous caper.
Prudence makes a very credible man with her sharp wit and fearless bravery; and since all gentleman at White’s willingly accept her into their company, she feels her secret is safe. However, when she is around the respectable Sir Anthony Fanshawe, the big sleepy-eyed man who watches her intently, she feels her secret is anything but safe…
After rescuing a young and romantic heiress, Letitia Grayson, from her abductor and thwarting their elopement, Robin finds himself enamored with this lovely damsel in distress. Unfortunately, because of his masquerade he finds himself in the position of Letita’s bosom friend rather than her suitor. How will he ever be able to win Letita’s heart when he is dressed as a woman and would she ever forgive him for his cruel deception?
This escapade becomes even more exciting and entertaining when Prudence and Robin’s father appears on the scene decked out like a grand gentleman and claiming to be the lost Viscount, Tremaine of Barham. If their father is successful in persuading everyone of this outlandish claim it would mean the end of their masquerade and the start of respectable living, and if he fails it would expose them all as frauds and land them in the gallows. Prudence and Robin are torn between a lack of faith in their father’s capability to pull off such a ruse and a desperate desire that he will prevail. Their father, an extremely conceited yet comical character that is constantly amazed by his own genius, promises them: “I shall contrive.”
Since The Masqueraders is only the second Georgette Heyer novel I have read, I consider myself to be Heyer novice. Nonetheless, I found this novel to be spectacularly entertaining and brimming with clever antics and adventures. At first, it was a little challenging for me to wrap my head around the gender switch and the disguises, but within a chapter or two I found it easy to follow. Included in this book were many beautiful and tender moments shared between the couples, however, being the romantic that I am, I would have enjoyed seeing how and why the characters fell in love being depicted more.
The Masqueraders was a delightfully amusing read and Georgette Heyer is quite the proficient when it comes to historical fiction and romantic romps. I highly recommend!