Masquerade by Joanna Taylor



1786: Regency London. Everyone is hiding something. But someone is hiding everything.

Lizzy Ward never meant to end up working the streets of Piccadilly. So when a mysterious noble pursues her, it seems her luck is changing. But though Lord Hays offers to grow Lizzy’s fortunes, his price is unexpected. She must masquerade in the sumptuous gowns and social mask of a true lady.

With the stakes so high, love is out of the question. But as Lizzy navigates the fashion and faux-pas of the London elite, she finds her tough facade failing her. Lord Hayes wants to show her that nobility is more than skin deep . . . and as the connection between them grows, it’s no longer certain who’s wearing the mask. As the street-girl and the lord collide. Regency London is poised for scandal . . .

A love story of surpassing power and imagination, this is a stunning new British voice in Historical romance for fans of Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Stephanie Laurens and Georgette Heyer

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8 Responses to Masquerade

  1. Sandra Henderson says:

    I was sent a copy of Masquerade to review and i must say it wasn’t what i was expecting at all.I was hooked from the first page and was rooting for Lizzie all the way through the story.At heart is a genuine love story which has echoes of Pretty Woman but is set in the Regency era.
    We find out how how difficult life is for the lower classes and the dream of finding a rich lord for these girls to take them out of their poverty and this is.exactly what happens to Lizzie.
    The descriptions are vivid and the plot is engaging and you want to find out if Lizzie has met the man of her dreams and will she let him through her wall or will she be too scared to get her heart broken again.You fall in love with her character she is is a country girl who is really kind, innocent, trying to be a working girl and also trying to toughen herself up and she is extremely intelligent and well read.But fallen on hard times after being duped into becoming a working girl.
    A really enjoyable love story without any of the sex scences that have become the norm these days-i really enjoyed it because of that!

  2. Clair Chaytors says:

    Masquerade is quite simply a beautiful, mesmerising and breath taking love story with a difference. Lizzy and Lord Hays are polar opposites in society, she is the commoner from the gutters whilst he is the highly ambitious aristocrat. But as the two meet and are both drawn to each other it soon becomes clear that once you remove all of those trappings which we cloud ourselves in we are indeed all the same, money or no money. Regency London is portrayed vividly in this book from the dizziness and facade of the high society balls to the slums of the gutters and you can almost envisage yourself in Lizzy’s place.
    Joanna has drawn two characters who are very likeable, Lizzy has something about her which you can’t help but root for her and Lord Hays is quite simply delicious (picture a more approachable and albeit sexy Mr Darcy and you’re half way there!) But it is the chemistry which sizzles throughout the story which is the real winning aspect of this book. What did surprise me most about Masquerade though was the lack of explicit sexual scenes but what was in its place was just enough to keep me wanting more and indeed using more imagination and I think this worked in the books favour and was actually a breath of fresh air for a change!
    I really didn’t want their journey to end and therefore I tried to delay the ending as much as possible but seeing as this is a book you will want to devour in an instant this was no mean feat! It would therefore be a real treat to see a follow up…

  3. debbie patrick says:

    i was sent a copy of this book to read.

    i quite enjoyed it. the characters were well written and i actually felt that i cared about them and what happened to them.

    Lizzy comes over as a nice person that has ended up in a situation not to her choice but is making the best of it.

    A nice read.

  4. Andy says:

    Very pleased to have been chosen as a reviewer. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in Regency London. Lizzie is a strong engaging character that you can’t fail to like from the start. Once we’re introduced to Lord Hays you know they’ll get together at the end but the question is how. What rocky road will they travel, who and what are their stumbling blocks?

    I would have liked it to have had a little more depth to the historical background but although I have a love of history, I read very little historical romance in comparison, so perhaps this is the norm. The details reflect the times very well, from the lives of the downtrodden prostitutes to the ‘lucky’ courtesans, from the stirrings of social conscience towards the slave trade, and the chance of a new life in the New World.

    Is there a follow-up? I hope so. I will certainly try Joanna Taylor’s other titles under her pseudonym as CS Quinn.

  5. Tracey Anne Berry says:

    WOW what an introduction to Regency era London – Joanne Taylor totally immerses you into what must have been a very pungent, foul smelling place that is littered with destroyed lives but many heartwarming stories. Her descriptiveness is incredible – you can envision what the characters are seeing, smelling as well as wearing – bodices, huge skirts and making toilet sounds like such a chore!

    You are immediately confronted by, what has become a very cynical, Lizzie who earns her living in the worlds’ oldest profession – prostitution. She is young, a little hardened by what life has dealt her in her short life yet she is a likable person who you empathise with from the first page. Will she finally bag her wealthy knight and live happily ever after? There are many obstacles and characters along the way that define who Lizzie is, and who she yearns to be? Will the often downtrodden and looked down upon Lizzie become the respected, intelligent Elizabeth in a very hard, often unfair world?

    I found myself wanting to compare this to another hystorical romance author – Phillipa Gregory but found that this author has found her own little niche in that I did not struggle with the actual writing as history can be a little cloying in its own way, it flowed flawlessly and I found myself turning page after page effortlessly.

    I think this story will suffer from comparisions to the modern day Pretty Woman (there are scenes that have you picking your brain for scenes from movies – for example, there is a dance scene that made me think of Heath Ledger concocting his own dance style in ‘A Knights’ Tale’) but people who love the romance of that story will find themselves caught up effortlessly in this page turner.

    What makes this more interesting for me is the hystorical aspect – it was ironic that Lizzie worked for a Madam in a brothel as the slave trade was also at its height – I felt myself asking if there was really any difference between the two except for the lack of chains. Etiquette was addressed a lot which was very saddening …. and maddening – good writing perhaps?

    I look forward to being totally engrossed in this authors’ other works – as an introduction I was certainly impressed enough to research Taylor’s books – she certainly has a wide repertoire – can she maintain that across her other books – I hope so!

  6. Alison Church says:

    Was given this book to review, so here goes. I read a lot of historical romances but mostly from the first part of the 19th century so as this is late 18th century a bit different for me and the fashions a bit fussy but I really enjoyed it anyway. It didn’t take me long to realise that this is a take on the film pretty woman so some of the story line was a bit expected, but saying that I found I really loved the story and the two main characters. I would recommend this book as a very good read and will be looking for other books by this author.

  7. sharon williams says:

    I was sent this book to review and it grabbed me from beginning to end. This book takes you on a romantic journey with the main characters Lizzie and Lord Hays. The writer however keeps you guessing throughout as to will they or won’t they end up together, as you realise that Lords are expected to marry and carry themselves in the right social circles. We find ourselves questioning whether Lord Hays will truly follow his heart or do what is expected of him. Both are lovable characters in their own rights and you find yourself sympathising with both of them.
    I couldn’t put this book down, the writer has written it well, tricking you into wanting more. look forward to the next book.

  8. Michelle says:

    Goodness me where do I actually start with how wonderful this book was. This book takes ur imagination to places that you’ve never dreamed of. As this book is set in 1786 I find myself imagining myself there in that time and what it would’ve been like to be in the position of lizzy ward and Kitty. Just like any other woman on the planet lizzy has a heart and feelings. This tale of a young woman a Lords mistress but finds she sees the man behind the mask.

    I loved how it took you back to that time, to picture what it was like for a working class woman, where men treated you as just a play toy and if you were seen without a man it was a crime. I loved lizzs’s story and how she managed to change the heart of Edward and the sailed off together. I honestly wasn’t expecting the ending to happen like that. All round it was a joy to read. 10/10 😀

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