Masque of Desire

Tricks and Treats

Miranda Carter, a thirty-three year old attorney, worked her way through Harvard Law and worked her way up to being the youngest partner in her firm. One of her clients was a very wealthy man from France. She helped him buy and restore a Georgian plantation on the outskirts of New Orleans. As a thank you to her for helping with the restoration project, her client, Aleksandr Valquet, invited her to a mock masquerade representing the era of the original great plantation owners in New Orleans.

Remembering back to the last time she dressed up for Halloween she recalled it was when she was eight-years old and her parents split up. Miranda wasn't very fond of having to dress up at all this evening let alone in an eighteenth-century French costume that her best friend, Deanna, had made for her. Although she looked beautiful in the costume it was too constricting for her to feel comfortable. Putting the black sequined velveteen mask on her face she put the finishing touch on the costume. When the limo came to pick her up she said goodbye to her girlfriend, Dee.

As she arrived, while getting out of the limo she admired the beauty of the entire restored plantation. While standing there she couldn't help but feel as if someone had been watching her though. Looking over her shoulder, she saw this small old woman dressed in black standing in the shadows of the trees. The woman was staring intently at her. In a strange sort of way, Miranda felt as if she had seen this woman before. She then suddenly had a vision that washed over her of the old woman standing near a bonfire clapping her hands in time with a violin that was playing. Suddenly she thought that a man had called her by her nickname, Mira. When she turned to see who would be calling her by this nickname, no one was around her. She quickly turned around to see if the old woman was still there, but she had disappeared. Again she heard the male voice say, "Mira, welcome home."

She walked up to the doorman wanting to get this evening over with. Showing her invitation, the gentleman welcomed her to Violet Hall. She followed the doorman up the gravel path to the house. She still felt as if someone was watching her though. When she turned this time she saw a marble statue of a man. It was a mausoleum and she undoubtedly knew the man was very handsome. Though she couldn't make out such characteristics as eye or hair color because it was carved in white marble, she could still see that the man had a strong face with a cleft in his chin. Again, a familiar feeling swept over her as if she had seen that face before.

A few feet away, the doorman had called to her to get her attention. Miranda inquired who the marbled statue man was. The doorman explained that no one knew his name, but all they knew was that he was the original owner of Violet Hall over two hundred and fifty years ago. He further explained that the owner apparently was cursed by a mad voodoo priestess who had condemned him to sleep forever until his one true love awoke him. Myth said he had disappeared two hundred and fifty years ago to the day. It had also been said that the original owner appears every Halloween looking for his one true love to break the curse he had been under all this time. The doorman then led Miranda inside the house where the party had already started.

Why did Miranda keep feeling as if someone was watching her? Did she finally meet up with Aleksandr Valquet that evening? Had she found out more about the man in the mausoleum or who the old woman was that appeared near the trees when she first arrived? Why was she experiencing strange things such as hearing her nickname being called that no one at the party knew or seeing vivid images of scenes from someone else's past?

Ms. Ruttan penned an intriguing tale of mystery and entwined it with a romantic twist. I found it to be a page-turner and it had me questioning the entire time if the curse was finally g

Book Blurb for Masque of Desire

Miranda Carter is a very successful attorney. Trick or treating is for kids, but when a very influential client she has never met invites her to an authentic eighteenth-century masquerade she quickly suits up to attend his masked ball at a haunted plantation.

Violet Hall is home to a mysterious ghost of the former owner, Aleksandr Valquet. He has haunted the grounds for two hundred and fifty years, waiting for his true love to return and break the curse of his immortality. It seems the so-called ghost has set his eyes on Miranda.

Miranda succumbs to a masked stranger's advances and spends an evening of pleasure in his arms, a stranger who seems awfully familiar as her past life unfolds.

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2007 4.00