Another great book! I’ve already downloaded the next two in the series. It’s not often I feel compelled to read on. I love feeling compelled. The cliff hanger ending is mostly responsible. In truth, the whole book is responsible.
This is historical fiction, based on the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which was trying to overthrow Hanoverian King George II of England and replace him with the exiled king living in France. There is a helpful and detailed explanation about this period in history at the beginning of the book.
The rebellion theme is a small part of the story. Family drama is the bigger part.
The characters are many and interesting. Some you love and some you don’t. And you can never be sure where things are going to go next. It’s romance yet there is serious intrigue, with a few fight scenes thrown in to keep up the momentum.
Jacobite Chronicles – Mask of Duplicity book 1 – Julia Brannan …… With Beth’s focus centered on looking after her ailing father in his final years and with the loss of his income, the estate has fallen into disrepair. A fact displeasing to her angry brother when he arrives home, after a lengthy absence, to claim his inheritance.
He has grand ideas of high society and a commission in the military and decides that to achieve these goals their only recourse is to attempt reconciliation with their noble cousins. Beth has no desire to leave quiet country life but there is no choice but to go along with it. She finds herself terrified of what her brother will do next, trying to force her to do things his way.
Their reception was not great but at least it was better than they hoped. Snobbish cousin Edward will help, reluctantly, if Beth marries quickly and well. He has conditions. Her marriage must provide a commission for her brother, Richard, and an influence in Parliament for himself.
His sisters, on the other hand, are thrilled to have Beth’s company, condition free, and are already planning ways to launch her quickly into polite society, where there are bachelors of the highest order.
The season won’t start in London for several months yet and they must make do with the few visitors they see at their country estate.
Foppish, socialite Sir Anthony Peters is a frequent visitor, and while he seems to be popular with everyone, including the king, Beth is put off by his vapid ways and the seemingly indiscriminate way he spreads gossip. Beth has learned to be discerning about people but he is beyond figuring out and she still doesn’t like him.
His wealth and connections are important to the men of the house though and they are hoping he will use those connections for an introduction to the king. Something that is sure to pave the way to an advantageous marriage.
Beth is strong-willed, intelligent, and feisty – standing up to the cruelty of her brother.
Sir Anthony dresses and behaves in a way that appears foppish and vapid, his heavy make-up and flowery cologne is off-putting, but – there are moments when you are sure there is to him than what you see.
I’m hoping this is inspiring you to check out this series. I’m sure you will find it a nice surprise.
The next list will have more books on it. I am getting behind again – reading more than I’m writing about. Not a bad problem from a reading standpoint.
Happy reading! I’m hoping you are finding books you are over the moon about too.