The Perfect Impostorby Wendy Soliman
Struggling to escape her past and make ends meet as a modiste, Katrina Sinclair hopes the daring new wardrobe she's designed for her childhood friend Julianow a marchionesswill attract the business she desperately needs. But Julia's help comes at a price: Katrina must take her place at a house party. They look enough alike/p>/em>
Struggling to escape her past and make ends meet as a modiste, Katrina Sinclair hopes the daring new wardrobe she's designed for her childhood friend Julianow a marchionesswill attract the business she desperately needs. But Julia's help comes at a price: Katrina must take her place at a house party. They look enough alike for the ruse to work...until Julia's handsome former fiancé arrives.
Leo Kincade has been tasked with catching a traitor who steals from house parties to fund Napoleon's armies. Three women are suspectedincluding Julia. But when Leo intercepts her at the party, he finds an impostor who stirs an attraction stronger than anything he felt for Julia.
The mysterious woman shares Leo's interest, even if she won't trust him with her true identity. He should expose her at once, but he's too tempted to play along and see where her deceptionand their passionwill lead...
- Carina Press
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Read an Excerpt
Katrina Sinclair prowled around the Marchioness of Lanarkshire, searching for imperfections in her new walking dress. But no bulging seams, crooked ribbons or misplaced beads had the temerity to offend her eye. The design was daringly innovative, but Julia, never less than forthcoming with her opinions, had yet to remark upon this particular one. And her silence was playing merry hell with Katrina's frazzled nerves.
Had she gone too far? Got it completely wrong? No, she refused to entertain the possibility. Whenever fatigue threatened, excitement and resolve drove her on. If anyone could carry off her styles it was Julia, who set fashions rather than followed them.
Heartened by this thought, Katrina tilted her head, absorbed in the work she loved. Her nerves dissipated as Julia snapped out of her reverie, observed her reflection in the full-length glass and raised one brow in approval.
"A triumph, my dear." She spoke casually, fiddling with an imaginary crease in the skirts as though her verdict was of no great consequence.
"Do you really think so?" Katrina let out the breath she'd been holding as she appraised her friend's figure from every angle. "It's almost right but still lacks something." Her creative mind whirred with further possibilities. Mangling her lower lip between her teeth, she shook her head. "Oh, I do wish I could put my finger on exactly what it is. Perhaps a little more lace on the first flounce would help the skirts to swing more elegantly."
"Oh, whatever you think necessary." Julia waved away Katrina's suggestion. "Don't burden me with details. I'm not nearly clever enough to understand them."
Katrina laughed. "It's me you're talking to, Julia, so your pretence at foolishness won't wash."
"Blast! I was forgetting how easily you see through me."
Satisfied her customer was content to remain still, Katrina continued to worry about the details. She had to get this exactly right. Her entire future depended upon it. Her circumstances were dire, but Julia Dupont possessed the power to change all that with a casual wave of one elegant hand. She could establish Katrina's reputation as a modiste to society's elite and save her from the mire of ever-increasing debt that had taken a stranglehold on her fledgling business.
Her landlord was fast running out of patience. He'd taken to calling to remind her of her obligations. The manner in which he slapped his fat lips together and ran his eyes inappropriately down the length of her body suggested there was more than one way for her to remain solvent. She shuddered. God forbid it should ever come to that.
She suppressed a sigh. All in all, what had once seemed like a modestly attainable ambition was starting to feel like wading through quicksand. She couldn't carry on for much longer, existing upon nothing more than implacable determination and the good will of others.
But Julia could change all that simply by wearing some of her more pioneering designs and making sure they were remarked upon by the people who mattered. Lady Marshall's ball would be the sparkling culmination to the most sought-after of the summer's house parties. The Duchess of Southport was to attend, and invitations were eagerly anticipated by society's elite.
Meet the Author
Wendy Soliman is a British who shares her life with her husband and a rescued dog of indeterminate pedigree. Wendy was brought up on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by historic buildings and lots of water - factors that influenced the historical romances and marine crime mysteries she writes for Carina Press.
Wendy enjoys reading, walking her dog and savouring decent wine.
Visit Wendy's website at http://www.wendysoliman.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I love a story with spies, intrigue, murder, blackmail and great house party. This book has a that and much more. Katrina starts this story as a pushover. She makes beautiful dresses but her shop is in Cheapside. Katrina needs her childhood friend, Julia, to wear her dresses to a famous house party. Julia agrees but has one request of her own, Katrina must in Julia place. They used to switch places as children so Katrina goes with Julia's trusted maid, Celia. Leo is a spy for the crown and his brother, a duke, asked him to go to the house party and catch a jewel thief. Leo takes his trusted valet/best friend, Boscombe, with him. Katrina has to grow up fast because Julia lied to her about everything. Katrina is shocked to see Leo and doesn't know what ended Julia's relationship with him. If she didn't have enough to worry about, Julia's husband shows up. At that moment, Katrina finally gets her big pants on and stands up to Celia and says "SHE WILL NOT SLEEP HIM!" Leo know she isn't Julia but he can't stay away. This story has a unclaimed father, an angry and murderous brother-in-law, great gowns,a jealous unexpected husband, a jealous ex-lover, loyal and indispensable Boscombe and a new and brave Katrina. I give this book 3 fingers up and 8 toes.