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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Masqueraders

Author: Georgette Heyer
Originally Published: 1928
Edition Courtney Read Published: 1965
Publisher: Pan Books
Source: Purchased second-hand

The Story

The MasqueradersFrom the back of the book:

The capricious politics of the eighteenth-century made it necessary for Robin and Prudence Merriot to engage in a charming deception – one which became more and more fraught with danger…

Love and desire, highwaymen and treason, gaming and duelling, clothe this lively tale of high adventure with the flesh and blood of sparkling romance.

The Response

I hate to say it, but this was by far my least favourite of Heyer’s books that I’ve read so far. I wanted to like it! I adore most of her books, and I wanted some seriously wonderful regency romance, but… this book just did absolutely nothing for me.

The characters were shallow and I feel like I didn’t get to know anything about any of them. Especially Prudence and Robin, the two main characters in this book! They were both pretending to be members of the opposite sex and it wasn’t conveyed well enough what they were really actually like when they weren’t playing pretend, or even what they were like when they WERE playing pretend. Instead it felt like the characters kept changing who they were and that there was no consistency at all!

Then their father was just absolutely ridiculous – and not in the way where you enjoy reading about his hijinks. In all honesty, I think he was insane. Completely insane. I have no idea why on earth anyone would go along with his plots, or how he can convince anyone that he is who he wants to be at that particular moment in time. What. The. Heck.

The plot of the story was just plain silly – I’m still not entirely sure WHY Prudence had to pretend she was a boy, and Robin had to pretend he was a girl, other than for it being a total whim of their father’s. And if your father demanded that you travel to a new city in disguise, would you do it? I sure as heck wouldn’t. Also, why did they have to be in disguise while he proved himself who he claimed to be? (Apparently the black sheep of a family, who now that the rest of his family has died, has inherited everything, except everyone thought he was dead as well. Or an impostor.) He talked to everyone about his children, I don’t see why they couldn’t have been around instead of hiding in disguise the whole time.

And how on earth did Sir Anthony figure out that Prudence was really a girl when no one else had even the smallest clue? This would’ve been much more humorous if Sir Anthony fell in love with Prudence while believing she was really actually a boy! (Speaking of which, can anyone recommend some good lgbt regency romances?)

I really wish that I had liked this one, but there was just too much that either didn’t make sense or wasn’t flushed out properly.

The Bottom Line

Bother! I’m not keeping my copy of this book. I really, really hope the other Heyer books on my TBR piles are more enjoyable than this one!

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 5:44 pm May 16, 2014.
Category: Historical Fiction
Book Author(s):

  • Mona (Moxie-Dude)

    Love your honest review :-)

  • Anastasia

    I was SO bored by this book that I DNF’d it somewhere around 40%. I love the idea of cross-dressing heroes/heroines, but the execution was confusing, yup.

    Seconding your request for GLBTQ Regency romance recs! :D