A Gentleman's Deception by Karen Tuft
Renowned actress Ruby Chadwick, The Darling of Drury Lane, has long planned and prepared for her final performance. With exceptional beauty comes the unwanted attention of men, and after years of fending off odious suitors, Ruby is ready to leave it all behind in favor of a quiet life. The first step is to reclaim a piece of her past: her true identity as Lavinia Fernley. But leaving town unnoticed proves impossible, and in one desperate moment, she embarks on the greatest act of her life when she throws herself into the arms of a stranger to avoid recognition.
Lucas Jennings is shocked to find the stunning redhead in his arms, but something moves him to play along with her ruse when she calls him her husband. This charade marks the start of an unpredictable journey as he escorts the lovely Lavinia and her traveling companions to Primrose Farm, far from the glaring lights of London. Soon, the tables are turned when Lucas introduces Lavinia to his family—as his fiancée. Before long, their mutual deception begins to feel all too real. But when the truth of her past is revealed, will Lavinia’s dream of a happy ending slip through her fingers?
A Gentleman's Deception is a very enjoyable piece of mind candy. Sometimes I enjoy a story with some more serious issues and depth, but often I just want an engaging, easy read, and that's just what I found with this novel. I read it fairly quickly, and I liked the characters. The actors added a fun new aspect to a Regency Romance. Their eccentricities kept you on your toes.
I couldn't help but wonder after the fact what would have happened if Lucas decided not to play along. Of course, the story probably wouldn't have been nearly as interesting.
The story has a happy ending (one of my requirements), and I’d probably read it again.
I enjoyed this story for the most part. The lifestyle that Lavinia had been living as an actress was very different than the main characters of most Regency romance books I've read. I had no idea that in those times, actors and actresses were considered so far beneath those of the ton. (Not really surprising though. They were kind of a snooty lot, weren't they.) The deception that Lavinia and Lucas were involved in was intriguing and it was interesting to see just how far they would keep it going.
The romance part of the story just...wasn't romantic for me. I liked both Lavinia and Lucas, and they seemed to have a good rapport, but when it came time for the romance to happen, it just kind of seemed forced to me. I was disappointed in the story because of that. Other than that, (and yes, it's kind of an important part) I did enjoy the story.
This was a fun quick read. My favorite thing about this story is that it was about an actress. Normally in the regency I read they might be mentioned, but it's never a good thing when they are. It was fun to follow Lavinia around and see her choices and her personality. And let's face it, her companions are really awesome and fun to read about.
When we first meet Lucas I kept trying to remember him in Tuft's other novel The Earl's Betrothal. Actually, I was trying to remember that story period. I think I need to go back and reread it to refresh my mind on it's story and plot and figure out Lucas in that story. He was very enjoyable in this story. Kind, but flawed (just like good characters should be).
The ending was a little disappointing to me. I didn't really feel like the threats that were made were really incentive enough. Which, if you haven't read the book yet that won't make sense, but I don't want to spoil anything.
I'll read this again...maybe after I go back and remember what the first one was about. Oh, that being said, it's a stand alone novel. You definitely don't have to read the other one to enjoy this one.
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Title: A Gentleman's Deception
Author: Karen Tuft
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: December 2017
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book