Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Mary Balogh: A Masked Deception
A Masked Deception is the book that started it all....at least with Mary Balogh because it was her first book! Signet published it in February 1985 and it a very creative story about a young bride, who is married to a man in an arranged marriage, seduces him into loving her by disguising herself!
Allan Kass drew a magnificent cover with our heroine looking saucily back at the hero. She is in costume as a lady of the 17th century with her beautifully detailed gown and powdered hairdo. I love the purple/yellow combination. Her mask is creative with the ostrich feathers! Our hero is dashing in male garb from the same era. Note the ornate detail of his coat. Even the couple in the background wears costumes and masks! It is one of Allan's most beautiful illustrations and a great one for a new author! Balogh must have been ecstatic when she saw this cover!!
Because marriages were still arranged during regency times, a woman had to be crafty in order to gain her husband's love. Some were lucky to find it, and others had to work for it. Many just gave in and after having an "heir and spare" would go on to take lovers. In that time, affairs were common as long as you didn't get caught. Divorce was very rare and extremely expensive and embarrassing for those involved. This doesn't make it right, and luckily most regency romances have happy endings!