Saturday, September 29, 2012
Quick Review: Maiden Behind the Mask by Tara Chevrestt
When Catalina Rodriguez is attacked by a would-be rapist and rescued by the dashing Ricardo Garcia, she not only becomes more aware of the handsome man, but also vows that she'll never be a damsel in distress again. Using the timeless method of blackmail, she convinces her uncle to teach her to fight and becomes a masked crusader in the night, saving other damsels from robbers and rough handling.
However, scandalous rumors and dwindling funds force Ricardo and Catalina to marry. Not immune to each other's charms, their marriage starts fiery, but when one of Catalina's nightly escapades results in dire consequences, she is forced to spurn her husband's amorous advances…or reveal a secret that could turn him away from her forever.
Ricardo’s not a man to be cuckolded or left in the dark. Is his wife having an affair with El Capitan, the masked savior? If so…they will both pay.
I was really impressed earlier this year with Ms. Chevrestt's young adult suffragette novel, Ride for Rights, and so I was looking forward to this female Zorro-inspired historical adventure story.
It was only seventy pages long on my Nook, so not a lot of space, and most of the story was devoted to the plot: setting up the impetus for Catalina to learn self-defense, her lessons, and then her adventures as El Capitan, and I think the development of the characters and their relationships with each other suffered for it. They all seemed more like caricatures than real people, especially Ricardo. It is a comedic tale, but some of the situations were rather too implausible and over-the-top for me. I also thought the narrative and dialogue lacked the polish and style evident in Ride for Rights. It all felt more like a light treatment or a shell of a potentially great story.
But it is a fun story, and I think it is supposed to read like slapstick or a farce, though it was a little too much so for me. I'm all for short stories and novellas, but I like those with a little more depth. So though Maiden Behind the Mask is not going to be my favorite of Ms. Chevrestt's works, it's by no means a bad story, just not to my taste, and I will continue to look for more historically minded offerings from her in the future!
My Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
*Please Note: Though I received this book from the author in exchange for a review, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.