Hidden Secrets – Review of “Unmasking the Hero” by Mary Lancaster

I love a good period romance and Regency is one of my favorites. “Unmasking the Hero” has a solid plot line and interesting characters but the pacing is maddeningly plodding. An Earl, Oliver Wenning, leaves for China immediately after his wedding night. No explanation for his actions and no correspondence in the hiatus. All on the basis of a note he believed written by his bride. Grace is left to deal with the scandalous fallout in early nineteenth century London society. She appears to flaunt societal mores by living an active social life, but without ever actually stepping over that imaginary line of propriety. When Oliver returns, Grace plans on a suitable payback for her public embarrassment and there’s gonna’ be hell to pay. But there’re criminal elements at work and lives are at stake.

Hiding Behind a Mask

Author Mary Lancaster’s “Unmasking the Hero” is rife with possibilities for a juicy romance but somehow it fell flat with me. This is Book One in the Pleasure Garden series. All the elements for a good story are here but nothing clicked and despite the intrigue, I was either nodding off or my mind was wandering to the mundane. The dialogue is stilted, even accounting for the period setting and the numerous typos are a distraction. Then there are some off-the-wall word choices such as ‘piratical’ (three times within a few paragraphs) and ‘bitterest’ are particular standouts. Errors such as these are distractions, causing the reader to stumble. With ebooks, readers have unlimited choices. Sloppy editing isn’t a positive way to stand out and get noticed. Three stars.

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