Book Review: A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter

July 23, 2016 Christian, historical, Kristi Ann Hunter, romance 31

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about the book

Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, the Duke of Marshington. Since she’s never actually met the man she has no intention of ever sending the letters and is mortified when her brother’s mysterious new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters to the unsuspecting duke.

Shockingly, this breach of etiquette results in a reply from the duke that soon leads to a lively correspondence. Insecurity about her previous lack of suitors soon becomes confusion as Miranda finds herself equally intrigued by Marlow, a man she has come to depend upon but whose behavior grows more suspicious by the day. As the secret goings-on at her family’s estate come to light, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

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SERIES: Hawthorne House #1
GENRE: Historical Inspirational Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: September 8, 2015
PAGES: 365

“There’s a globe with a napkin on it, but it doesn’t look like it put up much of a fight.”

Believe it or not, despite whatever reading superpowers I may have, there are still books I haven’t read. Books that seemingly everybody but me has read. There are two of these such books in particular that I get gently (sometimes not so gently lol) chastised with frequent regularity for not reading yet. One shall continue to remain nameless until someone brings it up again. The other is A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter.

A Noble Masquerade book reviewAnd with apparent good reason.  A Noble Masquerade was a finalist in both the 2016 Christy Awards and the Inspys. It also just recently won the 2016 RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance!! (I totally think Kristi Ann Hunter should have swept the “Best First Book” category with it too.) But the distinction I hear more than any others from people who tell me, “Carrie, you MUST read A Noble Masquerade!” is this: It belongs in your next KissingBooks 101 post.

Alright people, I’ve FINALLY read A Noble Masquerade and here are my initial thoughts. You were ALL so very RIGHT! I absolutely DID need to read it, I absolutely did LOVE it, and it absolutely belongs in my next KissingBooks 101 post.  Wow!

The chemistry between Miranda and her hero is electric, from the very first moment they share a scene together and every moment thereafter that their names appear together. I seriously found myself forgetting to breathe a few times because I was held captive by them being held captive by each others’ gazes. And – spoiler alert – their kisses?? Whew. Break out the fan. And the fainting couch. And keep them handy.

But one thing I enjoyed the most about the romance is the humor shared between them. As one of my friends & fellow reviewers said on Goodreads, “Miranda is a hot mess.” Yes, yes she is – delightfully so – and her hero seems to appreciate that about her with a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face. As they would say here in the South – bless her heart, she tries. Her mother’s frequent lessons on being a lady have lodged deeply in Miranda’s awareness, and perhaps she’s trying too hard….but girlfriend is so endearingly full of life that she just can’t be contained by the restrictions of proper expectations.

Fortunately, this makes her absolutely perfect for her hero who is yummy and swoonworthy and everything you would want in a Regency hero. Or a contemporary hero.  Or, really, a hero from any historical era, for that matter.  The more obvious humor in A Noble Masquerade follows Miranda around, but surrounding the hero is this wonderfully droll wit that made me laugh out loud more than Miranda’s unintentional antics did. (A prime example is the line that began this review, said by an associate of the hero’s.)

Bottom Line: There are many types of masquerades going on simultaneously in Kristi Ann Hunter’s debut novel – some obvious, and others more subtle. But all of them swirl together in a gorgeously orchestrated waltz that will keep you grinning from cover to cover. Beneath it all, there lies a sweet reminder that “family” can be found in unexpected places even when – especially when – we feel the most alone. A Noble Masquerade is a thoroughly enjoyable Regency romance, full of vivid characters as well as fun and wit and even a good deal of intrigue and suspense. I completely understand why everyone kept insisting I read it, and I’m sure “A lady never is so unfashionably late when reviewing a good book” but it was exceedingly worth the wait.

P.S. – you must read the author’s acknowledgments for A Noble Masquerade too. They were delightful. Clearly, Kristi Ann Hunter and I need to be friends. Or her sense of humor and mine need to do lunch. One of those.

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Excellent!

KissingBook Level: 4 / Don’t let your fan and fainting couch get too far away.

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about the author

kristi ann hunter

Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA RITA Award Winner, an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

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Other Books by Kristi Ann Hunter

What about you? Have you read A Noble Masquerade yet?

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Kristi Ann Hunter will be one of our featured authors at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat on August 24th in Nashville, TN.  In fact, she will join Julie Lessman, Pepper Basham, Janet Dean, Melanie Dickerson, and Ruth Logan Herne on my author panel that’s all about KissingBooks!

We’ve almost reached venue capacity, so make sure you sign up now! Don’t wait until registration officially closes on July 26th!

Register here

Carrie

31 Responses to “Book Review: A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter”

  1. Andrea Stephens

    Now I have to read it! I’ve had it on my kindle for a while but other things keep getting in the way of my reading it. Hmmm…I don’t have a fainting couch, my swivel rocker with my feet up will have to do.

    Great review Carrie!

    • Carrie

      swivel rockers are fine, too…. just something to catch you if you swoon 😉

      • Andrea Stephens

        So I pressed pause on Karen Witemeyer and read A Noble Masquerade today…Loved it! You were right about those kisses! Oh, and all those “Lady Lessons” I would have lost my mind.

        • Carrie

          LOL!!! I am honored that you would pause Karen to read a book on my recommendation. I don’t know that I would do that haha. But oh my goodness. Those lessons. I would have snapped lol

  2. Rachel Dixon

    Well it’s about time! Haha!!! Love this book! And the others in the series. Excellent review!!! <3

    • Carrie

      LOL i cannot wait to read the next one now! And the one after that…. and the one after that.. 🙂

  3. Pam K.

    I loved this book! I haven’t read An Elegant Facade yet but am looking forward to it. I have a feeling all of Kristi Ann Hunter’s books will be on my “must read” list. The Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat sounds like it will be so much fun! I’m kind of disappointed I can’t go, but there’s the distance and this thing called “work.” I hope you all have a marvelous time and I trust you’ll tell us all about it afterwards.

    • Carrie

      maybe next year it will be more convenient for you to attend, Pam!! 🙂

    • Carrie

      yesssss you must!!! (yay! Now it’s my turn to say that to someone lol)

  4. Elizabeth

    After reading your review, I am adding it to my TBR list!

  5. Winnie Thomas

    I have this book–an actual print one!–tempting and enticing me, but I have a couple more I need to finish first. Then I have An Elegant Facade on hold at the e-library and I just noticed I’m next in line for it. That’s exciting, but I’m thinking I need to read ANM before AEF. I’m envisioning lots of late night reading coming up.

    I might have to improvise on the fainting couch, also. I don’t have time to go couch hunting. I do have a fan and A/C, though!

    • Carrie

      that will certainly help! Perhaps a pile of cushions will suffice? 😀

  6. Winnie Thomas

    You ladies are so possessive of your IMAGINARY boyfriends! LOL Oh, sorry that I shattered your illusions! 🙂

    • Carrie

      Not imaginary, Winnie. FICTIONAL. there’s a difference… maybe. Lol

  7. Winnie Thomas

    I guess–if you want to get technical! LOL

  8. carylkane

    CARRIE, this series is on my MUST read list!

  9. Bonnie Roof

    Wonderful review, Carrie – guess I need to push this series to the top of my TBR pile also. Sounds delightful!!

    I relate to Winnie’s not being able to get up off the floor from those fainting cushions, lol!!

    Pam – hope you have the opportunity to attend next year’s CFRR!!

    • Carrie

      Lol I don’t think I could get up off the floor either haha!