Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Imposter by Celeste Bradley

Book Description:
It isn't easy moving about Society dressed like a dandy-especially when one is a ruthless spy. But that's precisely the latest mission for Liar's Club agent Dalton Montmorecy. Dalton is posing as Sir Thorogood, the elusive cartoonist whose scathing political caricatures have all of London abuzz. The true identity of Sir Thorogood is a mystery, and Dalton hopes that impersonating him will flush out the real menace before his cartoons do further damage to the Crown. Now, if Dalton could only find a way to get the irksome, yet oddly appealing widow, Clara Simpson, off his trail...

When Clara meets Sir Thorogood at a ball, she's certain he is an impostor-because she's the true Sir Thorogood. Secretly penning the cartoons under the frothy nom de plume, Clara hopes to save enough money so that she can leave her in-laws and find a new residence. Now she is determined to reveal an imposter's identity-and that means doing some undercover work herself. But pretending to be someone you're not has a funny way of making a woman do things she wouldn't ordinarily dream of-even if it drives her straight into the arms of her devilishly handsome adversary!

This is the 2nd in the Liar's Club series, of which I loved the first book, The Pretender.

This one wasn't quite as good, mostly because I recognized several of the plot devices from the first one so it didn't seem as new and fresh to me. Book 2 picks up with Dalton Montmorency who is now the Spymaster of the Liar's Club. He is unsure of his place with them and takes on the assignment of becoming Sir Thorogood, the pseudonym of the cartoonist that has exposed many an important man in London. One thing leads to another, and Claire (the real cartoonist) goes out of her way to expose the man that is posing as her - or rather, Sir Thorogood. The whole thing is a bit outlandish and convoluted. To make matters more complicated, Claire poses as the maid next door, Rose, and winds up meeting another persona of Dalton's, Monty, a thief who has come to steal documents of her nextdoor neighbor. They wind up attracted to one another, having no idea the other is an imposter and that they've really met before. It was fun, but not very realistic.

Before you know it, the secret's out, they've had some wild attic sex and I found the book a bit tedious with the crazy plotline and all the disguises and other personas and not enough relationship building and romance. I like Dalton as a hero, but again (as in The Pretender) he's always dwelling on should he choose his love for the girl, or his duty to his country. One good point is, this book keeps you guessing about who the real bad guy is. Just when you think you've got it nailed, it surprises you, and you're wrong, and have a great big "Ooooh! So that's who he is!"

Anyway, if you like Spymaster Regency romances, you'll like this one, but as I said before, the plot was too crazy with all the disguises, I like something a bit more straightforward and funnier - although this one had it's moments, but more of them were just kind of dumb and unbelievable (if that's possible in a romance!)


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