Unmasked by the Marquess

Unmasked by the Marquess

Book - 2018
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One of Library Journal's Best Romances of 2018

The one you love…

Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.

May not be who you think…

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his wastrel father, and nothing is more important than protecting his fortune and name. He shouldn’t be so beguiled by the charming young man who shows up on his doorstep asking for favors. And he certainly shouldn’t be thinking of all the disreputable things he’d like to do to the impertinent scamp.

But is who you need…

When Charity’s true nature is revealed, Alistair knows he can’t marry a scandalous woman in breeches, and Charity isn’t about to lace herself into a corset and play a respectable miss. Can these stubborn souls learn to sacrifice what they’ve always wanted for a love that is more than they could have imagined?

Publisher: New York :, Avon Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, 2018
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062821607
Branch Call Number: PB FIC SEB
Characteristics: 306 pages ;,18 cm.


From the critics

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Mar 04, 2019

I loved this original story, and its wonderful characters! Publisher's Weekly describes it perfectly: a bisexual marquess and a genderqueer con artist fall in love in the spectacular first book of Sebastian's Regency Impostors series. I can't wait for #2!

Hillsboro_StephanieC Dec 19, 2018

I love Cat Sebastian's books, and this one was just as fun. Charity Church is a wonderful character! One thing I do miss from Cat's earlier books was the very realistic resolutions she offered to the difficult situations her characters were in, still giving us a happy ending; now the endings seem to skirt the very real issues that we all know the couple would face. Still -- none of that should stop you from reading.

Nov 25, 2018

Intriguing plot line that took an unexpected and enlightening path. The former foundling, Charity Church, pretended to be a man in order to enjoy higher education. She took the place of her lover, Robert Selby, who was more interested in farming. When he died, she continued the ruse to help his sister, Louisa, improve her circumstances. But what about the cousin who was meant to inherit the entailed estate? And what about those dashed awkward feelings of attraction for the stuffy, but passionate, Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke? How does a high-flying marquess negotiate complicated feelings for another man? Or wait, a woman? Will Charity adjust to being trussed up in a lady’s gown after years of freedom? Will others accept her after her duplicity? Questions keep the pages turning as we wonder how love will eventually win. A fascinating postscript mentions historical women who lived as men, including military surgeon James Barry and American civil war veteran Albert Cashier. How we understand gender is gently opened.

SnoIsleLib_LindseyA Nov 18, 2018

This book reads like all of Cat Sebastian's books. It nails Regency society but is not your traditional Regency romance. It's sweet, charming and full of witty banter, but it also deals with an added layer of complication that most historical romances don't touch upon.

Robin is nonbinary. She uses female pronouns but she is more comfortable dressing and living as a man. Although she adopted this male identity to achieve a university education, it became a part of her. It isn't something she could simply cut out. Robin is an excellent character, plucky without being a "manic pixie dream girl," and snarky without being vicious.

Alistair starts out as a bit of a prig, but that's the point. He was foisted into the position as head of his family after his freewheeling father nearly ruined them, and it turned him into a control freak. In true romance fashion, Robin helps loosen him up. I also like that Alistair is bisexual, and clearly attracted to Robin's masculinity as much as her more feminine traits.

On the whole, this is a lovable, unique story and if you like romances that play with gender (and all the issues that come with it in a historical setting), I highly recommend it!

LibrarianDjaz Aug 30, 2018

A plucky protagonist, a stuffed shirt of a nobleman, intrigue, adventure, and hijinks. This romance novel takes this classic romance trope and turns it into a frolic. Robbie may have been born a woman, but she is happy living and dressing as a man. Ready to do anything to help launch her beloved friend into Society, Robbie introduces herself to a Marquess on the thinnest of pretexts. Passion, lies, disgruntled relations, and an elopement follow. Will Robbie be able to remain true to her style of dress and preferred gender expression? Will the Marquess love his sweet Robin just the way Robbie is? Find out in this page turner!

Jul 10, 2018

Of the three critics' reviews above, I think the one from Publishers Weekly best describes the book. It's not a story about a woman disguised as a man. It's a story about a person who doesn't entirely identify as either male or female. Someone who'd probably identify as non-binary, if such a concept had existed at the time. Technically, biologically, you could take this as a heterosexual romance, and readers who are looking for that and only that will probably still enjoy this book, but fans of Sebastian's usual M/M work shouldn't worry - it's still at it's heart a very queer story.

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