About the Book
Book: Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey
Author: Abigail Wilson
Genre: Regency Romance + Suspense
Release Date: May 26, 2020
When the widowed Lord Torrington agreed to spy for the crown, he never planned to impersonate a highwayman, let alone rob the wrong carriage. Stranded on the road with an unconscious young woman, he is forced to propose marriage to protect his identity, as well as his dangerous mission.
Trapped by not only the duty to her country but her limited options, Miss Elizabeth Cantrell and her illegitimate son are whisked away to Middlecrest Abbey by none other than the elder brother of her son’s absent father. She is met by Torrington’s beautiful grown daughters, a vicious murderer, and an urgent hunt for the missing intelligence that could turn the war with France. Afraid of what Lord Torrington might do if he learns of her son’s true identity, Elizabeth must remain one step ahead of her fragile heart, her uncertain future, and the relentless mystery person bent on her new family’s ruin.
Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson is a fast-paced, highly engaging, unputdownable read! I loved every minute of this suspenseful story, and I’m sad my time with Elizabeth and Adrian is over. The storyline is a solid mystery. I was kept guessing and guessing and guessing until the very end. I found the characters, both primary and secondary, to be well crafted. What I appreciate about the secondary characters is that they ALL are mysterious enough that at one point I thought each was perhaps the murderer. I really liked the marriage-of-convenience trope. The way Wilson utilizes this trope is fun and added another layer of unique tension to the storyline. I also very much loved the growth in the relationship between Elizabeth and Adrian. First, they must learn to trust one another in a very stressful and fearful environment, and then once the trust is established, they must learn to believe in their growing romantic feelings. Elizabeth and Adrian’s partnership grows into something that feels authentic and realistic. Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey is a stellar Regency Suspense Romance that I HIGHLY recommend!
Elizabeth Cantrell is a complex character for sure. She is no mere simpering miss. Life has dealt her some really rough cards, and she has had to learn to take care of herself without help from anyone. Abandonment has become the pattern of her life. Her parents are gone. Her brother is gone. And the man she fancied herself in love with, who got her with child, has left her. Abandonment has forced Elizabeth to build protective walls around her broken heart. It’s also made her realize that if she wants or needs something for herself or her baby, she is going to have to figure things out on her own. She cannot depend on anyone. But one day, Elizabeth looks into her mirror and doesn’t like the woman looking back. Elizabeth isn’t the strong, sure woman she thought she was. She’s nothing more than a closed-off, untrusting, lonely, exhausted woman. She needs a perspective change. What if Adrian, her convenient husband, really is in her corner? Perhaps Adrian’s daughters really do want to be a part of her and her son’s lives? Could her life be fuller and richer if she lets down her guard a little?
I’m not answering these questions for you. You will have to read this fabulous novel to find out what Elizabeth decides. But, I do appreciate Wilson’s discussion about the walls we build around our hearts. This earth hurts us. It hurts us very badly. Some of us have built up walls that are so mighty dynamite couldn’t bring them down. But emotional walls only serve us for so long. Blink and a wall we erected to protect ourselves has now become a detriment to our mental health, our heart, and our relationships. How do we know when to tear our protective walls down? That’s a hard question to answer. Each person has a unique timeline. But, if we want a full life, a life with love and friends and meaning, we have to learn to put ourselves out there and trust again. We have to break the walls down a bit. Otherwise, we end up being like Elizabeth — closed off, untrusting, lonely, and so, so exhausted. I appreciate Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey for getting me to pause a little and check on my heart’s emotional condition!
Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey is a wonderful story that I won’t soon forget. If you are a fan of Regency, Romance, and/or Suspense then this is definitely the book for you!
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.