SUMMER MASQUERADE by Donna Ball

SUMMER MASQUERADE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Regency belle Lucretia Arnsworth receives an invitation to spend the summer in Brighton with her mum's old friend Lady Marbrough (who has match-making in mind), and she can't refuse--but she can't go either, since her beau Freddy is about to pop the big question. So Lucretia's poor orphan cousin, saucy Annabelle, goes instead, posing as Lucretia. And she's all set to repel Lady Marbrough's fortune-hunting nephew, Devon Lanson. But soon, of course, Annabelle is falling hard for Devon--who's no fortune-hunter. Devon's obviously attracted, too: ""his firmly molded mouth was only inches above hers. . . ."" Thus, Annabelle's in a tizzy about her false pretenses--especially when she crosses paths with that lecherous rake Bertie Dosset: he knows her secret and will expose her unless she submits to his advances at an upcoming masquerade ball. (Also: the secret may soon come to light because the real Lucretia's about to announce her engagement up in London.) The usual silliness, then--with more junk passion-prose than in many Regencys (""His heart throbbed in urgent counterpoint to her own"") and a distinct shortage of wit.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1982
Publisher: Doubleday