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Masquerade by Nancy Moser, Barbara Caruso

They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...

1886. Charlotte Gleason embarks from England with conflicting emotions. She is headed for New York to marry one of America's wealthiest heirs--a man she has never even met. When her doubts gain the upper hand, she swaps identities with her maid Dora. She wants a chance at "real life," even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. But what begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl becomes a test of survival beyond her blackest nightmare.

For Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She is thrust into a fairy tale amid ball gowns and lavish mansions, yet is tormented by the possibility of discovery--and humiliation. And what of the man who believes she is indeed his intended? Is this what her heart truly longs for?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449830397
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 08/18/2010
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)

About the Author

Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and seventeen novels, including Mozart's Sister, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, has traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in various theaters. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home near Kansas City.

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Masquerade 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Gleason is a wealthy and spoiled young woman whose world changes when her father bring shame and financial ruin to his family. Dora Connors is Charlotte's maid since they were both thirteen. Their relationship borders on friendship withheld from all its benefits because of social boundaries. But all that changes when Charlotte, accompanied by Dora, is sent to America to marry a very wealthy heir. But upon arriving, Charlotte decides to switch places with Dora. The masquerade begins. I thoroughly loved reading this book. I liked the premise, and I felt the author was able to pull it off well. In some aspects, this novel reminded me of a Jane Austen book. It is character-driven and full of events that kept me guessing until the end to see how it would all turn out. Both Charlotte and Dora are likable characters. Their personal growth (mainly because of their changed circumstances) as the story progressed was the impetus that kept me loving every page I read. I especially enjoyed the Italian immigrant Scarpelli family, since my relatives, grandparents and parents are immigrants who carved a life in America and Canada. The Italian phrases brought a smile to my face, and I appreciated the author's research of what life was like for many immigrants when they first arrived in America. It made me look back on my family with admiration for leaving everything behind to start anew in a strange land. The ending came a little too quickly (maybe because I was enjoying the book so much) and I felt the romantic involvements weren't fully developed. Both Charlotte and Dora's love interests were men I would have liked to know better. So few words were exchanged between Dora and Edmund that it left me craving for more. However, since the main focus of the book is not really romance, this is but a minor setback, and as I said I loved reading this book. The story explores friendship, the value of honesty and finding one's purpose in life. It is filled with vivid scenes that would allow for a great transition to the movies. No doubt about it, Nancy Moser has made it on my list of favorite authors.
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Masquerade by Nancy Moser is inspiring and moving historical fiction about Gilded Age New York. Charlotte Gleason has lived all of her nineteen years in blissful ignorance of the troubles of the world around her. Spoiled by her parents, she has beautiful clothing,a group of well-heeled wealthy friends, and servants to care for her every need, especially personal maid, Dora who has been her best friend since she was twelve. When her parents face scandal and a reduction in their finances they order her to New York to marry into the noveau riche Tremaine family to secure her future. Aboard the ship to America with Dora, Lottie rebels against their plan and determined to marry only for love, she switches places with Dora. Dora will become Charlotte and marry Conrad Tremaine, and Lottie will seek her fortune in the city. Her dreams of adventure are quickly shattered and she is forced to face abject poverty and homelessness, but how can she take away Dora's chance at happiness? Both young women must determine if they can build a future on a lie. Moser's writing is always intelligent and engrossing, and this novel has far more depth than the cover reveals. Lottie discovers what really matters to her and that she will only achieve her dreams by relying on God, while Dora must choose between marriage to a good man who is wealthy beyond her dreams or a man whose trust she has destroyed but fills her heart. But it's more than a romance, it's a story of woman discovering themselves and learning what real hardship means. It's a historical romance with intelligence and heart and faith.
Lupa More than 1 year ago
Masquerade starts off like any girls typical dream. A girl, about to marry one of America's wealthiest heirs. The only downside is that she has never met this man. I absolutely loved this book. The way the author crafts such a tale takes a typical situation from the 1800's and twists it in such a way that a reader cant help but keep reading. My favorite character was Dora just because she represented someone who was thrown into every girls dream. She got to live in the fairy tale, even if it wasn't for long. I loved the way Moser crafted the friendship between the two girls. This book was one that made me feel what Charlotte was feeling. What she is forced to do makes you feel bad for her to an extent where you feel like you are experiencing it yourself. I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in historical novels. It is truly a fairy tale twisted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not one of my favorites. Lottie Gleason and her maid Dora Connors travel to America to meet Lottie's fiancee. During their travel Lottie decides to switch places with her Dora. The characters were realistic but were not very interesting. The plot was pretty interesting but at times it does become boring. Overall, this book is okay but like I said it is not one of my favorites. I recieved this book from Bethany House Publishers and expressed my true opinions.
Sneezybee23 More than 1 year ago
At the age of 19, Charlotte "Lottie" Gleason is spoiled, rich and nearly engaged to Conrad Tremaine, the son of a wealthy merchant in America. Lottie openly acknowledges that she likes her self-centered lifestyle, but desires true love over an arranged marriage to a wealthy young man. When Lottie and her maid, Dora Connors, travel from Wiltshire to America for the purpose of Lottie meeting Conrad, Lottie convinces Dora to swap places with her. Lottie will go to Dora's distant family relation and Dora will masquerade as Charlotte Gleason. But the plan does not go as smoothly as Lottie anticipated and soon Lottie is destitute with no job and no family. All of the sudden, marrying Conrad Tremaine and all of his money does not sound like such a bad idea. But what about Dora? Does she truly love Conrad Tremaine? What will become of her and Conrad if her true identity is revealed? Overall, Masquerade was an entertaining book to read. The plot moved at a good pace and some of the twists were pleasantly unexpected. The depictions about the lives of the immigrants and the poor class of people were intriguing and seemed realistic. However, I did not like the character of Lottie Gleason from beginning to end. I suppose that in the beginning, she is not meant to be likeable, but even as she went through her change of heart, I still did not like her. As she was one of the main two characters, this meant that a substantial amount of the book was about her. On the other hand, Dora, Conrad, Sven, Dr. Greenfield and the Scarpellis were very likeable and entertaining. This is, of course, a personal preference about characters. I would not discourage anyone from buying the book based on this, but I would suggest renting it from the library first. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review 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."
Jennifer_Bonds More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Gleason is a woman that has lived the life of luxury in England with her family. Her father announces that she will be sent to New York to marry one the richest heirs whom she has never met and knows nothing about. Charlotte rebukes and tries to get out of the planned wedding but her father will have nothing of it. Little does she know, her family is in danger of losing their high status in society and this is why her father is so anxious to send her away and get her married to someone that can continue to give her the life that she is accustomed to living. Charlotte is not one those women that want her life planned out for her. She wants to marry for love and she wants to learn about life on her own, something that she has not been able to do while living at home with her parents. Dora is Charlotte's maid. She goes along with Charlotte on her journey to America. On the way, Charlotte comes up with a grand plan to switch identities with Dora so that she can go and discover herself and get the experiences in life that she would never be able to do if she marries this man. Dora has the opportunity to live a life that she has always been around but never got to experience. She is dressed in the beautiful gowns and feels like a true princess. Life for Charlotte doesn't turn out quite like she expected. Immediately upon getting to New York and separating from Dora, her whole plan is changed before her very eyes. She gets new experiences, but not the ones she had hoped for. Charlotte struggles with whether she should she go and claim her spot as the true Charlotte Gleason or should she continue on, not knowing what may happen to her life as she knows it. This is a wonderfully told story that took me back to an era of time that is completely different to the life I am use to. I could not put this book down. Nancy Moser did a wonderful job of creating these characters and putting together a story that you could actually imagine the lives of these women in their struggles and journeys into two completely new lives. I would definitely recommend this book as a great read. Masquerade was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers free of charge for review purposes only. The opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.
onedesertrose More than 1 year ago
It's 1886 England. Charlotte Gleason's life as a wealthy socialite's daughter will end if she stays in England for reasons unrelated to her own doings. Her father and mother have 'arranged' for her to marry Conrad Tremaine, son and heir of one of the wealthiest men in America and the owner of Tremaine's Dry Goods store, a five-story building in New York City which encompasses an entire city block. A strong-minded Charlotte decides she wants to marry 'for love,' not wealth and society. The Tremaines, however, presumptuously send two, first-class tickets for the steamship Etruria. Dora Connors has been Charlotte's personal maid for more than seven years. When Charlotte's mother is taken ill, Dora is assigned to accompany Charlotte to NYC as her friend. The steamship ride alone is a great story, but it's only the half of it. True to her self-centered nature, Charlotte convinces Dora to take her place as the bride-to-be of Conrad, while Charlotte (Lottie) seeks to make life happen her own way once they arrive in America. Dora becomes Charlotte Gleason, and Charlotte becomes Lottie Hathaway. Circumstances change in a hurry, leaving Lottie alone and abandoned. Her 'half-prayers' remind her of God's promise 'to watch over her.' Dora (now Charlotte Gleason), on the other hand, is drenched in the luxury of society's elite at the Tremaine's, albeit living in angst of being 'discovered' and thus humiliated. Masquerade was a very insightful read. It takes you on a disturbing distinction that distinguishing the elegantly rich socialites and the poor, 'the haves' and the 'have-nots' through the role-reversals of the young ladies, that were initially meant to find Charlotte her ideal plans for her life in America. Reminiscent of The Prince and the Pauper, with a little Gone With The Wind verbiage, Masquerade has deeper spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical consequences when both young women choose to deliberately deceive. Sir Walter Scott's "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive'. becomes a truism to be dealt with. The depiction of the poor in America in 1886 appears to be as horrific as today's homelessness. The poor that Jesus is ever so aware of and wants us to care for, both physically and spiritually. With roles reversed, will the young ladies "find" themselves? Make it on their own? Or will they metamorph into the young ladies God intended them to be? To add to the pleasure of the book, the author delineates the actual historical data that she based her novel on, along with pictures of some gowns worn during that time frame. This book was provided free by Jim at Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
This may be my new favorite Nancy Moser historical book. I still love John 3:16 the most but for historicals this book is fantastic. It is like an updated version of the prince and the pauper but it is beautifully crafted and a pure pleasure to read. I actually thought that it might bore me a little since it was similar in tale to an old story, but I was sorely mistaken. It is brilliantly written with incredible characters and I read the entire book in about a day... I just couldn't put it down. Nancy is a master of historical fiction and has proven that time and again. Masquerade just confirms it all over again - absolutely wonderful.
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Creative_Critique More than 1 year ago
This was my first historical (somewhat romance) book I read. I mostly pick up contemporary literature. I think this was a great book as an introduction to a new genre. As from reading the other posts, one can see what the plot is and how the characters are. I can honestly say I enjoyed the budding and complex relationship I had with Lottie. You like her, and then you don't - you pity her, and then you won't. As in agreement with some of the other posts, I think that Nancy Moser could have drawn you into the male figures a little bit more - though I thought she did a good job with Lottie's father. I would recommend this book as a first read to see if one is interested in this genre. Because of Nancy Moser, and her writing style - I decided to pick up a few more historical romances!
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book for 3 reasons: 1) I was intrigued by the title. Masquerade. Which means "a disguise" or "to assemble in masks". This is a perfect word to describe the action between the two young ladies in the book. 2) The cover art drew me in. I enjoy reading about the Victorian Era and the Gilded Age, which is what the beautiful dress spoke to me as. 3) A plot where a maid blissfully switches into the mistress, and the heiress mistress becomes commonplace? Certainly! Now that I've read it, my original excitement has waned. Sure, it is a great story, but hasn't turned into a favorite of mine. The author did write this book with a Christian theme... YES! I'm very thankful for that. Without the knowledge of Charlotte turning to God for help in her troubles, I don't think I could have enjoyed the book as much. The train of thought that carried through to the end of the book was quite believable. The emotions that both Charlotte (mistress) and Dora (maid) maintained throughout each of their stories was right on track as they each adjusted to their new settings. Other things I immensely appreciated about the story include the trip across the ocean from England to America. I have such a fascination for ships, and the accurate descriptions met my approval. I also loved reading the descriptions of the dresses and finery. It's the Victorian Era, and everything is decked out to its utmost for the rich society people. Yet, at the same time, I feel that when introduced to the slum areas of New York, the author was able to capture an authentic feeling of destitution and homelessness. May I also say, introducing Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Vanderbilt into the plot. Bravo! Well done! Two important ladies in American history. I was pleasantly surprised by their appearances. To go along with this statement, there is so much history packed into this book, I am amazed at the volume of research it must have taken to piece the details together correctly. There are definitely some plot twists. I think I'm still unsettled as to whether I can fully embrace these twists or not. A couple incidences seemed just a bit too "coincidental". In all the thousands of apartments that the doctor could have entered, he "just happened" to arrive at the exact one that would progress the story forward---which, by no logic should he have been led there---and there was another similar occurrence later on. Perhaps this isn't a defect in the writing, but I still am unsure how it happened so randomly to work out like that. Notes: My least favorite parts of the story included the rumors of Charlotte's father being involved with another woman. In fact, part of this folly is one of the reasons why the rest of the plot came to be. Also, Charlotte is quite a flirtatious young woman herself. It is explained in the book that with this being the way she had been trained to act socially, it is the only way she knows of how to speak with male figures to get her way. Not my favorite things to read of in a book, but, it worked out in the end. Overall, I did so enjoy reading "Masquerade". It really is the historical details and accuracies that saved it for me.
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songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
The premise of this story was good and had great potential.I found myself losing interest though when some less than intelligent decisions were made. I liked it up until close to the end. It did keep me reading. It just did not seem to fall into place for me. I did not like the ending very well either.
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