Review: Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson

Posted June 20, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 3 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson
Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey

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Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Thomas Nelson
Released on May 26, 2020
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

A Regency Era fake mates all to catch a spy and solve a murder at an estate full of gothic secrets sounded just the thing.  I grabbed up this new to me author’s latest release with anticipation.


Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey opens with Elizabeth Cantrell and her young son trapped in an overturned carriage after a highwayman attempted to stop them.  Only, the highwayman is Lord Torrington pretending because he is ordered by his superior to intercept a carriage of the same description as hers carrying papers from a French spy.

Elizabeth has a sordid reputation because her parents went into debt, her brother has been taken up for smuggling, and everyone knows she had a son out of wedlock.  Now, because Lord Torrington is in a bad situation because he waylaid the wrong carriage and others saw them together on the road and at the inn, they must marry and masquerade as true lovers to throw everyone who suspects him of spying off the scent.  Elizabeth will gain the respectable status of being Lady Torrington and her son will be accepted by Lord Torrington and under his protection.  It all seems to be working out well.  Until her husband’s daughters aren’t so keen on a stepmama, a man is murdered, and she starts to have unwanted feelings for her own husband.

I was expecting a good mystery and even a lovely slow burn romance as their fake relationship being real, but the gothic tones were a fabulous surprise.  It had the feel of Du Maurier’s Rebecca at times when Elizabeth came to Middlecrest Abbey and had to contend with her husband’s mother in law, two grown daughters, old staff, and others of the visiting party.  The atmospheric moments were great.

As to the mystery, it was fun seeing Elizabeth and Torrington working to hunt down the French spy with connections at Middlecrest Abbey, the killer, and, for Elizabeth, solve a few family secrets.
But, all through the partnering, the newlyweds slowly get to know each other, earn respect, and work to get over their pasts even while Elizabeth struggles with trusting her husband after what has happened to her in the past.  Elizabeth’s secret about who is the father of her child is a ticking time bomb and she knows she needs to tell her husband, but the longer they are together and things are wonderful, she doesn’t want to lose what they have with the truth.

All in all, this was a sensational historical romantic suspense that has me eager to get my hands on the author’s backlist.  I can recommend it to those who enjoy sweet romance, engaging historical setting, and a clever and exciting suspense element.

I rec’d the book from Thomas Nelson via Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #71
Romance BINGO #7 ‘widowers
COYER Quarantine #44
Historical Fiction #58


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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1 year ago

What a unique set-up for the story, with him getting the wrogn carriage and then them having to marry so no suspects he was spying. The atmosphere sounds well done, I like it when a book manages to get that right as it’s such a difficult thing to really get across in books. The romance and mystery parts both sound well done too.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lola

Oh yes, it was good stuff all around with this story. I thought the carriage mix up was a fun start. She sure thought he was a rascal. 😉 The gothic tones, mystery, and romance were fab.

Carole Rae
1 year ago

Spies and a murder mystery??? Okay. I’ll have to add this to my TBR