Unmasking Miss Appleby
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She’s not who she seems…
On her 25th birthday, Charlotte Appleby receives a most unusual gift from the Faerie godmother she never knew she had: the ability to change shape.
Penniless and orphaned, she sets off for London to make her fortune as a man. But a position as secretary to Lord Cosgrove proves unexpectedly challenging. Someone is trying to destroy Cosgrove and his life is increasingly in jeopardy.
As Charlotte plunges into London’s backstreets and brothels at Cosgrove’s side, hunting his persecutor, she finds herself fighting for her life—and falling in love...
Q & A with the author
Q - How would you describe this series?
A - It's a fusion of magic and Regency England. I guess you could say it’s “Jane Austen meets Maleficent”, or perhaps “Pride and Prejudice and Baleful Faerie Godmothers”. I hope to take readers on a journey from the glittering ballrooms of the aristocracy to the dark underbelly of Regency England – with passion, danger, adventure, romance, and a little magic thrown into the mix.
I think the series could also be labelled Regency Noir, because it falls on the darker, grittier side of the romance fence, although each book contains humor, too. The stories are emotional, but not sweet (there’s sex, violence, and my heroes do swear rather badly at times!).
Q - Why did you write this series?
A - I wanted to get my well-bred heroines out of the drawing rooms and put them in the way of adventure and romance. But I didn’t want to write a series where magic is common; I wanted to write a series where only a few characters have magic, and it’s a deep, dark secret, and no one else knows.
Q - But … do magic and Regency England go together?
A - Definitely! Many, many years ago I read Sorcery and Cecelia (or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot) by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, and totally loved it and ever since then I’ve thought that Regency England and magic go very well together. I'm not the only writer who thinks so. Just look at Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Q - What was the catalyst for this series?
A - A magazine article I read years ago where celebrities were asked what magic power they’d choose and why. That got me thinking! (I’d choose shapeshifting, by the way.)
Q - How would you describe your writing?
A - Several reviewers have likened my writing to Georgette Heyer, which is the hugest compliment ever. I adore Georgette Heyer! She’s why I write historical romance, and I reread her books over and over. (If you’ve not read The Grand Sophy, please do so!) I’ve also had readers compare my writing to Courtney Milan and Mary Balogh, which are also massive compliments.
Q - Who would like this series?
A - This series will appeal to readers who enjoy the historical backdrop of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, the dark and sensual ‘noir’ feel of Anna Campbell, the emotion of Mary Balogh or Courtney Milan, and the magic of Patricia Rice and Mary Robinette Kowal. Quite a broad range, really!
Q - What order should I read the series in?
A - Each book, whether a novel or novella, can be read as a standalone, but many readers prefer to read them in order. And although the series is set in Regency England, a quartet of medieval novellas form the prequel.
The ideal reading order would be:
The Fey Quartet (series prequel)
The Baleful Godmother series
Unmasking Miss Appleby
Resisting Miss Merryweather
Trusting Miss Trentham
Claiming Mister Kemp
Ruining Miss Wrotham
Discovering Miss Dalrymple
Plus three more interlinked Baleful Godmother series to come.
Unmasking Miss Appleby
I haven't seen Emily before. How could I have missed her? I really enjoyed reading this book even with tissues. Marcus is shunned because his wife fell from their roof and slipped to her death. Charlotte is living with her aunt and uncle who hide her away and use her dowry for their daughters. Charlotte has a woman pop into her room. She is a Fey and owes her a debt. She wants to be able to change into anything. She turns into a man and now works as Marcus's secretary. Spoiler. Now they try together who is breaking his windows and puts manure on his steps. Charlotte is now Albin and works to find who wants Marcus dead. She has fallen for him. Marcus finds who and what she is. Major Spoiler. He is banished by Marcus who walks about but took the knife instead of Marcus. This is a very active book. I can't count how many times Charlotte turns for him. It is an almost adult read. There are a few scenes here and there. Please don't let this book get away! I have volunteered to read and review this book.
Wonderfully fantastic book. I primarily read historical romance, but this book was fantasy and historical romance in one book. Charlotte & Marcus's romance was heartfelt & genuine. Something so fantastical to believe has been written so well, each character feels alive and real. Charlotte's fears & reactions with each transformation were heartfelt & exactly as I would have felt if it were me. One of the best stories I have read, couldn't put it down! Now I have to purchase the rest.