The Murmur of Masks by Catherine Kullmann

The Murmur of MasksThe Murmur of Masks by Catherine Kullmann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Star Rating: 3.5 rounded up to 4
Publication Date: 7/28/16

I loved this author’s word choices and sentence structure. This was her first book and the first I have read of hers. I believe she has only written one other book. This was a nice, sweet romance with an HEA that was a long time in coming. The writing style and word choices actually made me feel as if I were in that time period eavesdropping on their conversations.

Miss Olivia Frobisher is the daughter of a career naval officer and her brother is also a naval officer. They are a loving family, but it is often lonely with both her father and brother out on sea voyages all the time. It is just Olivia and her mother and they are very close. Then, with her brother and father at sea, her mother passes away and Olivia is all alone. Luckily, she has her mother’s brother to rely on – but he is older and a confirmed bachelor with no place for a young marriageable girl. He loves her though and will do his very best by her. So, when an offer of marriage comes, her uncle doesn’t force her into it – the decision is hers. However, he does like the man though he is twice Olivia’s age. Olivia accepts the offer with the hope that they can come to care for each other, maybe even love each other, over the course of their marriage. However – he is a cold fish with absolutely no interest in Olivia other than visiting her bed – very quickly – in order to procreate. She doesn’t discover why he is that way until after his death.

Mr. Luke Fitzmaurice dotes on his family, especially his younger sister. He has always wanted to join the military, but his parents wouldn’t allow it because he had been very ill with rheumatic fever and the doctors were very afraid that it had damaged his heart.

Luke is smitten with Olivia from the first time he sees her – and she is with him as well, but they know nothing can come of it because Olivia is married. Over the ten-year period of the story, there is one interlude with the two of them at a masquerade ball. She knew it was him, but he didn’t know it was Olivia.

Napoleon escapes and the war starts up again. Luke is injured along with a close friend whose sister is also a good friend to Olivia. When Olivia escorts her friend to Brussels to nurse her friend’s brother, Olivia discovers that Luke is there as well. Luke and Olivia (now a widow) spend a lot of time together.

I would normally never choose to read a book that includes infidelity – and this one does. Infidelity on Olivia’s side and infidelity on her husband’s side. I would love to explain his infidelity, but that would be a spoiler and if you choose to read this book, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

As I said above, I liked the author’s word choices and the fact that it really felt as if the conversations were taking place during that time rather than the modern turn-of-phrase we usually read in our historical romances. What I didn’t like was that there were just so very many of those words. Maybe there weren’t that many actual words, but it certainly felt as if there were. The book was slow and plodding. You certainly didn’t find any exciting passages in there – even the interminable descriptions of Waterloo weren’t exciting. I guess, the bottom line is – I wouldn’t read the book a second time.

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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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