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Masquerade

Doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons, Cassiopeia Reade impersonates her dear friend Lucinda and drops herself into a comic whirl with an annoyingly charming fortune hunter, a melodramatic demirep, a lovesick maid, and a blackmailer with a bent for kidnapping.

But if Cassie hopes to expose the guilty and protect the innocent, she must first risk her own heart and happiness.

An Awe-Struck Release

Coming Soon...

Alison James

Candace Craven and Penelope Thomas form the writing team, 'Alison James' .
[Candace Craven lives in the high desert of California with two built-in editor-critics-- her daughter, Alia, 21years old and her son, Duncan, 17 years old., both of whom help with the "comma problem." Candace was the writer for the radio version of Soap Talk, has written numerous radio commercials, cable tv pilots and some dreadful poetry. She has been a Regency fanatic since discovering Georgette Heyer at the tender age of 14. She has worked as a clown, a radio news person, and a cable TV dance show host. Currently, she is a fifth grade teacher, a science coach and was fortunate enough to experience NASA Space Camp. She loves sword fighting and often "gets the point" from her fellow fencers. This is her first published novel.]

[Penelope Thomas lives on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia. She spends her days hunched over her computer, tapping out stories on the keyboard, while her seven cats and twelve-year old Lab/collie mix look over her shoulder and offer unsolicited criticism. To date, she has written five historical/gothic romances (published by Harper Paperbacks), and this is her first foray into Regency romance and the world of e-book publishing. In her other life, she’s working toward an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.]

Reviews

LASR BEST LONG EBOOK ROMANCE OF 2007

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5 out of 5 books

"...witty... beautifully written, with a great deal of attention to detail...an inarguably delightful novel."

Snapdragon -- The Long and the Short of It Reviews.


"Masquerade is a most delightful read! Honestly, I could not put this book down! Alison James does a spectacular job of drawing the reader into the story to keep them hanging on to every word. The characters are incredibly funny in their actions, in a way that keeps the story progressing smoothly. Regency novels are ones I do not read very often, but if I was promised a wonderful read as the author has provided, I would definitely have to read many more regency novels! James has combined two things I love the most when I am reading and that is romance and comedy. What more could a reader ask for? Masquerade is full of laughs and it is a book I most certainly recommend to romance lovers!"

Chantay -- Euro-Reviews Reviewed by Cherokee of Coffee Time Romance


"In an era when young women were closely controlled, two girls returning from school abroad, one to make her debut and be married and the other to a governess position, switch places… There is plenty of fun in the reading of this tale. You'll enjoy seeing how entangled Cassie gets in a web of lies even as she tries to prevent it… Recommended as a fun red for any reader who is a romantic at heart."

Anne K. Edwards

"… MASQUERADE quickly becomes a Regency romp of the type for which the term was coined. Cassie is welcomed warmly by Lady Tyndale, attends social affairs where she becomes popular, and with the aid of her new maid, spies on Roland to uncover his secrets. He appears to be having an affair with a beautiful married woman whom he escorts to every gambling den in town. At the same time, he exhibits many good character traits that belie the bad things she hears. Still, there remains the conversation she overheard in the inn. Cassie's escapades lead her into danger, and not just to her person; her heart is vulnerable as well...Though the love scenes go beyond Regency conventions, it's an enjoyable tale. And if your ambition is to write a Regency, you might look into the contests at www.awe-struck.net."

Jane Bowers -- Romance Reviews Today
Excerpt

The hall clock struck one as they entered Tyndale House, proving the point she had made to herself. A truly enamored suitor would have persuaded her to take a brief turn around the park before permitting her to escape. For once, Cassie was grateful Lord Carlyon's interest was entirely monetary. She looked forward to an hour's respite before joining Lady Tyndale on a whirlwind of visits.

As they crossed the foyer, the footman handed Lord Carlyon a billet a deux. "This came by hand, sir. Is there an answer?"

The scent wafting from the pressed paper reminded Cassie of Lady Atwater. Lord Carlyon broke open the wafer, and with an ever-increasing frown, read the message. She lingered nearby, pretending to read some invitations that had been addressed to Lady Tyndale and herself.

He finished reading and then, with carefully controlled movements, tore the scented paper into bits. He handed the pieces to the footman. "There is no reply." The footman, in bowing, dropped several scraps and stooped immediately to retrieve them.

Lady Tyndale appeared in the doorway between the foyer and her parlor. "There you are, Lucinda. I was wondering if you would have the sense to return early. Frederick? Why are you scrambling about the floor?"

Cassie stepped forward and pointed to a scrap near the door. In the same motion, she successfully blocked the young man's view of the piece lying next to the carved hall boy. With her toe, she pushed the slip under one of the wooden legs and hoped the earnest Frederick wouldn't notice.

Lord Carlyon was too lost to his own concerns to have noticed her duplicity. He bowed deeply over her hand. "Miss Sinclaire, I had a delightful time and will be further delighted to conduct whatever tours you might desire. Mind, we have yet to see the landscape collection at the British Museum." He turned to his aunt.

Before he could speak, Lady Tyndale said, "There'll be a fireworks display at Hyde Park this evening." She smiled meaningfully and her face turned to Cassie. "Do you enjoy such things, Lucinda?"

"It has never been my pleasure to watch one," Cassie said, dutifully taking her cue.

"Well, then--"

"It would be my pleasure to escort you," Lord Carlyon said, as was expected of him. "But not tonight, unfortunately. I have a business matter that requires--no, demands, my attention."

"Surely not this evening, Roland?" his aunt asked. "Such an odd hour for a gentleman to do business."

"It is an odd business, Aunt. Actually, I mean to meet with a gentleman about...some sheep. I mentioned the matter to Lucinda. He has only this evening free and will be returning to Yorkshire in the morning. As you say, unaccountable hours, but what am I to do?"

Lady Tyndale shook her head but smiled away any disapproval she might have been feeling. "Never mind. My company will certainly not be as enjoyable, but if you can endure my dull conversation, Lucinda, you and I will take a turn about the park, tonight."

"I cannot imagine preferring any company to yours, Godmama."

Lord Carlyon frowned. "Forgive me, Aunt, but I wish you would not go without me."

"Why ever not, Roland?"

His frown deepened. "The fireworks in the park will draw any manner of ruffian. I do not like to think of your being there without me."

"I suppose I could invite--"

He laughed. "You force me to admit the truth. Since Lucinda has never enjoyed such a treat, I hoped to be the first to take her. And I know she'll find the display at Vauxhall Gardens immensely superior."

Lady Tyndale chuckled. "Silly boy. What do you say, Lucinda? Shall we let him have his way?"

"The decision is entirely yours, Godmama," Cassie said. She, however, had not believed a word Lord Carlyon had uttered since the subject of fireworks had arisen.