Victoria Vale's Masquerade

Title: Masquerade
Author: Victoria Vale
Publisher: Victoria Vale
Published Date: 14th February 2015
Page Count: 144
ASIN: B00QZABE5O  
Price: $0.00
Reviewer: Gwendoline SK Terry (2 May 2019)

Summary
Margaret Seymour is bored by the stifling constraints of society dictating her behavior as a debutante in search of a husband. Her prospects are promising by the standards of London society, yet, not one of them causes her heart to flutter, or her head to fill with scintillating, forbidden fantasies. Those feelings are reserved for Camden Rycroft, Duke of Avonleah—a man who isn’t even aware of her existence.

While attending a scandalous Vauxhall Gardens masquerade, Margaret finds herself in the duke’s arms. His promise of a night of pleasure is tempting, but is it worth it when Avonleah is a known rake notorious for his short attention span and avoidance of marriage?

Camden Rycroft is intrigued by the masked vixen he encounters in the Gardens. After one night with her leaves him hungry for more, his desire for her turns into a fiery obsession. Despite the scandal that could ensue from their affair, he finds himself unable to extract himself from a situation destined to end in pain. When faced with losing Margaret to a potential husband, will he rise to the occasion, or risk living without her?

Review – may contain spoilers!
Masquerade was a freebie on Kindle. Wanting something different to read, I downloaded it (hey, you can’t beat free, right?), and I was impressed.

Masquerade is wonderful little story that was hot and steamy from the very start. Erotic romance and Regency are not genres I read often, only the odd book here and there, but I liked ‘Masquerade’ immensely. An Amazon freebie, I downloaded it out of curiosity and ended up enjoying it so much I read it in one sitting. I will definitely be searching out more Victoria Vale novels.

Maggie, the heroine, is engaging, likeable and easy to empathise with. Vale kept her believable, for instance although she is a virgin, Maggie has heard enough to be filled with sexual curiosity, and when Maggie has her chance to break away from societal expectations and live out her fantasies, she takes full advantage – as we all would, I’m sure.

Camden met all my expectations of the roguish male lead. He is handsome, witty and desireable, every bit the romance rake. One of the things I really enjoyed was his inclination toward using a condom during each lovemaking session. It really stood out to me – I liked Vales’ recognition of safe sex, something I find is usually forgotten about in romance novels (or perhaps I’m reading the wrong books. :P).

The only issue I could say I had with the story is the speed at which Maggie and Camden fell in love. I’m sure this is probably a usual occurrence I’m not common with due to my lack of experience with this genre but I’m not a fan of whirlwind romances. They met, they had gorgeous sex, they snuck around together for a few days having yet more gorgeous sex, then a few weeks later they’re in love and married. I like to see a bigger build up – see the ups and downs of the characters, find the flaws in the them, and watch the couple evolve together – but again, this was a short story so …

All in all, Masquerade is very well written and very sexy. A great read, I would recommend it.