Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review: Love in Disguise

About the Book:
Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?

Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can't figure out who's stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow...or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.

Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he's falling in love with doesn't really exist?

Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor, and mystery for a can't-put-down read.

My Review:
I was pleasantly surprised at the level of intruige this book had. With a plot promising mystery, danger and romance, I was thrilled to begin reading Love in Disguise. 

Ellie Monroe's character (or should I say character's) was a breath of fresh air in the sometimes boring section of historical fiction protagonists. Her audacity and bravery struck me as admirable when she paved her own way as a detective for the prestigious Pinkerton agency. As the story progresses, Ellie was a bright and diligent detective instead of vulnerable and scared. Ellie grows as a detective and my heart hoped that her embittered heart would soften. We read of her whispered prayers for strength and courage. This event along with many others made it clear that Ellie was a relatable character. I love mystery stories like this one because I was actually able to follow along with Ellie and each of her disguises.

The town in which this story takes place is the partially fictional boom-town of Pickford, Arizona. Described as a quaint, everybody-knows-everybody sort of place, I felt acquainted with the minor characters and locations of Pickford. Memorable and humorous souls such as Amos Crawford made the "slower" moments of the book worth reading. Other character's, like the the capricious Donald Tidewell, sucked me in as I, myself tried to untangle the web of lies and treachery Ellie found herself caught between.

Once I reached the halfway point, I found this book hard to put down. The mystery is thought-provoking and well plotted. The last few chapters reveled the clandestine events taking place in Pickford and who is involved. Tensions are high as the story nears it's close and the finale kept me at the edge of my seat!

If you're interested in another historical fiction romance novel, give Love in Disguise a try. From the chaos at the beginning to the intense drama at the end, this read will keep your interest high from start to finish. If you're not into chaotic scenes, you may find the beginning of the book difficult to get into, but I encourage you, read until the ending!

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