Friday, February 21, 2014

Once Upon A Masquerade by Tamara Hughes

The Basics:
Once Upon A Masquerade by Tamara Hughes
Entangled: Scandalous
Published February 10, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I love the cover, and I love the Cinderella story concept. 


New York City, 1883 
A Prince Charming meets his match...

Self-made shipping magnate Christopher Black first spies Rebecca Bailey at a masquerade ball and is captivated by her refreshing naivete and sparkling beauty. She's a stark contrast to the hollow behavior of the ton and the guile of his former fiancee, but the closer he gets to her secrets, the further she pushes him away. 

A Cinderella with a secret...

Rebecca is drawn to the charismatic Christopher from the first, but she cannot risk him discovering that she is really a housemaid impersonating an heiress. Her father's life depends on it. 

A Happily Ever After that could never be...

When Christopher's investigation of the murder of his best friend leads him straight to Rebecca, he fears his ingenue may be a femme fatale in disguise. Now he must decide if he can trust the woman he's come to love, or if her secrets will be his downfall. 

My thoughts:

This one was an enjoyable bit of fluffy romance, a bit of Cinderella with a dark twist.

Rebecca's a captivating young woman, formerly of the upper crust of New York, but fallen on hard times following the death of her mother and her father's collapse. She's had to support him, working as a maid and trying to cover his gambling debts. When they catch up with him, Rebecca's left scrambling for a plan.

Rebecca allowed herself to be pushed around by another one of the maids, which I found a little irritating. She was talked into a plan of action - namely masquerading as an eligible, wealthy young woman so she could borrow money to cover her father's latest debt. I wanted her to  pause at some point and say - whoa, is this really the best plan? And maybe it was, but it would have been nice for her to really stop and consider all the angles. 

Christopher is a little muddled as he flirts with the idea that Rebecca might be a murdereress and then flirts with Rebecca. His determination to solve his friend's murder was admirable. I also enjoyed his eccentric friend, who injected a little humour into the story.

Overall, I enjoyed the book but I didn't find it overly memorable. It was a suitable lazy afternoon read, but I didn't find it lingering on in my mind once I finished it.  

Bottom line:

Once Upon a Masquerade takes the Cinderella story and steeps it in murder and lies. The romance still manages to dominate, and I think it's a fine book for a rainy day or a quiet afternoon. Fun, sweet, but nothing to really stick with you.

*At the time of this post, Once Upon a Masquerade is on sale for 99 cents - I think it's well worth it at that price.

4 stars
For fans of historical romance, Cinderella stories, lack of communication plots


  1. Very curious about this one because of Cinderella plot and historical romances, think I will wait to see more reviews on it thought. Not sure how I feel about her being pushed around.

  2. I love the cover of the book, and the plot sounds like fun. Glad you enjoyed it. :)