July 13, 2016

Fresh from the Bookshelf: An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter {Book Review}

Historical fiction is my favorite genre. Lately, I prefer the "clean" style of Christian Fiction. Fortunately, this is an area where there are THOUSANDS of historical fiction options. The regency era is a special favorite of mine with the lords and ladies, debutantes, incredible wardrobes, and fancy balls galore. An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter put me right in the middle of this delightful setting, and I was happy to review it for NetGalley.

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About An Elegant Facade

An Elegant Facade is book two in the Hawthorne House series by Kristi Ann Hunter. This book picks up before the events of book one have completed, so there is some overlap as Georgina's story is told. Lady Georgina Hawthorne is the younger sister of Lady Miranda Hawthorne from book one (A Noble Masquerade). Georgina is young lady ready to kick off her debut season and has worked tirelessly to be labeled an "incomparable" and is ready snag herself an earl at the first London ball. Everything rides on
her making a good match, because she is hiding what she feels is a shameful secret, and if anyone found out--well, her well crafted world and image would come crashing down. She's confident that everything will go as planned...until she meets Colin McCrae...moneyed, but heir to nothing and completely out of the question. He annoys her because, not only do they keep running into each other, but he seems to be seeing what she's trying to hide from the world and even her family, the REAL Georgina.

My Thoughts on the Book

Because the An Elegant Facade overlaps A Noble Masquerade, I was wracking my brain trying to remember the events and characters from the first book, and discovered, I HADN'T read it. Fortunately, there is enough references in this book to carry you through...but I very very much feel the need to go back and read A Noble Masquerade to tie everything together. So, I DO think it would be wise to read book #1 before attempting this one or you will feel drug along for the ride without knowing all that's going on.

Georgina was a very interesting character and it was intriguing to see how the author dealt with Georgina's "shameful secret", something that is actually very common in today's world. I won't spill it, so that you can still enjoy discovering it on your own. Considering the time period, I think the author did well portraying WHY Georgina was so worried about it being discovered, because it really WOULD have been a big deal back then. Georgina had a lot of insecurities and they actually kept her from having a deep meaningful relationship with God. So watching her grow as the book continues was very satisfying. 

I felt much more satisfied with Georgina, than Colin, but I think that is simply because Georgina was just more...interesting. Colin was a good character and a great match to Georgina because of his naturally observant nature. He too went through some growth as he attempts to reconcile with his family through the course of the book. He wasn't "empty", he was just not as exciting. LOL.

I give An Elegant Facade a solid 3-1/2 rating. It was interesting and a good story with developed characters. I would give it four stars, EXCEPT it doesn't stand on its own and I really think you need to read book #1 in the series to completely understand the characters. Why does this earn a 1/2 star less? Well the author states in her notes before the story begins, that if a reader has discovered An Elegant Facade without reading book one, that the book will be just as enjoyable without having prior knowledge of characters or events. And I don't agree. Having to read this one without knowing the plot/characters in A Noble Masquerade, was just too much for me. LOL. I like my series in order! 
An Elegant Facade
by Kristi Ann Hunter
ISBN #978-0764218255
Available in Kindle and Paperback

***
An Elegant Facade was a lovely read, and introduced me to to a new author. I look forward to backing up and reading not only book #1 in the series (A Noble Masquerade), but I also discovered a FREE novella to go with the series A Lady of Esteem (which is actually the prequel) and book #3 in the series An Uncommon Courtship (released January 2017).

Professional Reader