The Layered Mask by Sue Brown

Title:  Layered Mask

Series:   The Masquerade Trilogy 01

Reviewer’s note:  This trilogy is comprised of three stand alone novella.  I have labeled them in chronological order only for clarity.

Author:  Sue Brown

Genre:   Historical – Regency

Length: Novella

Publisher:  Silver Publishing (February 3, 2012)

Heat Level:  Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:  Threatened by his father with disinheritance, Lord Edwin Nash arrives in London for one season to find a wife. While there, Nash discovers he is the lamb, the sacrifice of the society matrons, to be shackled to one of the girls by the end of the season.

During a masquerade ball, Nash hides from the ladies vying for his attention. He is discovered by Lord Thomas Downe, the Duke of Lynwood. Nash is horrified when Thomas calmly tells him that he knows the secret that Nash had hidden for years and that he sees through the mask that Edwin presents to the rest of the world.

What will happen when the time comes for Edwin to return home with a suitable bride?

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Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Lord Downe is not quite a confirmed bachelor.  As heir to one of England’s oldest and richest titles, he knows that some day he will have to find a wife and “do his duty.”  Edwin has never partaken of manlove, but he knows women do nothing to spark his carnal nature.  He also knows that as his father’s only son, he must “do his duty.”

This is definitely historical romance done right.  Sue Brown brings the madness of the ton to life brilliantly, as she has Downe courting Edwin.  And whether he knew it or not…that is exactly what he was doing.  Morning rides, secret conversations, and stolen kisses, all lead up to some hot bedroom action.

Due to their stations in life, neither man is free to follow his heart.  But, neither are they willing to let each other go.  I found it fascinating to learn how a man found ways to be together in a time when loving another man could get you killed.

This story is beautifully crafted.  There were a few tense moments there at the end, where all hope seemed lost.  But, the final solution was brilliant (if not a tad convenient.)  Highly recommend.

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