A BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE by Roseanna M. White
SERIES: The Imposters #1
GENRE: Historical Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: August 22, 2023
In Edwardian London, not all that glitters is gold as a lady and an intelligence officer’s secret mission take them from the city’s dazzling ballrooms to its covert intelligence offices.
Sir Merritt Livingstone has spent a decade serving the monarch in the field, but when pneumonia lands him behind a desk in the War Office Intelligence Division just as they’re creating a new secret intelligence branch, he’s intent on showing his worth. He suspects an aristocrat of leaking information to Germany as tensions mount between the two countries, but he needs someone to help him prove it, so he turns to The Imposters, Ltd. No one knows who they are, but their results are beyond compare.
Left with an estate on the brink of bankruptcy after their father’s death, Lady Marigold Fairfax and her brother open a private investigation firm for the elite to spy on the elite. Dubbed The Imposters, Ltd., their anonymous group soon becomes the go-to for the crème of society who want answers delivered surreptitiously. But the many secrets Marigold learns about her peers pale in comparison to her shock when she and her brother are hired to investigate her best friend’s father as a potential traitor.Lady Marigold is determined to discover the truth for her friend’s sake, and she’s more determined still to keep her heart from getting involved with this enigmatic new client . . . who can’t possibly be as noble as he seems.
“White’s well-woven plot is engaging from start to finish with delightful threads of mystery, romance, and inspiration.”–CARRIE TURANSKY, award-winning author
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Fiction has forever ruined me when it comes to lions. Oh, sure, I realize they are fearsome, ferocious, predatory animals … and I certainly wouldn’t want to be caught in one’s path. But I also can’t help but see Narnia’s Aslan… or Charlie’s lions from The Lady and the Lionheart … or now Leonidas. I don’t even particularly like cats (lol) but these lions paid no attention to that and worked their way into my heart anyway. The personality that White gave Leonidas made him leap off the page, as lifelike and real as if he were stabled behind my house instead of in a book.
Speaking of leaping… I loved the acrobatic/circus angle to Marigold & Yates’ characters. It’s not something you see in historical fiction all that often, especially when said acrobats are members of the Edwardian peerage. I also thought the way White incorporated their unconventional skills into their roles as ‘The Imposters’ was brilliant, as was the irony behind their private investigation pursuits in the first place. The very thing that left them needing an income at all is also the very thing that fuels their abilities to earn one. Marigold is simply delightful. And so is her brother Yates, for that matter. I could easily spend more time with these two and not tire of their fictional company. They’re warm, engaging, and selfless with great senses of humor and intuition. Merritt is … swoon. He’s a man of integrity and compassion, one of the truly good guys with a compelling faith story to boot. Watching him fall in love with Marigold was a complete pleasure … watching him really see her, as few bothered to do, was even more so.
Bottom Line: A Beautiful Disguise is another example of why Roseanna M. White is one of the most loved authors of Edwardian romance. The unique characters are in a race against time to uncover the truth behind a slew of missing agents of the Crown, and some of the facts they ferret out will twist the story in ways you won’t be expecting. I loved the camaraderie between most of the characters (especially Marigold & Yates and Merritt and Xavier), and I look forward to following the series to see where the author takes the team – and their many layers – next.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award winning author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
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