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Tyrell de Warenne is shocked when, two years later, Lizzie arrives on his doorstep with a child she claims is ...
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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...
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.
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Posted December 15, 2009
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!!!
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 16, 2010
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
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 17, 2012
Posted December 14, 2011
Posted October 24, 2011
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.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 27, 2009
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!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2012
Posted January 25, 2012
Posted February 1, 2012
Posted August 7, 2010
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.
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Posted December 9, 2008
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
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2012
Posted March 24, 2010
This was the first book from this author that I have read and I was sooooo happy with it! You completely become wrapped up in the feelings that Lizzie has for Ty. This book will def. take your emotions for a ride (in a good way).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 18, 2009
I have complained about Mrs. Joyce usual disproportion with heroes and heroines. The way the man are sometimes too cruel to be likable and the women too shrewish or too week to easily relate.
All that is gone in Masquerade. There are no more likable charactes than Lizzie and Tyrell. She is handsome without being breathtakingly beautiful, plump, shy and self-concious (in one word REAL)and he is impossible handsome, proud and with mile long gentelmanly streak.
One thing I love about historic romance is that it tells us about a time long forgotten when women were delicated flowers to be cherished and men were strong, bold and eager to sweep one off their feet. Lizzie is unapologetically a damsel in distress and Tyrell a dark knight ready to rescue... sigh!
Until things happen and secrets and plots are created and even though he has a reason to be wretched he is a man of honor.
Seeing them fall in love (specially seeing Ty battle his feelings for Lizzie) was incredibly romantic and Lizzie's never ending sacrifices are so sweet. I also liked Georgiana's side story (Lizzie's sister) and loved the nod Mrs. Joyce gave to Austen with her heroine not only being called Elizabeth but nicknamed Lizzie and her likable sister named like Mr. Darcy's younger sister Georgiana.
This book is worth reading time and again and now I will have to buy it so I can lather rinse repeat because I borrowed it from the library.
Posted June 6, 2008
I've read this book three times and every time I read it, it makes me cry. I love this book. It pulls on your heart. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a true romance.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2008
This is one of the best romance novel I've read. It has everything and it keeps you enthralled. Brenda Joyce has so much passion and the storyline is excellent. The book evokes so many emotions. This is just wonderful writing. It is a part of her De Warenne Dynasty SeriesWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2006
I LOVE THIS BOOK! This was my 1st Brenda Joyce novel & now I'm sold! Its was slow at 1st but once it pick up steam, It started rollin like a freight train! I couldn't put it down the 1st time I read it. By the end, I wanted to jump in the book & give Lizzie a hug! She went thru so much for the love of Tyrell & Ned. It was refreshing to see that those types of people & love still exist even if only in writing. My mom's favorite author is Jayne Ann Krentz & now, I have found mine!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2006
I for one loved this book. I haven't read any other of her books yet, but I'm assuming it will be as good, or even better than The Masquerade! But the tittle doesn't match the entire book. Only in the beginning does it match. But to me the tittle didn't matter, she got me into the book and kept me there until I finished it, and me finishing a book within a month is good for me, I'm not the kind of person to read, so I give props to Brenda.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.