AN ELEGANT FACADE
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 not 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?
Oh, I do love good Regency banter! And Hunter excels at creating rapid fire conversations between her characters. I was either gasping or laughing over some of the outrageous dialogue between Georgina and Colin.
This is the second book in the Hawthorne House series and I adored A Noble Masquerade mainly because of its intrepid heroine, Miranda. Georgina was a secondary character in that novel -- Miranda's petulant, conniving sister. To say I wasn't a Georgina fan is an understatement so I approached An Elegant Façade with some trepidation. Especially since there's quite a bit of overlap between the two stories and the first part of Façade is a repeat of the last part of Masquerade only with different character viewpoints.
And that means that Georgina is just as calculating and shallow (or so it seems) for the first hundred pages or so. Hunter just gives us hints at motives for this entitled behaviour but it's up to the reader to hang in there, digging deeper into the story to uncover the heartbreak and fear that has ruled Georgina from childhood. She may appear to be cold and self-serving...and frankly, she definitely is at times...but there are reasons behind her actions and that was a fascinating story thread to uncover.
Colin 's business acumen has made him a wealthy man and earned him a place on the fringes of elite social circles. Of course, aristocratic lineage trumps new money so Georgina gives him little regard. She has specific goals for her debut season -- to nab a very wealthy and very titled bachelor. Colin is both amused and repelled by Georgina's blatant husband campaign. It isn't long before he becomes intrigued as he begins to suspect there is more to Georgina than meets the eye.
This is very much a story of transformation. Mostly Georgina's as she comes to terms with her secret and begins to understand that she is valued by her Father in Heaven. Once she grasps that truth she finds the courage to alter her life course. And Colin is very much a part of that change. He's gently relentless as he pushes Georgina to accept herself and join in relationship with God. The last quarter of the book made my spirit soar and my heart sing. Is it any wonder that I became a Georgina fan by the end?
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of An Elegant Facade please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 16 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!