A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House Series #1)

A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House Series #1)

by Kristi Ann Hunter

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Sparkling Regency Romance from a Captivating New Voice

Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother's old school friend, a duke--with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she's heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother's new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men--one she's never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda's heart is far from all that's at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441228857
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Series: Hawthorne House Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 6,674
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.
Kristi Ann Hunter (www.kristiannhunter.com) graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is a RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

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A Noble Masquerade 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Romance, suspense, characters you root for. A satisfying ending. Good story. Usually I avoid books labeled Christian or with God overtures. But this was delightful and the few God references fit - saying a prayer for strength during scary scene, thanking God when finally realize how lucky one is or hearing bible passages after a harrowing adventure. All of it fit with the time and characters without being preachy, heavy-handed or bringing story to screeching halt. It worked . Well done
Anonymous 3 months ago
Super hard to put this one down. It was full of action and everything you want in a romance novel.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I loved this book! I finished it in one day, it was that good! I will be buying more from this author!
Anonymous 12 months ago
I enjoyed this book, it had me staying up late to finish it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Funny with a splash of thrills to keep you turning the page to find out what's next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AndreaBy More than 1 year ago
Miranda despairs of becoming a spinster as her sister Georgina prepares for her debut this coming season. Her brother Griffith’s new valet intrigues her and irritates her at the same time when he mails a letter he shouldn’t have to Duke Marshington. An excellent, attention grabbing story, this one is filled with intrigue, both dangerous and on a personal nature with various characters in the story. Looking forward to more in this series.
CarolJo More than 1 year ago
I have not read the Hawthorne House books in correct order but have enjoyed them very much. Lady Miranda always acts like a lady especially when her mother is present but she wishes for more freedom. She is an excellent leading character. As the second son, Lord Ryland has never wanted to be the duke and have those responsibilities. He is also a strong well-written character. I recommend A Noble Masquerade to others.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I loved Miranda's enthusiasm and spirit! She reminds me of my own four year old- busting full of life and feelings. I could relate to Miranda's mother who is trying her best to teach her daughters the proper behavior for ladies... but I'm just hoping for good manners ;) I liked the angle that the letters brought to the story, where even though Miranda felt compelled to suppress her emotions as a lady, she found an outlet to release them. It was good to see part of the story through Marlow's eyes and the intrigue and mystery he was caught up in. I thought it was interesting that Miranda's discovery of hidden secrets made her fight all the more against what would have seemed like her dreams coming true. There is plenty of action in between the drawing room scenes that made the pace of the book swift, and I was surprised at how much the author was able to fit into one book! There is great chemistry between Miranda and Marlow, and complex family dynamics also come into play with Miranda's relationship with her vain sister and corrective mother, both whom she loves but are wearing on her. It was great to have Amelia from the prequel novella present as her friend and staunch supporter. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this Regency series! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
Love! Yes, I loved this book. I started reading this series with the 2nd book and had to go back and read the first. There is some overlapping and it was so interesting to read this first one knowing what would happen in the second. Miranda's struggle with her heart held me captive. I couldn't wait for her to discover the truth but I was also worried about her reaction, maybe she wouldn't be happy when she discovered what was really going on. I adored Marlow, a hero in every way. Kristi is wonderful author who has written a fabulous series. I can't wait to read the third (soon).
Writer4God More than 1 year ago
This book was not terrible but nor was it incredible. I really enjoyed the first half of it when Miranda was exchanging letters with the duke, but then it took a boring turn as the second half was filled the London season of parties and suitors calling on Miranda and her sister at their home. That may sound exciting to some, but it was just too much of the same ol', same ol' for me. There was some action toward the end and the excitement picked up some, but even so I still found myself becoming a bit bored. It was decently written and all, just too much like other books I have read before. A 3 star rating from me. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
The chemistry between Miranda and her hero is electric, from the very first moment they share a scene together and every moment thereafter that their names appear together. I seriously found myself forgetting to breathe a few times because I was held captive by them being held captive by each others’ gazes. And – spoiler alert – their kisses?? Whew. Break out the fan. And the fainting couch. And keep them handy. But one thing I enjoyed the most about the romance is the humor shared between them. As one of my friends & fellow reviewers said on Goodreads, “Miranda is a hot mess.” Yes, yes she is – delightfully so – and her hero seems to appreciate that about her with a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face. As they would say here in the South – bless her heart, she tries. Her mother’s frequent lessons on being a lady have lodged deeply in Miranda’s awareness, and perhaps she’s trying too hard….but girlfriend is so endearingly full of life that she just can’t be contained by the restrictions of proper expectations. Fortunately, this makes her absolutely perfect for her hero who is yummy and swoonworthy and everything you would want in a Regency hero. Or a contemporary hero. Or, really, a hero from any historical era, for that matter. The more obvious humor in A Noble Masquerade follows Miranda around, but surrounding the hero is this wonderfully droll wit that made me laugh out loud more than Miranda’s unintentional antics did. (A prime example is the line that began this review, said by an associate of the hero’s.) Bottom Line: There are many types of masquerades going on simultaneously in Kristi Ann Hunter’s debut novel – some obvious, and others more subtle. But all of them swirl together in a gorgeously orchestrated waltz that will keep you grinning from cover to cover. Beneath it all, there lies a sweet reminder that “family” can be found in unexpected places even when – especially when – we feel the most alone. A Noble Masquerade is a thoroughly enjoyable Regency romance, full of vivid characters as well as fun and wit and even a good deal of intrigue and suspense. I completely understand why everyone kept insisting I read it, and I’m sure “A lady never is so unfashionably late when reviewing a good book” but it was exceedingly worth the wait. (I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
BethErin More than 1 year ago
Lady Miranda Hawthorne forces herself to conform to polite society's expectations for a proper lady but under her carefully controlled exterior, she's feisty, passionate, energetic, and determined to be loved for herself or not at all. Lady Miranda's free-spirited nature is nearly bursting at the seams. Miranda's complex relationship with Marshington and Marlow, her insecurities surrounding her fourth season, and the bonds she shares with her friends and family make this book hard to put down.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
A delightful historical romantic comedy! This is Kristi Ann Hunter’s debut novel. She has really set a high bar for herself with this one. She does have a prequel novella out that is available in eBook only. The characters are incredibly well developed and easy to connect with. The variety of personalities that are included are very entertaining. Lady Miranda Hawthorne grew up with her mother constantly pulling her aside to give her “lady lessons” in proper conduct. She hated these little lectures because they constantly constrained her very nature and emotions. But they were needed to help her live in “polite” society. Throughout the book when she is struggling with wanting to act one way and knowing it is wrong she “hears” in her own mind her mother’s voice and the “lady lesson” that applies. I found each of these tidbits very amusing. Interspersed through the book is a bit of mystery and intrigue. The book is set in 1812 England and they are currently at war with France. There isn’t much actual talk about the war but it is a backdrop for the story and there is mention of it and how it affects those in high society. Some of the more quirky characters are connected with the danger and intrigue. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Clue Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
A Noble Masquerade is an entertaining book. I totally enjoyed reading about the humor behind the characters and the trouble they could find themselves in. It is not the typical regency romance. This is the first book in the Hawthorne House series. I can not wait to read the next one! I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
RobinWillson More than 1 year ago
Mystery, danger and romance in a historical setting. Christian Historical Romance at its best. Lady Miranda tries to be a Lady and live up to her mother's expectations, but she has a rather wild streak that she likes to indulge. She is very close to her brother though. Having growing pains in this struggle and after four unsuccessful seasons, she decides to write letters to her brother's closest friend, a Duke, whom he speaks highly of - but only to vent and bare her soul, not to really send. These letters are kept in a secret place in her room. But somehow, she starts receiving responses to these letters. After her mortification wears off, she feels close in reality to her former fictional friend. But at the same time she is drawn to her brother's new manservant, which is really against all rules of society. Something mysterious is going on and there is more depth to the story than is apparent on the surface - and something dangerous. The unfolding story is very entertaining and enjoyable to read! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Bethany House Publishers - Netgalley book review bloggers program. 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.” http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.
Cindy-J More than 1 year ago
A passionate lady, a determined spy, a desperate villain Lady Miranda Hawthorne has a passionate nature which she has learned to conceal behind an acceptable ladylike veneer while in polite society. As a catharsis for her true emotions, Miranda pens letters addressed to her oldest brother’s friend, yet she never mails them to this man she has never met. One day Marlow, her oldest brother’s new valet, efficiently collects the letters to be mailed and, unknown to Miranda, includes her latest healing tirade. The letter’s recipient, Ryland Montgomery, Duke of Marshington, responds to Miranda’s inadvertent confessions, thus beginning a lasting correspondence. Miranda longed for a husband and family of her own but sometimes struggled with trusting God for her future. Marlow determined to locate and eliminate the spy ring. Ryland avoided his only remaining blood relatives because of unresolved issues while growing up. These very human struggles made the story true-to-life. But there were other instances, including word choices and phrasing, that I felt were not true to the time period. Also, at one point Miranda and a male were escaping some of the spies and were out overnight together unaccompanied. To be true to the time period, I would have expected Miranda’s brother to insist upon marriage but he didn’t. I loved the idea of this book. The spy-searching-for-the-traitor storyline was intriguing, Miranda and her family were mostly endearing, and Ryland and his generosity with his cohorts was heartwarming. There were parts where I laughed out loud, segments where I cried in sympathy, and portions where I trembled with tension. But sometimes I was also confused; I simply couldn’t follow the logic of the characters. This debut novel by Kristi Ann Hunter was a bit predictable and was not always clear, but it was a pleasurable story to read. I would recommend A Noble Masquerade as a clean, fun novel, and I look forward to finishing the series in the future. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
A Noble Masquerade is Kristi Ann Hunter’s debut novel. I am totally surprised. Hunter is an awesome author, which leaves me wondering, where has she been? I can’t wait to read more from her. When I read the back cover I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the way the story turns out, but I totally did. This book takes us back to a time when who your parents were, determined how your life was going to be. A Noble Masquerade focuses on Miranda and her family during her sisters debut season. Miranda feels plain next to her sister, and is not excited about the upcoming season at all. Seeing things through her sisters’ eyes, Miranda tries to feel some of her sisters’ excitement. Miranda’s mother has taught her to always be a lady, so when things frustrate her she puts pen to paper. She has always looked up to her brother’s best friend even though she has never met him. From the stories her brother told her, she feels that “Marsh” is one that would truly understand her. Because of this, he is the one she writes all of her letters to. Knowing they will never be sent gives Miranda the courage to pour out her heart. When one of them accidentally gets sent Miranda is beside herself with worry. This could ruin her life and make her the laughing stock of everyone. Miranda’s brother recently got a new valet, and he is anything but your average man. Marlow is different than anyone Miranda has ever met, and she can’t help but find him interesting. Marlow is on a mission, and the last thing he needs to do is become attracted to a woman. Miranda hides herself behind a lady like demeanor, but her true self shows through sometimes. It’s the real her that Marlow finds interesting. And because he is just a servant, Miranda doesn’t worry about being perfect around him. You don’t want to miss out on the journey these two embark on. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I can honestly say that this will be a book I will read again. Hunter took me on a wild adventure and I enjoyed every moment of it. I can’t wait to see more of this family and more from Hunter. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Noble Masquerade is the first book I have read by author Kristi Ann Hunter, by I am certain it will not be the last. Book 1 in her Hawthorne House series, this is an enchanting story that I truly loved. I am ready for Book 2...and 3! The author delivered spunky, feisty characters that I became invested in very quickly. Her smooth writing style drew me into a story of intrigue, mystery, action, romance, inspiration, and history. I loved it! The book is set in 19th century England. Traditions, customs, and people were very different at that time but due to the author's historical accuracy and detailed script, I was easily transported into a world of aristocracy, galas, and proper society. From dress details to brewing tea, I found myself immersed in London's 1800 culture of the well to do. It was interesting to read what a proper lady did and did not do. My but times have changed! The book's heroine, Miranda Hawthorne is a woman on the verge of becoming a spinster. Having Griffith, a Duke for a brother is at times a problem for her as is her younger, pretty sister Georgina. Miranda manages to keep things under control with readers entertained, inspired, and pulling for her. Her brother's best friend, The Duke of Marshington, is interesting. He has great morals, is kind hearted, handsome, strong, loyal, and just the perfect guy. Miranda vents to him in letters that she never mails - except accidentally. Secondary characters are as vivid and spicy as the main ones. Once into this book, I found it hard to put down. The author weaves a spell binding tale that has some twists and a few that are predictable. It is inspirational without being too preachy. The book was so well written that I just kept reading and reading. It was hard to put down. I would highly recommend this book. Any historical, romance or inspirational loving reader will enjoy this book. It was rated 5 out of 5 stars by me. A copy of A Noble Masquerade was provided by The Book Club Network for my honest opinion.
LoriP123 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this inspirational historical fiction by Kristi Ann Hunter! Lady Miranda Hawthorne always tries to hold herself to the standards of how a Lady should always behave, but there are times she rather be bold and carefree. As a child she started sharing her true feelings in letters that are addressed to her older brother's friend, but never sent until her brother's valet mistakenly sends one. Duke of Marshington is surprised by the letter because he has never met Lady Miranda, but in a breach of etiquette he answers her letter anyway. They soon form a bond and look forward to receiving letters from each other. During this time Lady Miranda also forms a unique bond with her brother's valet, a man that she soon starts to rely on because of strange things happening at her family's estate. She is not only pulled into situations that may matter to her heart, but also her life. I was given an ARC for an honest review. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
A Noble Masquerade is the first installment of the Hawthorne House series. What an awesome read! It is full of humor, action, mystery, and suspense. I cannot wait to read the next book of the series. 5 plus stars.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
A Nobel Masquerade Hawthorne House By Kristi Ann Hunter Lady Miranda Hawthorne has a secret - she's been secretly corresponding with brother's schoolmate the Duke of Marshington. No one knows that she has been writing these letters and if her mother found out she would tell her "Miranda, a lady never corresponds with a man who is not a family relation." For 12 years this has been her emotional outlet, a means to act the part of a lady and yet let her emotions out without embarrassing her family. But she has never posted a single letter - hiding them away from prying eyes. That is she has never posted one until her brother's new valet comes across one and posts it for her. Miranda will be ruined if word of her breach of social etiquette is revealed. Fortunately the Duke has not been heard from nor seen for nine years, so there is little chance of him receiving her letter. But when a reply is sent Miranda's world is about to crash in around her if this is discovered. How can she ever explain this if her mother, brothers, or sister find out what she has used her precious blue paper for? Griffin's new valet - Marlow is not who he appears to be. Slipping in and out of rooms. Always everywhere it seems. He is searching for something or someone within the Hawthorne Estate and he is very good at what he does. England's war with Napoleonic France has been going on for years and the Duke of Riverton has access to information that could aid the French cause if properly relayed. With the London season about to begin Miranda finds herself torn - she is entering her fourth season while her sister Georgina is about to enter her first. Miranda has never attracted the admiration of the eligible of London, her only draw has been as the sister of the Duke of Riverton. A less than flattering compliment and one that has kept Miranda from accepting any of the offers of marriage that have come her way. And now the eligible are seeking her out to inquire after her sister! Is it any wonder that she seeks a forbidden correspondence with a person she never expects to meet. Lady Miranda doesn't not fit the mold of a perfect refined lady. Yes, she can appear so, but when she is unable to vent her frustrations through pen and paper you don't want to be the person who sets her off! If you love historical fiction, with generous dashes of romance, intrigue, danger, and humor mixed together in one delightful story you have to pick up a copy of A Nobel Masquerade you won't regret the time spent reading! I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Bethany House in exchange for my honest review - which is I loved it!
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Lady Miranda has spent her entire childhood being told how to properly act as a lady. She's now a proper young lady in her third season and is beginning to lose hope of ever finding a husband who will love her. As a young girl she began the practice of writing to a friend of her older brother, named Marsh. It would be highly improper for her to send them, so she uses the letter writing as a cathartic therapy and then hides them in a trunk. But one day the new valet accidentally mails one. What will Marsh think to be receiving a letter from a stranger. But to her horror he replies. And thus begins the most confusing months as Miranda tries to grasp the concept of actually sending letters to Marsh while falling in love with someone highly inappropriate. I'm a huge fan of regency novels. And this one fit the bill perfectly. It has suspense, romance, proper conduct, and faith in God. The characters were entertaining and fit well with the genre. The plot moved quickly and I loved several of the secondary characters. It was a quick read and I was sad to reach the end. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series. I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
From the first page I was hooked! “A lady never…” which lead me to believe in this book I’d discover a lady doing lots of things she shouldn’t! There was mystery and intrigue and scandal yet through it all not only did the lady continue to be herself, she prayed and sought God. This book thoroughly charmed me with its clean romance and regency style villain chasing. I received this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion.