Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.
With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.
But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina’s social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden–and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they’ll be forced to make?
Readers of the Hawthorne House series were first introduced to Lady Georgina in the e-novella, A Lady of Esteem, in which the girl contrived to ruin the relationship between the Marquis of Raebourne and the woman he was courting. In the first full book of the series, A Noble Masquerade, she set her sights on the mysterious Duke of Marshington only to have him fall for her sister. In short, she is determined to make the best match possible and she doesn’t care who she has to hurt in the process. In An Elegant Façade, her newest target is the Earl of Ashcombe. He once courted her older sister, but Miranda rejected him and has warned Georgina against him. Colin McCrae might be her brother’s friend, but he doesn’t have a title and isn’t on Georgina’s list of suitable matches. But he keeps getting in the way of her plans.
If some of this sounds familiar, it’s because it was partially covered in A Noble Masquerade. Kristi Ann Hunter has rewritten some of the scenes from that book to show them from Georgina’s and Colin’s perspectives. At first, it feels like a cop out until you realize it’s like trying to reshoot the final scene of Back to the Future with a new actress playing Michael J. Fox’s girlfriend. Everything has to be exactly the same. You can’t change a spoken line or physical description. So now we start to understand Georgina’s motives, and she starts being more of a sympathetic person. But it isn’t until the new material that her character undergoes transformation as she realizes her true worth.
An Elegant Façade doesn’t have the suspense of A Noble Masquerade but is just as enjoyable. This is a tale of a young woman’s self-discovery in Regency society. We get a glimpse of the pressures women like Georgina must have been under to find a suitable husband. Every aspect of her life had unwritten rules to which she must conform and the slightest misstep could result in scandal and ruin. Both her success and worth depended on how others saw her. Given Georgina’s situation, it’s no wonder she struggled. Thankfully, she found someone on whom she could depend when all else failed.
Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary copy of An Elegant Façade, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read An Elegant Façade? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 05 July 2016
Page Count: 368