by Wendy Vella
Published on December 10, 2013 by Vella Ink
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Desperate and penniless, Miss Olivia Langley is out of options. To ensure her family's survival she and her sister decide to take a drastic step - they don masks and take to the road as highwaymen. Disaster strikes when, inside the first carriage they rob, they find the one man Olivia had hoped never to see again. Five years ago Lord William Ryder had broken Livvy's heart. Now he has returned and she has a bad feeling that if anyone can succeed at unmasking her deepest secrets, it will be him.
Will knew his return would be greeted with both joy and resentment, but after five years of hard living he was ready to come home and take his place in society. He had never forgotten Olivia no matter how hard he'd tried, and whilst he hadn't imagined she would welcome him with open arms, the hostility and anger she displays are at odds with the woman he once knew. It is not long before he realizes she's living a dangerous lie, and now that he’s back, Will is determined to keep her safe and finally claim her for his own.
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At some point in the last few years, I downloaded Lady in Disguise during an eBook sale and it sat on my Kindle. When I went to find a new book to read, I hadn’t really planned on reading this particular book, it just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and the first in a series rather than book 20 in some massive set.
Overall, I found it surprisingly entertaining (my track record with indie romances is questionable at best), and I read most of it in one sitting despite being exhausted. Olivia Langley was a dutiful but sharp tongued protagonist who wanted to do right by her sisters regardless of what it cost her. I think that really came through with her actions and though some of her decisions were incredibly stupid and prideful, it fit her character.
Her childhood friend returned home, William Ryder was an interesting leading gentleman. I liked him most of the time but he had this tendency to order Livvy around and expect her to obey (which rarely happened). I didn’t like the heavy-handedness he took with her and her life after being gone for years. He just. . . left her. No explanation. And I really expected Livvy to take more time to forgive him but it went from her being pissed to “omg I love you” swooning.
Though if you’re a fan of sarcasm and banner with plenty of sexual tension, you’re going to LOVE this pair.
Yet, the banter was the only dialogue I really liked because the rest was quite stilted, as if the author was trying to make it sound relevant to the time period. Except it just made it more annoying to read. I prefer historical romances that toe the line between modern language and historical so that it’s still accessible to current readers, and this one went too far over the historical line in a not-so-good way.
As for the story, it really came down to the Langley sisters trying to evade their dastardly cousin, Lord Langley, and with all the fear and pain he caused throughout the book, I thought the ending wasn’t enough. I wanted more justice served for Lord Langley’s crimes; they were wrapped up too neatly and quickly at the end to be satisfying.
Despite the issues, I enjoyed Lady in Disguise and can definitely see myself reading the sequel which follows Livvy’s sister, Phoebe. Her character caught my attention throughout this book and there’s definitely more to the middle sister than meets the eye. Looking forward to finding out more!