More Than a Masquerade

More Than a Masquerade
by Adele Clee

My review:

“More Than a Masquerade” is also far more than an ordinary historical romance novel. Author Adele Clee has created this second book in the ‘Ladies of the Order’ in keeping with the high standards all of her books meet … there is mystery and danger, clever dialogue and subtle humor, fast-paced action and slow-burn passion. It’s all so beautifully written that every scene comes brilliantly to life in your imagination as you read.

Rachel has narrowly escaped death more than once and has had to survive in terrifying conditions. Recruited by Lucius Daventry to join one of his organizations as a female enquiry agent, Rachel is told that she must prove her worth to a potential new client. She will have to do so by successfully completing certain mysterious tests that client will have for her. Eli, the client, is a dangerously ominous man with a mysterious past of his own. The only person in the world he does trust at all is Daventry. Even though Eli reluctantly does agree to test and consider Rachel, he has no intention of hiring her for the job. After having been grievously betrayed by a beautiful woman, he’ll never trust another one. He needs a woman with a brilliant mind, an ability to decipher codes, and the bravery to suss out a traitor. What are the odds that the woman who can do all that is also one that sets his blood on fire? Well, the odds don’t matter because he’s definitely not going to hire Rachel. Right?  Of course, he does end up hiring her, and they are swept into overlapping circles of deceit, intrigue, mayhem and murder.

The layers and clues in this story are so beautifully constructed that I don’t want to take any chances of revealing too much; you simply have to read this story and experience it for yourself as the author intended. The plot is somewhat complicated but it’s so well-written that it never gets confusing. The secondary characters do a lot to bring the setting and the story to life. They include key people from the lives of both Rachel and Eli, which sheds light on their respective pasts and helps illuminate their present situations. Lucius Daventry is running more than one secret organization, and he seems to have some serious matchmaking skills on the side as well. It seems clear who the next book in the series will be about, and I’m already excited about it!

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