In this contemporary classic romance from bestselling women's fiction author Emilie Richards, a young woman finds she can run, but even a talented mask maker can't always hide.
Bethany Walker loves her new life in the New Orleans French Quarter with her young daughter Abby and Life's Illusions, the shop where she sells her extraordinary feathered masks. Only memories of Abby's father Justin Dumontier, the man who vanished from her life before her daughter's birth, cast shadows over Louisiana's bright sunshine.
Now one morning as carnival season begins and her work load increases, Bethany glances up to find Justin gazing at her. Hiding herself and the child he doesn't know about is no longer an option. She may have kept their baby a secret, but four-year-old Abby is all too clearly his.
Justin is furious that Bethany has hidden his daughter, but reluctantly, he begins to understand. Their romance was brief and passionate, but Justin kept his feelings locked deep inside him until Bethany was gone without a trace. Now she is no longer an innocent college student, reaching out for his love, but an independent woman who has made a life for herself and their child with hard work and sacrifice. Bethany wants nothing material from wealthy Justin, and Justin doesn't know how to give his heart.
Fate has reunited them, but so much stands between them still. Like one of Bethany's masks, will the painful events that separated them forever disguise what they feel? Or will they at last find a way to reveal what each of them needs most?
Mardi Gras day, a time to fling away inhibitions, is fast approaching. During carnival season in New Orleans, almost anything seems possible. Even love.
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About the Author
Emilie is a multiple finalist for the RITA from Romance Writers of America, and a RITA winner. Romantic Times magazine has given her multiple awards, including one for career achievement. Emilie regularly appears on bestseller lists including the USA Today list and several of her books have been made into television movies in Germany with many more to follow.
Emilie lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She travels frequently to speak to readers groups and to promote her work. She is an avid gardener and quilter and the mother of four children, whom she regards as her greatest creative endeavors.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Unmasking grabbed my attention and didn't let it go until the last page was read. Bethany is living in New Orleans with her young daughter and has a chance meeting with Justin, who was her whole world until they parted a few years earlier. Both of them do some soul-searching as they spend time together in the exciting weeks leading up to the Mardi Gras celebration. Emilie Richards fans will enjoy this story with its intriguing New Orleans backdrop.
This classic romance from 1985 takes you to mid-80s New Orleans when it nears the festive Mardi Gras. It is about the lives of Bethany Walker at the age of 26 as a mask and head piece maker, her four-year-old daughter, Bethany, and Justin Dumontier, a 32-year-old attorney whose home is New Orleans, but who lives and works in Chicago. Bethany and Justin met five years prior in Florida and had a short, passionate summer relationship that resulted in Abby. Due to her own reasons and circumstances, Bethany kept Abby a secret from Justin. They meet again when Justin temporarily returns to New Orleans to do some work at his newly deceased father's law firm. Justin realizes that Abby is his daughter and does not know how to deal with it. As to one of my favorite characters, I truly admired and loved Louise, Justin's mom. I had tears in my eyes when she and her granddaughter met each other. Emotionally charged, the author takes you through fears, stubbornness, passion, tears, anger, trust, status differences, and humor. Support is huge from Bethany's friends Madeline and Lamar, and from Justin's mother, Louise. Abby is a truly delightful little girl. While reading this story, I learned a lot about the festivities that take place prior to and during Mardi Gras, with all the different krewes who organize parades, and got drawn into the mask making, the costumes, the food, the music, and the Cajuns. I really enjoyed this book, and since I have been to New Orleans several times, I was brought back to the partying French Quarter and the magnificence of St. Charles Avenue, but this time, with a newly enriching visit.
Put New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and Emilie Richards together, and you are sure to find a winner. This book has a strong heroine in Bethany. We have love lost and found, redemption and hope. All elements for a good romance. As they say in French, Laissez les bone temps router, in the city of New Orleans