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In this contemporary classic romance from bestselling women's fiction author Emilie Richards, a young woman finds she can run, but even a talented mask maker can't always hide.
Bethany Walker loves her new life in the New Orleans French Quarter with her young daughter Abby and Life's Illusions, the shop where she sells her extraordinary feathered masks. Only memories of Abby's father Justin Dumontier, the man who vanished from her life before her daughter's birth, cast shadows over Louisiana's bright sunshine.
Now one morning as carnival season begins and her work load increases, Bethany glances up to find Justin gazing at her. Hiding herself and the child he doesn't know about is no longer an option. She may have kept their baby a secret, but four-year-old Abby is all too clearly his.
Justin is furious that Bethany has hidden his daughter, but reluctantly, he begins to understand. Their romance was brief and passionate, but Justin kept his feelings locked deep inside him until Bethany was gone without a trace. Now she is no longer an innocent college student, reaching out for his love, but an independent woman who has made a life for herself and their child with hard work and sacrifice. Bethany wants nothing material from wealthy Justin, and Justin doesn't know how to give his heart.
Fate has reunited them, but so much stands between them still. Like one of Bethany's masks, will the painful events that separated them forever disguise what they feel? Or will they at last find a way to reveal what each of them needs most?
Mardi Gras day, a time to fling away inhibitions, is fast approaching. During carnival season in New Orleans, almost anything seems possible. Even love.
A classic romance from 1985
This classic romance from 1985 takes you to mid-80s New Orleans when it nears the festive Mardi Gras. It is about the lives of Bethany Walker at the age of 26 as a mask and head piece maker, her four-year-old daughter, Bethany, and Justin Dumontier, a 32-year-old attorney whose home is New Orleans, but who lives and works in Chicago. Bethany and Justin met five years prior in Florida and had a short, passionate summer relationship that resulted in Abby. Due to her own reasons and circumstances, Bethany kept Abby a secret from Justin. They meet again when Justin temporarily returns to New Orleans to do some work at his newly deceased father's law firm. Justin realizes that Abby is his daughter and does not know how to deal with it.
As to one of my favorite characters, I truly admired and loved Louise, Justin's mom. I had tears in my eyes when she and her granddaughter met each other. Emotionally charged, the author takes you through fears, stubbornness, passion, tears, anger, trust, status differences, and humor. Support is huge from Bethany's friends Madeline and Lamar, and from Justin's mother, Louise. Abby is a truly delightful little girl. While reading this story, I learned a lot about the festivities that take place prior to and during Mardi Gras, with all the different krewes who organize parades, and got drawn into the mask making, the costumes, the food, the music, and the Cajuns. I really enjoyed this book, and since I have been to New Orleans several times, I was brought back to the partying French Quarter and the magnificence of St. Charles Avenue, but this time, with a newly enriching visit.
A classic romance originally published in 1985. This is a story about two people separated then reunited. The author takes you through many emotions as the couple struggle to understand and let go of the past. Neither were honest when they were first together and they still struggle with that when they meet again. Enjoyed the secondary characters and the wonderful writing describing the festivities during the Mardi Gras season.