The Masquerade (De Warenne Dynasty Series)

The Masquerade (De Warenne Dynasty Series)

4.4 109
by Brenda Joyce

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On the evening of her first masquerade, shy Elizabeth Anne Fitzgerald is stunned by Tyrell de Warenne's whispered suggestion of a midnight rendezvous in the gardens. Lizzie has secretly worshiped the unattainable lord for years. When fortune takes a maddening turn, she is prevented from meeting Tyrell. But Lizzie cannot foresee that that night is only the beginning...


On the evening of her first masquerade, shy Elizabeth Anne Fitzgerald is stunned by Tyrell de Warenne's whispered suggestion of a midnight rendezvous in the gardens. Lizzie has secretly worshiped the unattainable lord for years. When fortune takes a maddening turn, she is prevented from meeting Tyrell. But Lizzie cannot foresee that that night is only the beginning...

Tyrell de Warenne is shocked when, two years later, Lizzie arrives on his doorstep with a child she claims is his. He remembers her well -- and knows that he could not possibly be the father. What is this game she is playing -- and why? Is Elizabeth Anne Fitzgerald a woman of experience, or the gentle innocent she seems? But neither scandal, deception nor pride can thwart a love too passionate to be denied...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The chunky second volume in bestseller Joyce's de Warenne Dynasty series (after The Prize) dances on slippered feet, belying its heft with spellbinding dips, spins and twists. Jane Austen aficionados will delve happily into heroine Elizabeth "Lizzie" Fitzgerald's family, with its three sisters, socially obsessed mama and indulgent father. Lizzie has long loved Tyrell de Warenne, heir of the local earl, but never suspects he knows of her existence until he arranges a rendezvous with her at a masquerade. A switch in costumes sets Lizzie's loose sister in Tyrell's arms instead, resulting in a baby boy. When Lizzie claims the child as her own to save her sister's reputation, she again puts herself in Tyrell's sights. Joyce's tale of the dangers and delights of passion fulfilled will enchant those who like their reads long and rich, though some may find the secondary characters more compelling personalities than the somewhat conventional protagonists. Agent, Aaron Priest. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Publication date:
De Warenne Dynasty Series
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.63(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Masquerade

By Brenda Joyce


Copyright © 2005 Brenda Joyce
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0778322092

A Fateful Encounter

Elizabeth Anne Fitzgerald stared at the novel in her hands but not a single word made sense. In fact, the letters on the page were blurred as badly as if she was not wearing her reading glasses. Perhaps that was for the best; Mama hated it when she read at the table, and she had sat down for breakfast with her romance novel some time ago, the food in front of her now long forgotten. Lizzie sighed and closed the book. She was so excited about tomorrow she would never be able to concentrate, she decided.

Excited, and afraid.

Papa sat at the head of the small table with a copy of yesterday's Dublin Times. He rattled the page as he reached for his cup of tea, engrossed in some article about the war. Upstairs, the household was in a state of hysteria. Lizzie could hear her two older sisters and her mother racing about the bedrooms, back and forth, back and forth, heels clicking wildly, just as she could also hear Anna's wails and Georgie's brisk, sensible tones. Mama was barking commands like a soldier. Papa did not seem to notice, but such chaos was fairly usual in the Fitzgerald home.

Lizzie stared at him, hoping he would glance up. She wanted to talk but was not sure she could confide in anyone.

"You're staring," he said, not looking up. "What is it, Lizzie?"

She hesitated. "Is it usual, to be so nervous?" Papa gazed past his newspaper at her. His smile was kind. "It's only a ball," he said. "It may be your first, but it will not be your last." He was a short man with prematurely white hair, gray whiskers and a perpetually kind expression. Like Lizzie, he wore rimmed spectacles, but not merely for reading; if Lizzie had any regrets, it was that she had inherited her poor eyesight from such a wonderful father.

Lizzie felt herself flush. She quickly avoided her father's benign gaze, not wanting him to guess how apprehensive she was. After all, she was sixteen years old now, a grown woman, or practically so. She did not want anyone in her family to suspect that she still harbored the most childish fantasies -- except that, in the darkest hours of the night, they weren't childish at all.

The heat in her cheeks increased.

Beneath the table, a stray, crippled cat she had rescued and adopted the previous year rubbed against her ankles, purring.

But Papa was wise to her now, and he set his paper down and studied her closely. "Lizzie, it is only a ball. And you have been up to the house before." He was referring to the earl of Adare's home. "You know, my dear, we have all noticed how oddly you have been behaving these past few days. Why, you have even lost your appetite and we all know how much you love to eat! What is worrying you, dear?"

Lizzie wanted to smile at him, she did, but the expression simply would not form on her face. What could she say? Her infatuation with a young man who did not even know she existed had been amusing when she was a child of ten. It had been the cause of raised eyebrows and some concern when she was a blossoming adolescent of thirteen. The following year, espying him in town with some beautiful noblewoman, Lizzie had realized how absurd her feelings were. Such an infatuation was no longer acceptable and Lizzie knew it, especially as she was being launched into society alongside her older sisters.

But he would be there at the masque, because he was there every All Hallow's Eve, as he was the earl's heir. According to her older sisters, he was polite and charming to all of his family's guests -- and the object of a great deal of feminine pursuit and speculation. Every marriage-mad mother of the ton's uppermost echelons foolishly hoped to somehow snag him for their own daughter, never mind that the world knew he would marry for duty as his family wished. Lizzie had only to close her eyes and Tyrell de Warenne's dark, noble image filled her mind, his gaze piercing and intense.

The thought of seeing him at the ball tomorrow made it impossible for her to breathe. Absurdly, her heart raced. Absurdly, she could see him sweeping a courtly bow and taking her hand....and suddenly she was on his white charger with him and they were galloping off into the night.

Lizzie began to smile, realized she was daydreaming and she pinched herself. Even though she was going to the ball costumed as Maid Marian -- Robin Hood was one of her favorite tales -- he was not going to notice her. But she didn't want to be noticed, not really. She didn't want him to look at her with a complete lack of interest, as her sister Anna's gentleman callers seemed to do. She would stand by the wall with the other wallflowers and discreetly watch him as he flirted and danced. Then, when she had returned to her own home and her own bed, she would dream about his every look and gesture, his every word and even his touch.

He halted the charger abruptly, wrapping his arms around her, his breath feathering her cheek....

Lizzie's pulse accelerated and her body ached in that terribly insistent way, a strange yearning she had come to accept but barely understand. "Lizzie?" Papa interrupted her brooding.

She bit her lip, eyes flying open, and somehow smiled at him. "I wish," she began impulsively, and she stopped.

"What is it that you wish, my dear?"

She was far closer to Papa than she was to Mama, perhaps because, like her, he was an avid reader and a bit of a dreamer. On too many cold, rainy days to count, Lizzie and her father could be found in the parlor, curled up in big chairs before the hearth, each engrossed in a book. "I wish I could be beautiful, like Anna," she heard herself confess in a whisper. "Just once...just for tomorrow night."

His eyes widened. "But you're so pretty!" he exclaimed. "You have the most striking gray eyes!"

Lizzie smiled slightly at him, aware that he could offer no other possible praise. And then she heard Mama racing down the stairs, calling her name. "Lizzie!"


Excerpted from The Masquerade by Brenda Joyce Copyright © 2005 by Brenda Joyce.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Brenda Joyce is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels and novellas, including the popular and critically acclaimed de Warenne Dynasty Saga, a series of novels set in Regency and Victorian England. She lives on a ranch in Arizona with her dogs, broodmares and the year’s current crop of foals. If she isn’t on the back of a reining horse, she can be found madly at work in her office, penning her latest romance novel.

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Masquerade (De Warenne Dynasty Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down..I have read this book twice!!! If you are looking for a book with romance this is the book..Make sure you got a day for yourself because you won't want to put it down
kenemly More than 1 year ago
The Masquerade is my favorite book from the De Warren series! Lizzie sacrifices her reputation to protect her sister. It made me cry for her.... If you are a Brenda Joyce fan you will love this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorites, love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this so many times I have lost count! I cant wait until she writes Ned's love story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this story - I was captivated throughout the whole book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was definately my favorite of the whole series! I finished it in one (very long) sitting. I could not put it down! At times it truly touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes and that rarely happens when I read romances. My only complaint is how forgiving Lizzie was of Anna. I don't know if I could be as big of a person about the situation as Lizzie was. Lizzie's character is such a rare gem, self-sacrificing and determined to see the best in everyone and everything. Love Rory, love Georgie, love, love, love it all!! Definitely go out and buy this book, it's well worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
DANYA HEWITT More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorite in the series! Tyrell and Elizabeth story is amazing. I highly recommend this book, its filled with love, passion, laughter, tears and so much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good read
redreader16 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy Ms. Joyce's writing style and the chemistry she easily describes between the main characters. this is a thrilling story about a young woman who is the most glamorous, nor the most beautiful who is in love with a man out of her league. Luckily, our hero is enamored of the heroine and their love story is passionate, poignant and the plot kept me hooked throughout the novel. this is a great read for a romantic heart who needs a break from everyday.
MrsGlamorous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put the book down, I loved the characters. I definitely Laughed and cried. Will I read it again? Without doubt
harstan More than 1 year ago
Tyrell de Warenne rescued ten years old Lizzie Fitzgerald though he could not save the book she was reading. From that moment on, Lizzie worshiped the older boy. In 1812 sixteen years old Lizzie attends the annual All Hallows Eve masque at the home of Tyrell¿s father the earl. Tyrell and Lizzie meet and agree to a tryst later in the evening. When her sibling Anna spills wine on her costume, she persuades Lizzie to change garb with her. Lizzie, believing she is ugly and unworthy of her hero, goes home while Anna meets with Tyrell. Nine months later at their aunt¿s isolated home, Anna gives birth to Ned who she intends to give away as she plans to marry her sweetheart, but Lizzie adopts him as hers though society condemns her as a fallen woman. Her parents learn that Tyrell is Ned¿s father. They confront Tyrell and his parents, who agree, Ned is one of them. However, Tyrell does not believe he slept with Lizzie, but decides to go ahead with the game she is playing so he can uncover the truth. As Tyrell and Lizzie fall in love, he has first hand proof that she is not Ned¿s mother, but waits for her to confess she wants to but she promised Anna she wouldn¿t. --- THE MASQUERADE is a solid Regency romance that sub-genre fans will rejoice in reading due to the likable lead couple. Tyrell has everything going for him, but instead of being spoiled and pompous like much of the nobility, he is a nice person. Lizzie has issues about her self-worth, but her champion sees her courage and kindness as virtues. Though the secondary cast accepts Ned and the relationship between the heir and the bookworm too readily, historical romance readers will enjoy this fine tale. --- Harriet Klausner
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This is one of my favorite books ever and i havent read the series. I was mad, sad, plain ole heartbroken and happy in the same book. I just loved this book.!
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