Love in Disguise

Love in Disguise. Adapted from Baker Publishing Group, 2012.

Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?

Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it’s the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can’t figure out who’s stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow…or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.

Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he’s falling in love with doesn’t really exist? – Summary provided by Bethany House Publishers

When I received this novel, I was knee deep in summer studies so I had to postpone reading the novel and this review. But I have successfully finished summer school and reading this novel! After reading the summary online, I was actually very psyched to read Love in Disguise by Carol Cox, however that excitement faltered when I finished reading the novel and I realized that I was disappointed. The book was not what I expected, in fact I didn’t really enjoy or like it while I was reading and after I read.

These are the three reasons why:

– Confusion between Ellie playing two role – The character development was mediocre

– The deception Ellie creates – Leads to unrealistic reactions from Steven Pierce

-The story line lacked substance – It was hard to remember the details

In allowing the main character, Ellie to play two different roles, it made it very difficult to track the character development of Ellie. The author gives brief glimpses of her strong will and fiery spirit however this is all lost when the reader (me!) has to question whether this is her true self or just another facade for the role she plays. Also, we see Ellie immersing into her roles so much that at one point she begins to think as ‘Mrs. Lavinia Stewart’. This immersal makes it so hard to see who Ellie is as a young woman. Yes, we see her raw and natural in the beginning of the book, but it is through hard circumstances such as Ellie’s unemployment that we are able to see her grow into a much more mature self. Unfortunately, the roles of Lavinia and Jessie clouds the reader from seeing this development.

I was so so shocked when I read Steven Pierce’s reaction when Ellie confessed of her deception. There was absolutely no show of outrage, anger, frustration or hurt. He seemingly brushes the matter asides and shows no emotions of being affected. This attitude by Steven made me realize the lack of depth in what was supposed to be a delightful relationship between Steven and Ellie.

This all leads to the fact that this story line or plot lacked substance. The summary provided by the author alludes to excitement, suspense, and sweet romance all wrapped up in one novel but it wasn’t fun to read. I found myself skipping through certain portions because of the un-engaging plot. After reading Love in Disguise, I quickly forgot the key details of the novel, it wasn’t very memorable and there was nothing really special or unique about it. It really could have been a fabulous story, but the execution of this story is not well done.

Perhaps your opinions may differ from mine. If you have read this novel, please feel free to share your thoughts on why you think otherwise 🙂

– Manuela

I would like to express great thanks to  Bethany House Publishers for providing me with this free copy of Love in Disguise by Carol Cox.

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