Love in Disguise

Love in Disguise

4.2 32
by Carol Cox

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Delightfully Engaging Blend of Romance, Suspense, History, and Humor

When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of

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Delightfully Engaging Blend of Romance, Suspense, History, and Humor

When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.

Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments—until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven's mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow...or to fall head over heels for Lavinia's captivating niece, Jessie.

But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn't exist?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It’s 1881 and Ellie Moore dreams of being on stage, but for now, she is personal assistant to an American actress headed to Europe. While Ellie is proficient in her duties, her haughty demeanor alienates her from co-workers. When she is summarily dismissed on the eve of their departure, Ellie finds herself frozen out of the theater community and in a financial decline. With no other prospects, she persuades the Pinkerton Detective Agency that she can use her theatrical talents to pull off the impersonation of a wealthy widow in order to apprehend thieves threatening to bankrupt an Arizona community of silver miners. Soon, Ellie realizes that to accomplish the task, she must also don the persona of the widow’s niece, a ruse complicated by the attentions of mine owner Steven Pierce toward the niece, Jessie, and those of telegraph officer Amos Crawford toward the widow, Lavinia. When Ellie’s alter egos arouse suspicion, she becomes targeted. Cox (A Bride So Fair) has fleshed out a fascinating cast of characters that move readers through a novel that dispenses romance and wit in the intriguing context of a Wild West mystery. A most delightful and engaging read. (June)

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Baker Publishing Group
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5.56(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.95(d)

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Love in Disguise 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much. A bit of mystery, a little romance, intrigued by author Carol Cox. I am really inspired by the genre of Christian books. Thanks B&N for offering this as a free book.
madaboutbooks2 More than 1 year ago
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. Disguised as both Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, and her dazzling niece Jessie Monroe, Ellie begins her investigation into the theft of silver from Arizona mines. When the thieves come after both characters, Ellie isn’t safe no matter which disguise she’s wearing. Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will mine owner Steven do when he realizes the woman he’s falling in love with doesn’t really exist? My review: This was the first book I have read by Carol Cox and it will probably be my last. I did not like how someone who is suppose to be a Christian is living a lie and deceiving many others. It seemed like Christ was mentioned in the book only enough so that it could be passed off as being a Christian book. I had a hard time finishing this book, it just didn’t hold my interest for very long at all. I love a good mystery and this book didn’t have much mystery to it. The story line wasn’t very original either l. I love historical novels with strong female heroines, and I wish that I could say Ellie was one but sadly I don’t think I can. All in all it was an okay book. While I wasn’t particularly pleased with it, I don’t think it was an awful book. ***** I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for sending me this book!!!
Wooble85 More than 1 year ago
This book was so much fun. It's a combination of my favorite genres. The general plot is Ellie Moore wants to be an actress, but finds herself out of job unexpectedly. Scrambling for work she lands the job of an operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency and heads west to try to find out who is responsible for a string of silver mine thefts. Of course, things don't go as planned and Ellie finds herself playing two roles in disguise, and adventure ensues. My one little wish for improvement would have been a bit more romance. About 80% of the book centered around the mystery, 10% dealt w/the faith element, and the other 10% was romance. Ellie's a likeable heroine and the dual role (one as an elderly woman, the other a young vixen) component makes for lots of twists. The hero doesn't appear a whole lot, and most of the time it's when Ellie's in character as an elderly woman. The religious part of the book was minimal, which is fine, but I did think it was a tad too rushed since Ellie is not very high on religion in the beginning, but suddenly she turns to God in a moment of need and that's about all. If the heroine is not close to God, then the story would flow a bit better if the readers saw her relationship with Him evolve rather than suddenly beocme established through a handful of pages. Overall, the book is very well written, moves quickly and is highly entertaining with the unexpected situations that keep cropping up. I definitely look forward to another book by Carol Cox. This book was reviewed for Bethany House Publishers. A review copy of this title was supplied free of charge through the Bethany House Book Reviewers Program. This review was my own opinion and not compensated by Bethany House Publishers.
Jani417 More than 1 year ago
Love in Disguise by Carol Cox has a wonderful combination of elements that spins an intriguing, page-turning story. It is classified as Christian fiction and has elements of romance, comedy, mystery and history. The characters are well-developed and dynamic. A spunky heroine, a handsome mine owner and some quirky local folks make a merry mix. Some are not as they may appear, however. The story is set in Pickford, Arizona, in 1881. Local silver mines are booming, but silver shipments sent back east are being hijacked. The mine owners are losing money, so they’ve hired Pinkerton’s Detective Agency to track down the thieves. Pinkerton agents in Chicago decide that two female undercover operatives should be sent to Pickford to investigate. Ellie Moore has just lost her job as wardrobe mistress and is an aspiring actress. Only a few dollars from homelessness and starvation, she uses her acting talent to land the job. Two agents are needed and Ellie is resourceful and up to the task. Playing two parts is no challenge for a gifted actress! Ellie invents middle-aged Lavinia and her young niece, Jessie, and delivers convincing performances. She hits the ground running in Pickford and begins her investigation with no idea of the danger and adventures she will face while trying to solve the case. Readers will feel right at home in Pickford while they accompany Ellie as both Lavinia and Jessie, throughout the town. Many of the encounters are humorous and there are plenty of close calls as Ellie deftly switches roles. The mystery advances, leading the reader down a few blind alleys and presenting plenty of suspects. Alert readers will take note of hints and potential allies as Ellie’s quest progresses. Ellie has long had an on-and-off relationship with God, but finds herself in need and grows closer to God, reading her grandmother’s Bible, praying and attending church services in Pickford. Ellie the actress/agent comes to know herself better even as she grows in faith and knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness. This book is recommended for all who enjoy a good romantic mystery and historical fiction. It is a very good choice for teenaged readers, too. I was given a free copy of this book to read and review by Bethany House Publishers.
THESELF-TAUGHTCOOK More than 1 year ago
"When one door closes, another door opens." That must be Ellie's motto, for when her employer leaves her to go to Europe, Ellie picks herself up and finagles her way into a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The plan is for Ellie to travel to Arizona to help with an investigation into a series of silver shipment robberies. But when her partner has a change of plans, Ellie decides to try to do the job of two people. Not only is it more difficult than she imagined, but her growing attraction to mine owner Steven Pierce complicates the situation even more. She feels guilty for deceiving him, and he is thoroughly confused by Jessie/Lavinia. An engaging mystery/romance, Carol Cox's novel Love in Disguise is an example of good Christian fiction. There is a good, strong plot with no silly loopholes that leave you shaking your head after you close the book, and it conveys Biblical truths without sermonizing. With a clean romance and no "adult" situations/language, this novel is safe for any age. And on a personal note, I really enjoyed Ellie's quick-changes between Lavinia and Jessie. For me, that really made the novel. Definitely a 4 star novel.
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
I love these kinds of books. Not only are they light hearted to read and perfect when you’re ‘in between’ heavy reads. I love the historical setting, it’s so well written and I could picture everything so easily. I would say it’s accurate to the history aspect of things and it certainly does capture the ‘Wild West’ picture quite well. I loved Ellie. She’s so determined! I liked that quality about her. Her talent for switching between Jessie and Lavinia is very well done and as she dodges several obstacles here and there (the part with Amos being an unwanted admirer was fun to read). The other characters in this book are really just secondary characters - even Steven, who’s the love interest, doesn’t really develop in great detail as Ellie does. However, Ellie’s character development is very well done. The book focuses more on her, and how she realizes who she really is despite playing two very different roles. I liked this part of the book, it was very well done. The plot itself was a great read. Although, I would have preferred more emphasis on the mystery part of the book. There is a mystery element, but it’s not that heavily emphasized. In certain chapters, there is a bit of suspense built up and makes you wonder who it could be, but there’s just too many secondary characters to really take a good guess and I personally found myself to not really care too much about the mystery part of the book. I was more focused on Ellie and her character development. The ending itself was good - a little too quick on solving the mystery, but it was a sweet ending nevertheless. I definitely would recommend those that like these types of books, or who need a light read after the ‘heavy’ ones! I definitely enjoyed reading this one.
Bobbie6 More than 1 year ago
Like to see this book made into a movie. Most of would like to be someone else, at least once in our life. Our heroine not only becomes someone else, she becomes two other people. This is a fun read seeing the heroine’s antics and her interactions with the other characters. It also has suspense to keep the reader’s interest. Descriptions of the mines are realistic and the history of the 1880’s rings true. This would make a great movie!
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
This story was a delightful romp through Wild West Arizona and silver mines. The heroine, Ellie Moore, is desperate to find work and stumbles into a job with the Pinkerton Agency. The job seems like a perfect place for her to use her theatrical talents...the only problem is that the experienced agent who is supposed to go with her bails. Ellie either has to go home (not an option since she doesn't have a home) or bumble through on her own. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the quandaries Ellie was placed in. She desperately wants to succeed, but it's a trying set of circumstances.  The book has moments of humor, times of suspense, and a sweet love story, all set in 1880s Arizona.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan to read more by this author. 
Sprinkle23 More than 1 year ago
Ellie Moore is desperate after the loss of her job at the theater company.  With no family to turn to, she aggressively pursues a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, thinking it will be an opportunity to use her acting skills and to have a grand adventure in the Wild West of Arizona. Her plans quickly go awry when her partner, a seasoned detective, bails out and Ellie is forced to play two roles: Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, and Jessie Monroe, a young and adventuresome flirt. Keeping up such an act is difficult enough, but then Steven Pierce, one of the mine owners that hired the Pinkertons to solve a mysterious string of silver robberies, is terribly attractive and he seems to feel the same way about Jessie! As Ellie edges closer to finding the thieves, both Lavinia and Jessie become targets.  Can Ellie thwart the thieves before they strike again? If her identity is revealed, will she lose the love of a lifetime? Read more in Love in Disguise by Carol Cox. I love it when a book is better than I expect.  Love in Disguise by Carol Cox was such a book.  The mystery kept me hooked throughout the story. The clues were there, but I didn't know who was behind the silver thefts until the climax. Truly, the mystery was the heart of this book.  There was adequate romance between Steven and Jessie/Ellie, but it wasn't emphasized like the mystery was, nor did there seem to be any romantic tension until the very end. I liked Ellie's development throughout the story.  Her surrender of herself – just as she was – to God was a hidden gem of a theme that played out in other areas of the story. I recommend Love in Disguise to fans of Christian fiction who love mystery. I'm sure I'll read it again, but for the moment, I'm passing it along to my mother-in-law to enjoy. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Bethers More than 1 year ago
Love in Disguise is the first novel by Carol Cox I have read. This novel takes place in 1881 where Ellie Moore loses her job in the theater. Ellie finds herself desperate for a job and uses her knowledge of acting and theater to get a position with Pinkerton Detective Agency. Ellie finds herself in Arizona to investigate the theft of silver from the mine there. Ellie finds herself in over her head and has to find a way to fix all of it. Love in Disguise is a good novel. I enjoyed the characters, especially Ellie having to be pose as not one person but two. I enjoyed watching the characters evolve throughout the book with their faith and relationships. Carol Cox writes with authority about 1880's time period, the states at that time in our history, theater components, and the ins and outs of being a detective. I found myself laughing in many spots in this novel, Carol Cox definitely has a wonderful sense of humor. For me the story was hard to get into and I had a hard time connecting completely with this novel. Also felt the story moved slower than I like. This novel may not have been for me, it is well written and I did enjoy many aspects of it. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Historical Christian Fiction that is looking for a light read.I look forward to reading more from Carol Cox. I give this book 3 Stars. I received this novel from Bethany House Publishers for no charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
This is a very entertaining and delightful book set in 1881. It is part western, mystery/detective, and inspirational romance. Ellie’s experience with the theatrical stage helps her create 2 different personas in order to investigate a crime for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. She is spunky and determined as well as insecure and desperate. Both main characters are seeking acknowledgement for being good at something. It is sweet and fun with enough twists to make it very enjoyable. I would recommend it to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the story the plot the characters. I live how going to pickfored helps Ellie ubderstand Christ more. This story had an original sory line. Love the story.
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Digging4Pearls More than 1 year ago
Love in Disguise by Carol Cox depicts a fascinating time period in history - the era of the Pinkerton detectives. I liked the twist in the story in that the heroine was the lead detective through a chance of circumstances. When Ellie Moore found herself jobless, she never contemplated a career in sleuthing until, an overheard conversation and a trunk of costumes and wigs inspire her to start on the track as a detective. Steven Pierce is on the brink of ruin unless he can find out who has been stealing the silver shipments from the local miner owners, himself included. The miners throw in money as a deposit, hoping to encourage a Pinkerton detective to come and sort out the mess. Not even Steven suspects a young woman, nor does he realize that she is playing two roles as she tries to ferret out information before more is stolen. In the process of the investigation, he finds himself falling in love. I found this book to be an interesting read on this era of history. This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was delightful! I enjoyed the characters and the mystery they were involved in. I want to read more of Carol Cox' books.
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
Love in Disguise by Carol Cox book review Can a woman in 1881 help the Pinkerton Detective Agency solve a crime? Ellie Moore proves to the agency that she can trick them, so they give her a chance to solve a real crime. Ellie travels to Arizona to help miners find who is stealing from them. However she is not herself. At first she uses her skills as an actress to be Lavinia Stewart. As Lavinia she plays a gray haired widow that gets into everyone else's business. She asks questions and and most people think that she is just lonely. When the agency contacts her about the person she was supposed to be traveling with, Ellie decides that she can be more then just Lavinia. She then disguises herself as Jessie Monroe, a much younger and daring character. Jessie goes places that Lavinia would not dare to go. Jessie also gets more information out of the men of the town, because of her beauty. One of the Mine owners Steven Pierce is indeed attracted to Ellie, but he does not know her true identity. As Ellie uses both characters to get more and more information, she puts herself in more and more danger. This was a very nice romantic suspense novel. It was also nice to go back to 1881 Arizona. The thieves try to scare Ellie at first, but then they get more assertive. Ellie is not safe, no matter who she dresses as. Without giving away the end of the book, I must say that it had a non climatic ending. Old enemies proved helpful, and Ellie told certain people who she really was. All in all this was a very fun to read book. I enjoyed when Ellie had to use both characters in a short period of time. I was given a copy of this book to read by Bethany House. However all opinions are my own.
millstreetreader More than 1 year ago
The wild west setting of Arizona Territory where the promise of wealth from the silver mines is tarnished by a couple lawless desperadoes makes this novel reminscient of a Lone Ranger or Roy Rogers movie. It is not a hero on horseback or even the town marshall who is hot on the trail of the bad guys, but rather the newly famous Pinkerton detectives, or at least one of their operatives. Just hired and desperate to prove herself, Ellie Moore arrives in town in disguise ready to snoop. When circumstances push her into assuming two different character roles, will she be able to keep her real identity secret? Sure that her true self is as dull as most of the town's graying buildings, Ellie forges ahead, not realizing that her unforgetable turquoise eyes and caring, empathetic nature shine through each disguise, especially to silver miner Steven Pierce. Having Ellie assume two different roles (older Lavinia and younger Jessie) was an interesting plot twist for author Cox to use. In my eyes, it could have easily plummeted to comedic silliness, but Cox manages to avoid that will some skillful planning and just enough intrigue to keep the story moving ahead. Beneath the action of Ellie trying to solve a mystery while disguised as not one, but two different women is her own personal mystery of finding her true self. An afterward by the author makes an interesting comparison to each of us. We assume various roles as mothers, daughters, career women, etc. Despite our talents and successes (or failures) within each of those roles, our true identity lives with the King, a lesson that both Steve and Ellie have the opportunity to discover. Check out Carol Cox's website to learn more about her writing and other books. And again I must congratulate Bethany House publishers for developing such a wonderful cover. Rich in color and intrigue, it begs that readers touch and then read this title. I am so glad that I was able to read a print copy of this book, rather than an e-version. I was given a copy of this title by Bethany Publishers for review purposes. All opinions are my own
VicG More than 1 year ago
Carol Cox in her new book “Love in Disguise” published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the life of Ellie Moore. From the back cover: 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. I read that some actors gravitate toward acting because they are really shy individuals and in acting they can become whatever role the character they play is. That is why some actors are really good at what they do they are becoming different personas that let them escape their shyness. Ellie Moore is a costume maker who is broke and unemployed. Desperate she hires on as a detective without any skills in that area at all. So she fakes it disguising herself as a widow which provides her cover, friends and some information. However she needs more so she adopts a new persona that of the widow’s niece which gets her more information and more friends. Which is the real person; Ellie Lavinia or Jessie? Steven is friends with Lavinia, thinks he is in love with Jessie and has no idea that neither of them are real individuals. That is the big theme of this book; the masks that we wear. Ms. Cox has crafted a fine thriller in that not only is Ellie in deadly danger but her secret identities, Lavinia and Jessie also have their lives in danger. I liked the way the characters interrelated with one another as Ellie tried to solve the mystery that she was assigned to. The small town of Pickford, Arizona and the people who live there become real and are brought to life by a gifted storyteller. On top of everything Ms. Cox has also given us a romance. I really liked ”Love in Disguise” and Hopefully Ms. Cox will bring us more stories with Ellie and Steven. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Freddikb More than 1 year ago
Ellie Moore is a captivating character. I enjoyed reading the story and was entertained by her different roles. One as a widowed aunt and the other as the vivacious young niece. I was wondering how it would be done, Ellie playing two different roles, and I think it was pulled off very well. I received this book free from the publisher to read for review. I am looking forward to more of Carol Cox's work.
bookreviewer1977 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a solidly-written, highly entertaining novel. It has elements of faith, suspense, mystery and of course romance. The main character, Ellie, is an enterprising young woman who pursues a creative way of providing for herself and ends up having the adventure of her life in the process. And she also finds love! I thought the love story between Ellie and Steven was nicely written and realistic. All in all, this is a fun book, particularly if you are a fan of romance novels set in the Old West. (I received a copy of this book from Bethany House to review for myself. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.)