Be sure to read to the end of this post to find out how you can win
a free copy of Love in Disguise by Carol Cox.
Ellie Moore is an aspiring actress in 1880s Chicago. While she waits for her big break, she works as an assistant to a star on the rise. When her promised opportunity fails to materialize, she's left betrayed . . . and unemployed. Desperate for both a job and a chance to prove her acting skills, she finagles her way into a job as an undercover operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The Agency sends her to Arizona to do investigate a series of mysterious thefts at the silver mines there. Disguised sometimes as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, and sometimes as Jessie Monroe, Lavinia's dazzling young niece, Ellie goes about trying to solve the mystery of who's stealing the silver shipments. Her task is further complicated, though, by the growing mutual attraction between Jessie and mine owner Steven Pierce. And when the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie, Ellie finds she might not be safe no matter which character she plays. Soon she faces a true dilemma: if she blows the case, she'll never get another assignment from the Agency, but if she doesn't come clean with Steven, she could miss out on a chance for love.
Carol Cox's Love in Disguise (Bethany House 2012) is a fun read with a great mixture of romance, mystery, and humor. Cox skillfully creates memorable characters you care about in a story that keeps you turning the pages. I especially appreciated how deftly she was able to evoke the era and the setting of an Arizona mining town in the late 19th century. Ellie's escapades, as she switches from one character to another–and tries to keep the townsfolk from discovering her secret–had me chuckling, but the novel also offers some food for thought as Ellie discovers both the freedom and perils of concealing her true identity. Cox hopes that readers also perceive a deeper significance to Ellie’s plight. She explains, “Fear of acceptance is a very real issue for many of us. Much like Ellie, we tend to wear a disguise of some sort rather than letting others see us as we really are.” Cox hopes her readers come away from the novel pondering their own true identity, and that, like Ellie, they can find the courage to let that be the face they show to the world.
I recommend Love in Disguise for readers who enjoy clean, entertaining historical fiction with a touch of romance. Love in Disguise is available at the Bethany House website, on Amazon, and at your local bookstore.
Carol Cox is the author of more than 25 books. A third-generation Arizonan, she's intimately familiar with the setting of Love in Disguise. You can learn more about Carol and her fiction at her website. You can also connect with Carol on Facebook.
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Disclosure: I received my complimentary copy of Love in Disguise from the publisher in exchange for my agreement to publish an honest review of it.