Avon, Mar 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1817 on the Isle of Teleere, Viscount Nicholas Argyle notices a young woman whom looks exactly like Princess Tatiana “Anna” Rochenau ruler of his home country Sedonia. Before he can talk to her, she hits him with a bottle, steals his watch, and disappears.
Six months later, Nicol searches for the woman who stole his watch when he finds “Sparrow” working at a bar. He asks her for his watch, but she denies ever meeting him. Nicol offers her money, three meals, and an education if she is willing to impersonate the princess while the royal negotiates an alliance. If not, he will see her at the gallows as befitting a thief. She reluctantly accepts his terms. He teaches her how to behave like a royal, but Meg drives him crazy.
The switch is made. Her performance as the princess over the next few days is perfect and Nicol soon admires and loves Meg, but she believes he remains infatuated with Anna. Meg takes charge of the council discussions on how to pay the debt and realizes she loves her mentor. However, she knows that when the real Princess returns her love will abandon her.
Loosely similar to The Prince and the Pauper, THE PRINCESS MASQUERADE is a wonderful historical romance due to a strong spirited lead female character, a bewildered hero, and a solid support cast. Though the fall of the villain is too abrupt and Meg's adjustment from barmaid thief to princess feels too easy, the terrific story line hooks the audience who root for the heroine. Lois Greiman furbishes a fabulous novel that will elate her sub-genre fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner