Friday, July 6, 2012

Review of Love in Disguise!

Love in Disguise by Carol Cox is a historical novel set in Arizona in the 1880s. Elli Moore is desperate. Her previous employer, a famous stage actress, decided to move to Europe, leaving her wardrobe mistress, Ellie, jobless with nothing more than a trunk full of old costumes. When Ellie eavesdrops on a conversation between two Pinkerton Detective Agency operatives, she feels as if her troubles are over. They need a woman to discover who is stealing silver from mines! She could become an agent, explore her acting abilities, have an adventure, and say goodbye to her money troubles!

After convincing the agency to take her on, Ellie sets off to Arizona for her assignment, her only shot to become an operative. Using the costumes and makeup left to her, Ellie becomes two people very different yet very close to herself. One of her characters is Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow of three years and possible mine investor. Of course, a respectable widow cannot travel everywhere an operative needs to investigate, so Ellie also becomes Jessie Monroe, a stunning redhead and niece of Lavinia, whose dazzling personality attracts men like bees to a sweet flower.

One such man is Steven Pierce, a mine owner who is struggling to keep his mine in the midst of the robberies. In one last act of desperation, he and the other mine owners had written to the Pinkerton Agency, asking for help. When it doesn’t seem to appear, help comes in another quite unexpected form. A widow and her beautiful, feisty niece.

Ellie soon finds out her undercover operation has brought more danger than she anticipated. When the thieves grow irritated with her characters’ nosiness, they decide to silence Lavinia and Jessie. Her deception has also possible alienated Steven, who has fallen hard for Jessie.

 Will they survive? And if they do, what will Steven think when he discovers the woman he loves isn’t real?

 I loved, loved, loved this book! It is filled with mystery, romance, and humor. Ellie Moore is definitely a spunky lead character, and the situations she gets into as Lavinia and Jessie are unique and captivating. The humor of the story is what really struck me, as this is a historical novel. Not quite typical of the genre. Sure, a woman becoming two completely different other woman is humorous in itself, but the author perfectly crafts scenarios that test Ellie’s ability to think quickly under pressure… and the reader’s ability to stifle their tendency to laugh out loud. The funny aspects are well-balanced with romance and, of course, Ellie’s mission to uncover the culprit. It was an excellent blend of all of the aspects necessary to make a book great.

All in all, I rate this book five out of five stars.

Specifics (from amazon.com):
~Paperback: 352 pages
~Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2012)

Note: Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

Blessings,
~Prism~

1 comment:

Carole said...

I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved. It could be an old fave. I am hoping we will end up with a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved July Edition

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