Friday, 2 September 2016

An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter

Back Cover: Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.

With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.

But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgia's social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden - and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they'll be forced to make?

This is the second novel in the Hawthorne House series. The first, A Noble Masquerade, hooked me on this new and upcoming author. Kristi Ann Hunter has a knack for telling a riveting story and for creating both likeable characters, ones you only like to dislike, and then best of all – ones you seriously don’t know whether to love or hate.

I believe I could place Lady Georgina firmly into the category of “ones you seriously don’t know whether to love or hate”. It took me a while to begin understanding her character and I was nearing the end of the book before I fully appreciated the extent of this cunning and desperate lady who, on the exterior, appears to be nothing more than a spoiled duke’s sister who cares nothing except for her own vanity and gaining titles and wealth.  

Colin McCrae is the only person not tricked by Lady Georgina’s façade. Even the lady's loving family sees nothing beyond a sister they have over indulged. Not deeming Colin worth any time and effort, Lady Georgina makes several minor slip-ups in his presence that allow him to see what others have missed. Desperate to keep her secret a secret, Lady Georgina and Colin enter an uneasy truce and battle of silent whit as they each attempt to manoeuver the highly complicated social scene that surrounds London’s elite.
With Napoleon’s war still raging, spies combing the countryside of traitors, this novel is set in a riveting time period.
An Elegant Façade was a wonderful follow-up to the first Hawthorne House book, and I loved seeing old characters brought back into the story and minor character from the first book more fully developed. I’m looking forward to the next book in this hopefully long series.

Thank-you to Baker Publishing House and Graf Martin Communications for the complimentary copy of this wonderful novel.

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