Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Rebecca, Paula, and Winnie #ReleaseDay


This entertaining story set in Edwardian England centers around Lady Marigold and her brother Yates and their newly formed Imposters Incorporated who are secretive private investigators. Much happens when they discover they are on the same case as a War Office Intelligence officer, Sir Merritt Livingstone. Very interesting because this is the beginning of MI 5, bringing several agencies under one umbrella.

I love spy stories and this one is very intricate and also fun because Marigold and Yates perform acrobatic feats in their endeavors. And they have a pet Lion!

Fascinating plot, a rewarding ending, and well-drawn characters with a solid faith thread make this a must read. As always the author has researched wonderfully. I cannot wait for the rest of the series.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread


"Sometimes when I look back on our childhood - our charmed, picturesque, ridiculous childhood - I can't believe we have come to this. Spying on our neighbors. The people who should have been our friends, our peers. But then other times, I look at all this, and I wonder where else it possibly could have led."

Appearances, it was all about keeping up appearances. Lady Marigold Fairfax's ability to both stand out and blend into her environment was a major asset; everyone saw her, and no one saw her . . . underneath all the patterns, baubles, hats, gloves, feathers . . . parading as a clever costume concealing her true intentions . . . watching, waiting, listening . . . she was an "imposter" of the most elegant sort.

Following the death of their father, Marigold and her brother Yates took what they did have (not money, but an odd menagerie of animals, actors, and abilities) and turned it into an occupation . . . an elite, anonymous investigation agency. When hired by Sir Merritt Livingstone to aid in a national security matter, the siblings become troubled by the fact that their subjects are among their closest childhood acquaintances. And speaking of close . . . Marigold never factored in how to keep her heart from adhering to a certain noble, who had an uncanny ability to see beneath the "beautiful disguise" . . . "Lionfeathers!".

"It made something shift as he watched her. The lion, the contented smile on her face, the hair-a-tumble, the fact that she was rolling around in the grass in her beaded and bedecked dress - he'd had the wrong of her . . . He'd thought her concerned with nothing but fashion . . . He'd been mistaken. He could admit that."

Honestly, I have never read anything quite like it . . . the quirky atmospheric elements make the story all that more endearing! For sure, I'm ready for more! . . . and possibly sport a secret desire to join their little operation! 

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars


A Beautiful Disguise starts off a new series called The Imposters by talented author Roseanna M. White. I was intrigued by the premise of two siblings starting a private investigating business called The Imposters when they were left destitute after their father’s death. Lady Marigold Fairfax and her brother Yates use their skills as circus performers to spy anonymously on the elite of London. Things get precarious when they’re hired to investigate the father of a friend. Marigold is spunky, competent, and daring, while Sir Merritt Livingstone makes a dashing, courageous hero. I enjoyed the interaction between the two as they got to know each other better.

Set in 1909 England, this book is well-researched and entertaining. I found it a little slow to get into at first, however, because of all the different characters that were introduced. As the tale progressed, I was able to follow it better and become more engaged in it. With a good mix of intrigue, mystery, and romance, this story should appeal to those who enjoy clean Christian historical fiction.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishing. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:

In Edwardian London, not all that glitters is gold as a lady and an intelligence officer's secret mission take them from the city's dazzling ballrooms to its covert intelligence offices.

Sir Merritt Livingstone has spent a decade serving the monarch in the field, but when pneumonia lands him behind a desk in the War Office Intelligence Division just as they're creating a new secret intelligence branch, he's intent on showing his worth. He suspects an aristocrat of leaking information to Germany as tensions mount between the two countries, but he needs someone to help him prove it, so he turns to The Imposters, Ltd. No one knows who they are, but their results are beyond compare.

Left with an estate on the brink of bankruptcy after their father's death, Lady Marigold Fairfax and her brother open a private investigation firm for the elite to spy on the elite. Dubbed The Imposters, Ltd., their anonymous group soon becomes the go-to for the crème of society who want answers delivered surreptitiously. But the many secrets Marigold learns about her peers pale in comparison to her shock when she and her brother are hired to investigate her best friend's father as a potential traitor.

Lady Marigold is determined to discover the truth for her friend's sake, and she's more determined still to keep her heart from getting involved with this enigmatic new client . . . who can't possibly be as noble as he seems.

Bethany House Publishers, August 2023
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