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Love in Disguise by Carol Cox

Love in DisguiseLove in Disguise by Carol Cox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk. 

Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments--until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven's mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow . . . or to fall head over heels for Lavinia's captivating niece, Jessie. But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn't exist?"

My Review:
I picked this book up at my local library because the cover intrigued me (and because it was in the newly arrived section and had not been read yet.) Love in Disguise is a great relaxing read that will hold interest from the very beginning. Ellie has always wanted her chance to shine on stage, and when she becomes quickly unemployed, she gets desperate enough to join a team of private investigators to solve a mystery of silver robberies in Arizona. Ellie must take on the role of two separate characters to fulfill her investigation, one as Lavinia Stewart (an old lady who can easily snoop, gossip and be nosy while staying out of immediate suspicion) and Jessie Monroe (a young attractive woman who can get the low down on everything through her flirtatious beauty.) As Ellie falls into strides with Steven (one of the silver mine owners) her emotions become troubled and she despises the ongoing deception she must act out for fear that Steven's falling in love with her character, and not her. In the end, Ellie must come to terms with herself and realize her own true beauty. This novel was a great mix of mystery and romance and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a simple, calm and quick read.

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Soundtrack Saturday

"'I think you're losing your nerve. Why are you worried about an old biddy like her?'
     'She isn't just an old lady, she's a nosy old lady. That can mean trouble.'" (148)

"'Knowledge is power, my friend. She wants to know about mines and robberies. I want to know about her. Everybody has secrets, even snoopy old ladies. I may come across something she doesn't want anyone else to know about.'" (149)

"Since the day she presented herself at the Pinkerton office as Lavinia, she had become a chameleon of sorts, switching from Lavinia's character to Jessie's and back again with ease... most of the time.
     But in the process, she had lost her own identity." (268)

"He took her shoulders with a light touch and turned her to face him. 'A trained eye knows how to look below the surface to see the treasure that lies beneath.'" (346)

Paperback352 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by Bethany House
ISBN: 0764209558 (ISBN13: 9780764209550)

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