Review: Unmasked by the Marquess (Regency Impostors #1) by Cat Sebastian

Unmasked by the MarquessThe most interesting and appealing thing about this book is that it did not follow what I’ve come to realize is the traditional romance plot structure. I thought I knew exactly how this book was going to go. I was completely wrong, and I loved it all the more for it. 

Charity/Robin is not a transgender man. Instead, she is a nonbinary character who has come to realize that she feels truer to herself in a man’s world (especially in this time period) and has embraced that role in order to help her “sister” Louisa make a good marriage match. The “deception” is delightful rather than angsty. The revelation that she was born female comes much earlier in the story than I expected, and was not the primary rift between her and the other romantic lead, Alistair, the marquess of the book’s title.

In fact, the major conflict of the book is not between Charity/Robin and Alistair, but between the pair and society’s expectations of them. I love complex political stuff, and ridiculous London society rules were just as fun to wade through. It was refreshing to read a romance and feel total support for both characters rather than wanting to smack one or both of them upside the head for the latter half of the story.

The secondary characters are fun and well-rounded. I’d also love to read a follow-up short story that shows Robin and Alistair’s happily ever after.

For more explanation of my use of names and pronouns in this review, be sure not to miss Sebastian’s excellent author note at the end of the book.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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