Monday, March 26, 2018

Book Review: "Unmasked by the Marquess" by Cat Sebastian

Full disclosure: I received a free advance reader copy of this book in my work as a librarian and in exchange for an honest review.

I have been following Cat Sebastian's career with interest since her first book, "The Soldier's Scoundrel," was published. I had been DYING to read "Unmasked by the Marquess," the first book in the Regency Imposters series, and also her first romance novel that isn't M/M. However, this is far from a traditional romance.

One of the things I love about Sebastian is that she takes romance tropes and makes them fit into LGBTQ stories, and it's on display particularly well here. "Unmasked by the Marquess" follows the grumpy, bisexual Alistair de Lacey, Marquess of Pembroke, who finds himself intrigued by - and maybe falling in love with - a young country squire named Mr. Robert Selby, in London for the Season to see his sister, Louisa, make an adventageous match. However, Selby is actually a former maid named Charity Church, who has been dressing as Robert so long that she really doesn't identify as a woman anymore. It takes the trope of the woman-dressed-as-a-man and makes it far more interesting - and a realistic experience of a non-binary person. 

Because it's Cat Sebastian, it's also funny, sexy, and sweet. Sebastian always has some comedy and a good amount of sexytimes in her books, but there's always an underlying sweetness that leaves me swooning. And, there are also several mysteries to discover as Alistair and Robin (Alistair's pet name for Robert/Charity) slowly reveal themselves to each other throughout the book. It's really an almost perfectly written book, and as much as I've loved all of Sebastian's books (especially "It Takes Two to Tumble," which featured a lot of my particular romance catnips), I think "Unmasked by the Marquess" might be my favorite. 

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