Love in Disguise by Carol Cox
When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk. Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments–until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven’s mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow…or to fall head over heels for Lavinia’s captivating niece, Jessie. But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t exist? (From Amazon.ca)
I love these kinds of books. Not only are they light hearted to read and perfect when you’re ‘in between’ heavy reads. I love the historical setting, it’s so well written and I could picture everything so easily. I would say it’s accurate to the history aspect of things and it certainly does capture the ‘Wild West’ picture quite well.
I loved Ellie. She’s so determined! I liked that quality about her. Her talent for switching between Jessie and Lavinia is very well done and as she dodges several obstacles here and there (the part with Amos being an unwanted admirer was fun to read). The other characters in this book are really just secondary characters – even Steven, who’s the love interest, doesn’t really develop in great detail as Ellie does. However, Ellie’s character development is very well done. The book focuses more on her, and how she realizes who she really is despite playing two very different roles. I liked this part of the book, it was very well done.
The plot itself was a great read. Although, I would have preferred more emphasis on the mystery part of the book. There is a mystery element, but it’s not that heavily emphasized. In certain chapters, there is a bit of suspense built up and makes you wonder who it could be, but there’s just too many secondary characters to really take a good guess and I personally found myself to not really care too much about the mystery part of the book. I was more focused on Ellie and her character development.
The ending itself was good – a little too quick on solving the mystery, but it was a sweet ending nevertheless. I definitely would recommend those that like these types of books, or who need a light read after the ‘heavy’ ones! I definitely enjoyed reading this one.
I give it an 8 out of 10
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.
Thank you for the review copy!