A Proper Charade
By: Esther Hatch
Publication: May 1st 2020 by Covenant Communications
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult
Source: Personal Kindle Library
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Goodreads description--Lady Patience Kendrick was born to a life of privilege, and with the London Season looming, she finds herself facing unprecedented pressure to adhere to the rules of society. Unfortunately, the free-spirited young woman is anything but proper. Patience's elder brother, a former military man, bemoans his sister's antics - but when he accuses her of incurable frivolity, it is simply more than she can bear. Determined to prove her brother wrong, Patience undertakes a drastic experiment: she will disguise herself as a maid and demonstrate her ability to work as hard as anyone.
Taken on as household staff by her brother's former general, Patience soon learns that willingness and ability are two very different things. While her plan sounded promising in theory, the reality is that she is out of her depth - and the irresistibly charming son of the house isn't helping matters. Patience soon finds herself embroiled in a charade far more complicated that she imagined. With both her pride and her heart at stake, she is determined to prove her brother wrong - even as her plans spiral delightfully out of control.
Esther Hatch was a favorite new author for me in 2019. I read both Roses of Feldstone and A Proper Scandal. Both books were such pleasant surprises for me and Esther Hatch became an author added to my stalk list. When I saw A Proper Charade was coming to publication, I began stalking Netgalley and Edelweiss hoping I wouldn't miss it. *And as far as I know, there was never a review galley for A Proper Charade so I used part of my Mother's Day gift card to buy it. (*They did eventually list it on NetGalley, AFTER publication.)
I will say that I know before reading every book that the characters are going to encounter conflict, but there's something to me about conflict being too obvious or unavoidable that makes me dread books sometimes. So I was a little on the fence about the description of A Proper Charade. The drama between Patience and Anthony is inevitable because he will have to eventually learn that she is not who she claims to be. And from watching multiple seasons of Catfish, I don't believe I ever saw an episode where one party lied about their identity, and the other party decided to move forward with the relationship. Ultimately, every time they would decide the lies were too much.
Well, I'll have more faith in Esther Hatch next time. She worked each piece of the story out in a way that I felt completely okay with. Certainly, there were times when I felt Patience's charade was too easy to figure out and thus doomed. But Esther Hatch wrote just the right amount of discovery and subterfuge.
A Proper Charade gets 4 Stars. I enjoyed each step of the journey between Patience and Anthony. The side characters were each supporting without taking over too much from the main couple. I'm looking forward to Esther Hatch's next book and will begin stalking immediately. Have you read A Proper Charade? What did you think? Let me know!