Cover Image: Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey

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Member Reviews

Really enjoyed the Gothic/ murder mystery vibes. The h/H relationship was good and I thought the story developed well. This was my first book by Abigail Wilson and I really liked her writing style. An enjoyable easy read. Would be fun to read around Halloween!!

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the arc. All opinions are my own.
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Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey has everything a gothic novel should , suspense , swoony romance , highwaymen , mysterious characters , and murder ! 

Abigail Wilson has certainly gained a new fan in me ! I thoroughly enjoyed this immersive , rollicking adventure !
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While traveling to her new position as housekeeper for a friend, Elizabeth Cantrell and her son Isaac were accosted by a highwayman, and the coach in which they were riding was destroyed. Once Elizabeth regained consciousness, she found herself in a bedroom with the said highwayman, who turned out to be Adrian, Lord Torrington, who was a spy for the British crown. In order to avoid any improprieties, Lord Torrington proposed marriage, and as Elizabeth had few options because of the circumstances surrounding her son’s birth, she agreed. The journey to Middlecrest Abbey was uneventful, but after Lord Torrington’s announcement of his marriage, strange things began to happen. His eldest daughter, Juliana, had her own wedding mere days away, and her young man was inexplicably murdered before the marriage could take place. Elizabeth assists Adrian in gathering clues and speaking with the staff, but it seems everyone at Middlecrest has secrets they need to keep.

Set in 1815, at a time when an unwed mother would have been a terrible scandal, I applauded Elizabeth for keeping her son and doing her best to protect him, even to the point of not informing her new husband that her son was also his nephew. The intrigue brought about by Adrian’s spy assignments, the murder, and the clues surrounding it made for a satisfying read. I enjoyed my time at Middlecrest and plan to seek out more from this author.
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An inspirational romance with a little intrigue. Perfect for lovers of historical fiction. I found this book to be engaging and the perfect distraction.
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I love the mystery Abby bring to her historical romance novels. You will be hooked until the very end.
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A very well written regency romance/ mystery.  I received an ebook from the publisher and Netgalley and this is my unbiased review.
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Abigail Wilson quickly became an addition to my list of must-read authors, and this is my favorite of her books yet! After Elizabeth Cantrell is mistakenly accosted on the road by Lord Adrian Torrington, their marriage of convenience quickly lands Elizabeth and her young son Isaac in the middle of a dangerous plot unfolding in the shadows of Middlecrest Abbey.

The mystery was deliciously Gothic, the atmosphere perfectly creepy and the romance a slowly burning with plenty of sparks flying. I couldn’t stop turning pages as new clues were discovered and answers lurked just around the next corner.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Romance, espionage, intrigue, mystery!  This story had it all.  Elizabeth is a young unwed mother who is held up by a highwayman. Lord Torrington is a spy posing as a highwayman who inadvertently holds up the wrong coach.  To protect his cover, and reputation, he whisks Elizabeth to his estate with the intention of marriage.  Unbeknownst to him, he is the uncle of Elizabeth's son.  This makes for a riveting read.
Thank you Abigail Wilson, Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for allowing me an advance copy for my honest feedback.
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This was my first book by this author and I was really impressed. 

Thoroughly enjoyed this book! I would label it a romantic mystery, heavy on the mystery. I loved the characters a lot and will read more from this author. Not steamy but I was still satisfied at the end.
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In this new Regency romance, a young unwed mother must protect her heart from the charms of her convenient new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life.
A tale of romance and intriguing characters this story is not to be missed.
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There’s no doubt that Abigail Wilson knows how to create atmosphere with her words, particularly the kind of Gothic atmosphere that seems to pair so well with a Regency setting. Unfortunately, I felt as though this story didn’t have the substance to do her words justice. Notwithstanding the dramatic opening and the fact that there’s a murderer to find, there wasn’t anything mysterious or sinister about any of the characters, particularly the hero, Torrington. I had my suspicions about who the culprit was early on, and although the overall picture turned out to be bigger than I originally guessed, there was a kind of inevitability about it that sucked the marrow out of the story.

As mentioned, Wilson makes good use of descriptive writing, however the dialogue, and even the narrative at times, was too on the nose for me, particularly for a novel that’s trying to create an air of mystery and suspense. There were also times when the phrasing pulled me out of the novel, for example obvious Americanisms such as “I hadn’t even considered what all she might apprise me of,” and oddly enough, obvious Heyerisms, such as the exclamation “’Pon rep!” It felt a bit…affected to me—jarring rather than authentic—but maybe that’s just me?

The other thing that was disappointing for me was the lack of any chemistry between the hero and heroine, which made it difficult to become invested in them as a couple. Readers who are looking for atmospheric writing and a bit of mystery will get the most enjoyment out of this novel.
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Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey was my first book by Abigail Wilson, and it will not be my last as fans of Julie Klassen have found another great author. Elizabeth Cantrell is starting over with a new life in a new location as she is an unwed mother. On her journey to her new home, her carriage is attacked, and the highwayman ends up proposing marriage to save her reputation and to keep his spy mission secret. The highwayman is not your typical criminal but really Lord Torrington who just happens to be the brother of the baby's father. Add in a murder and a few other surprising twists, and you have a great novel!
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I do love a marriage of convenience that is done well.

Elizabeth was on her way to accept a position as a housekeeper when her carriage was accosted by a highwayman. Her first concern was her son and then there was the fact that the highwayman seemed familiar. Hmmm...

Elizabeth and Lord Torrington marry to protect her and his mission as a spy for the Crown. Both of them are keeping vital secrets from each other. Both of their secrets could upset the tenuous relationship they are forming.

This book was fun to read. I loved both Elizabeth and Lord Torrington. He is such a good main character. As the story progressed I found more things to admire about him. Elizabeth is curious about the world and devoted to the people she loves. I really liked her too.

The suspense is fantastic. I loved as they teamed up to investigate a murder mystery and who is the spy for the French. Seriously. So good. I had inklings about a few of them, but there are some curveballs. I love how Abigail Wilson pulls it all together.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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This is my first book that I have read written by Abigail Wilson. The author has done a wonderful job with this story. The opening scene sets the stage for a story that was engrossing and unexpected. This gothic, romance mystery had me on the edge of my seat. I could not figure out who to trust. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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This is my new favorite book! The characters were so realistic, they pulled me in, rooting for them, worrying for them. I loved that while this had a mystery going on, the romance was very well balanced with it. I felt for Elizabeth as she was pushed by circumstance into an unexpected marriage, that she tried to make the best of, but worried to be truly honest in the relationship. The examples of forgiveness were spot on, touching while not being out of character. I can't wait to read more by Abigail Wilson!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this marriage of convenience story set in Regency England. There is lots of spy drama and intrigue, and the story moves along at a good pace. I also liked the fact that the main character was an unwed mother. That's something we don't see much in historical fiction, and I thought it added a lot to the story. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical romance with a little mystery thrown in.

I received this book for free from Netgalley and the publisher for review, but I also purchased a copy for myself.
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Although defined as an historical romance, Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey reads more like a gothic novel without the moldy, old castle and the heroine running through the underground crypts on a dark and stormy night. Like most gothics, it is told in the first person, a page turner with a lot of action. The action starts right away when Adrian Radcliff, Lord Torrington mistakenly runs the wrong carriage off the road.. But why? The carriage contains our heroine, Elizabeth Cantrell and her son, Isaac. With Elizabeth sustaining a head injury, Adrian takes over getting her to an inn. Unfortunately, his actions necessitates a hasty marriage.. However, they both are keeping secrets from each other. Will their secrets get in the way of a successful marriage and happiness. The story is fast paced, filled with spies, murder, French traitors and some British ones as well. This is the first Abigail Wilson book i have read. It will not be the last. I need to read In the Shadow of Croft Towers since the Towers and its inhabitants are mentioned frequently throughout this book. I am always happy to find a new author to enjoy.
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The book opens with a scary scene as Elizabeth regains consciousness after her carriage has been run off the road by bandits. She is frantic as she finds her son, Isaac, and then confronts the bandit. The bandit turns out to be Adrian Radcliff, Lord Torrington, the elder brother of her son’s father.

In his attempt to keep his cover as a British spy and to give him a reason for being in Elizabeth’s coach, Adrian marries Elizabeth and brings her and Isaac to his home at Middlecrest Abbey.

This is where it gets really interesting. Adrian has two teenage daughters who aren’t too keen on having a new mother and the eldest daughter is actually to be married within the fortnight. But that isn’t the only drama here. Elizabeth is also greeted by Adrian’s mother-in-law who has lived with him since his first wife’s death years before.

If this doesn’t sound like enough drama, let’s throw in a murder and espionage. Yep, Elizabeth isn’t going to get a quiet life in the country to start her hasty marriage.

Into all of this, Elizabeth finds herself thrust with the goal of convincing everyone that she and Adrian married for love. Except Elizabeth isn’t the best actress. And could it be that her heart is getting involved as well? What will this all mean for her son Isaac?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had some twists that I did not expect. It was great to see Elizabeth and Adrian change as the story progressed and they both needed to confront their own feelings about each other and about the situation they find themselves in. If you enjoy historical romance, I highly recommend this book.
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OH EM GEE, what an exciting and fascinating complex and complicated story and romance. There are so many twists and turns that surprised me. The main characters and secondary characters were outstanding. The author, Abigail Wilson, was able to bring them to life. They were so realistic. When Ms. Wilson described their facial expressions, emotions and feeling it was so easy to image what they would look like. The story is very descriptive. Each scene in the book smoothly went from one topic and location seamlessly. There was never any hiccups nor confusion as to who was talking or what they were talking about. Ms. Wilson kept me on the hook till the very end. I must say at the end I was totally shocked by the reveal. It never crossed my mind not once. I have never read a more intriguing beguiling enigma of a story. A must read. You will not be disappointed. I highly recommend it.
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This is one of those strangers-must-marry-to-protect-woman's-reputation stories. Elizabeth Cantrell, single mother, ends up marrying Lord Torrington and settling in to Torrington Hall with her young son (who is coincidentally the bastard of Torrington's feckless younger brother – though she keeps that to herself). There's a spy sub-plot, and a murder plot. There are a lot of coincidences. Elizabeth seems to know people she couldn't possibly know. It made it feel a bit disjointed at times, which made it a little difficult to suspend disbelief, but it was a light and frothy read.
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