Monday, September 3, 2012

Maiden Behind the Mask by Tara Chevrestt

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 
Obtained from: Crimson Flower Review Team 
Read: September 1, 2012

When Catalina Rodriguez is attacked by a would-be rapist and rescued by the dashing Ricardo Garcia, she not only becomes more aware of the handsome man, but also vows that she'll never be a damsel in distress again. Using the timeless method of blackmail, she convinces her uncle to teach her to fight and becomes a masked crusader in the night, saving other damsels from robbers and rough handling. However, scandalous rumors and dwindling funds force Ricardo and Catalina to marry. Not immune to each other's charms, their marriage starts fiery, but when one of Catalina's nightly escapades results in dire consequences, she is forced to spurn her husband's amorous advances…or reveal a secret that could turn him away from her forever. Ricardo’s not a man to be cuckolded or left in the dark. Is his wife having an affair with El Capitan, the masked savior? If so… they will both pay.


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If you believe laughter is good for the soul then Tara Chevrestt's Maiden Behind the Mask is the book for you. The book is marketed as historic romance, but it was the author's delightful brand of humor that captured my attention. 

Chevrestt is making her name synonymous with strong, independent women and Maiden Behind the Mask's Catalina Rodriquez is not exception. Faced with the stark realities of life, this relatively sheltered young woman takes up the sword against the loathsome characters who stalk the streets of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles after sundown. The transition isn’t easy, but Chevrestt’s treatment of it works well in the context of the narrative. 

Ricardo Garcia is also worth mentioning. He isn’t the typical romantic hero and I liked that about him. He is flawed and is prone to act on his emotions and I think that gave him more depth than most. I remember reading Chevrestt's A Facebook Affair and thinking Brandon was a rather one dimensional figure, but Ricardo exemplifies her growth as an author and her dedication to her craft.  

Maiden Behind the Mask is a lighter historical, but its appealing brand of humor makes it an exceedingly fun and pleasurable read.

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Catalina wanted to rage at the man, but she knew he meant well. It was her concern. She had almost been raped. How could the constable be too busy to ensure the safety of the women of Pueblo de Los Angeles? And if he wouldn't, who would?
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