5 Stars Out Of 5
An excellent sequel! (4.5 stars)
August 29, 2016
An Elegant Faade is the second book in Kristi Ann Hunters Hawthorne House series, and I have to say that she is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical authors! I adored the first book, A Noble Masquerade, and was so excited to find out that this was going to be Georgina and Colins book! It was every bit as good as I expected and actually surpassed quite a few of my expectations, which is sometimes difficult when I so enjoy the first book. Ms. Hunter has definitely raised the bar with this novel and left me wondering how she could possibly top it for the next story!
The story did start out a bit slow for me, since the first couple chapters were something of recaps of what went on in the first book, but when it picked up I didnt want to put it down! I also found that I really enjoyed seeing a bit of the goings on from the first book through the eyes of different characters. Ms. Hunters books are so unique and I love how she has her own distinctive style, but also tries to add in a bit of the conventional. Her details and descriptions are excellent, bringing life to the Regency era and everything that comes with being a person of notice about London during the Season. Though her books contain all of the usual elements, I have to say that I probably most love the dialogue found between the pages. That, and the moments of suspense found within this book and the previous one.
Georgina Hawthorne is a very unique character and one that I wasnt entirely sure I would care for, especially since our first meeting was less than stellar. When I met her in A Noble Masquerade, she was the annoying, spoiled, selfish little sister to Miranda and I truly didnt care much for her. Surprisingly enough, I actually fell in love with her rather quickly, particularly after learning of her challenges and why she behaves as she does. She can actually be quite kind, funny, and stubborn, when she lets go of the faade that hides so many emotions. I loved the moments when Colin got behind her mask and I got to see the real Georgina. She still seems selfish and a bit childish at times, but it was made up for by the fact that she was slowly growing throughout the story. I did really appreciated the fact that her transformation is ongoing, rather than something that happens overnight. It was helped by the moments when I saw her upset over the way she behaved. She might have become one of my favorite heroines, despite not liking her at first glance.
And Colin McCrae is by far a very compelling hero, but then, Im a sucker for men with accents. Colin is a good friend of the Duke of Marshington, the main character in the previous novel and I fell in love with him from the first meeting, when he was so enjoying his friends discomfort, but trying to not laugh too loudly. That just sealed the deal for me, and hes as equally mischievous in this book! Its not often I laugh through a Regency novel, but with Colin in the mix, I found myself doing just that more than once! Along with being mischievous, Colin is also kind, and funny, and strong, and sometimes, even a little unsure. I think it was the final trait that had me falling for him so quickly. I loved getting to see past the armor he wears for the world, behind the guy who finds humor in everything, to the man who isnt altogether sure of what he wants, just something beyond the shallow existence he has now.
I also enormously enjoyed how the author wove faith throughout the story. It isnt a big focal point of the story, this book doesnt preach, but what it does say matters quite a lot. Colins faith has been what has guided him through life, and now hes searching for where hes to go next. Georgina has never truly believed in God, due to the imperfection she finds so glaring. She believes God has cursed her for some offense she doesnt understand. I loved seeing both of them grow, though especially Georgina. As with the rest of her behavior, she doesnt come to believe at once, something else I really appreciated. Its another slow transition, that had her asking questions and seeking answers. I loved seeing that and the encouragement I found in their story.
I believe I shall be purchasing a paper copy of this book for my shelf, as soon as it releases, and then eagerly anticipating the next book, which Ive heard might be Trents book!
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.