"Every time she let down her guard even a little, Ellis felt his own walls lowering. She was a breath of fresh air to his rather stale life, not that she needed to know how he felt."
Stories of the mysterious and deadly highwayman, known as the Dark Rider, are known far and wide. Andalin has found herself drawn to these stories and constantly questions the patrons of her father's merchantile for news of him. Unbeknownst to Andalin, her father has made a deal with the Dark Rider and she will soon find herself intertwined with the stories and rumors.
thoughts & feelings
Ya'll know that I am a sucker for fairy tales and fairy tale remakes. Naturally, when I discovered Anneka R. Walker was writing fairy tale remakes I happily jumped in with both feet. The first novel in her fairy tale series is The Masked Baron. This novel is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and takes place in the Regency Era. The best way that I can describe this simply is to say that it is a retelling completely enshrouded in mystery and intrigue. Trust me when I say that you will be hooked from the beginning until the very end.
One of my favorite mysteries is that of the Dark Rider himself. Strangely enough, having everyone know exactly who the Dark Rider is does not make him any less mysterious. When the name of the Dark Rider was given I was sooooo disappointed. I internally screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO", like some very dramatic movies that we will leave unnamed. However, my objections were quickly quieted when I realized that knowing who this infamous highwayman is doesn't really spoil anything. In fact, it kind of makes him more mysterious. Strange, right? Not only does this highwayman visit the Dark Forest every full moon but he constantly wears his mask. Even to social events ya'll! Well, when he attends them. Let's just say that there is PLENTY about this man to keep you guessing.
I also loved the servants...all five of them. Which leads us to yet another mystery surrounding the Dark Rider, who is in fact a Baron. Why in the world does this HUGE estate have literally five servants? No wonder it has fallen into such a sad state. *sigh* Since there are only five people working in this giant home we get to know each of them very well throughout the story. They're a bit mischevious in their own right and filled with enough sass to give you the giggles a few times. I love that Anneka R. Walker kept the respectful yet loving relationship between the "beast" and his servants that we see in the original fairy tale. In my eyes it makes the story that much more amazing. They genuinely want the best for him and stick with him through the thickest and darkest moments of his life.
That's about all I can say without giving too much of the plot and mystery away. Just trust me on this one and add it your list or dash to the store and purchase it for yourself.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Content Warnings: none
Trigger Warnings: none
Title: The Masked Baron
Series: An Enchanted Regency Romance #1
Author: Anneka R. Walker