Posts Tagged ‘spotlight series’

Readers review Masquerade by Joanna Taylor

Masquerade by Joanna Taylor Masquerade by Joanna Taylor is addictive, engrossing and available to buy NOW! Some of our readers were lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Masquerade – here’s what they thought:

Masquerade is a delightful new book about Regency London, the main characters are warm and engaging especially Lizzy the main character who really has you believing in her and wanting everything to turn out well for her.  Lizzy is a girl from a brothel who still has something of the country girl about her and although the hero is a Lord she still has much more knowledge of the world and life than he does.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it in only a couple of days, the writing style is easy and holds your attention throughout.  I enjoyed reading about Lizzy’s exploits especially when she got one over on one of her rivals which was well deserved.  I would like to read more about Lizzy’s future if the author sees fit to write a sequel.

The book is well written by someone who I haven’t read before but shall now look out for.

Jane

Masquerade by Joanna Taylor is a love story set in Regency London and the author’s experience is quickly apparent as she draws you into the story right from the start of the book.  Her descriptive skill makes it easy to imagine the time, the place and the characters, who seem utterly credible in spite of their language occasionally becoming a little stilted and unnatural.  The main characters are immensely likable, which adds greatly to the enjoyment of the story.  Lizzy is a street girl but her intelligence, strength of character, resilience and positive attitude make her someone to be admired rather than despised or pitied.  Edward, Lord Hay, is a kind, calm man whose inherent niceness prevents the reader from judging him too harshly for paying a prostitute for services rendered.

The book touches on many serious subjects, such as women’s rights and the vulnerability of certain groups in society who struggle to survive due to gender, class, economic factors etc.  However, although the reader may pause to reflect on such matters and on the differences between people (as well as the similarities under the surface) it is very easy reading and first and foremost an absolute ‘feel good’ story.

Lynne 

Not the typical book I would read but boy was I hooked to it , Loved it for various reasons but mainly because of the developing romance between two characters with two totally different starts in life. Definitely worth a read!

Emma

Joanna’s first historical novel is a must read book. I’m a fan of her spotlight series so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. A true love story set in the late 1700’s, Lizzy is a girl with a personality. No simpering heroines here! Edward, stiff and formal at times, is different with Lizzy around and enjoys her outspokenness and lively nature. Throughout their time together Lizzy evaluates her future and makes a decision that will change both of their lives forever.

Tracey 

Masquerade was a lovely read. It flowed beautifully and I wanted to read more. I’m hoping that Joanna will write more books like this in the future.  I will definitely be reading them if she does. Having read the Spotlight series by Ms Taylor I was intrigued to see if she could make the transition to a Regency romance. The answer? – Yes, she can.

The heroine was believable, had a history and wasn’t some innocent thing who had no wits about her.
The nuances and ridiculousness of the Regency era was well written even mentioning how uncomfortable the clothing was. I loved the story and guessed the correct answer at the end!! If you love a period romance you won’t go wrong with this book.

Rebecca

An incredibly easy book to read, you just want to carry on reading and reading. Lord Hays sounds quite incredible – in fact totally irresistible. I found the section about the Vauxhall Gardens really interesting. I had heard of them, but reading this book, you could really imagine them and there was so much detail about what really happened there.

Sheri 

Masquerade tells the story of Lizzy, a working girl, and Edward, a nobleman, set during Regency London.  It begins beautifully, the first 3 or 4 chapters describe the start of Lizzy’s day in Piccadilly and contain some of the best ‘scene setting’ I’ve read for the period it is set in.  The writing flows easily and I was drawn in to the story to the point that I just carried on till I finished at 2.30 in the morning.

Though I really enjoyed the story, it wasn’t the story I was expecting to read. From the blurb on the back, I was expecting a dark, mysterious, erotic story.  However by about chapter 6, I realized the book is a close retelling of a very famous film from several years ago.  It’s very cleverly done and great fun guessing or realizing how the scenes from the film (which is set in the 20th century) have been covered, but if you know the film well, you won’t get many surprises and just like the film, it’s a sweet romance, rather than an erotic grand passion.  I do think though that the author does write beautifully about the regency period and I would love her next book to be an original, slightly darker, more erotic tale set during this time.

Sarah

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!

Sandra

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…

Clair

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.

Andy