Margo Maguire


Jaunty Post

I’ll admit it now, up front. I love to watch movies and read books that are scary. Give me a good Gothic Novel, along with a dark and stormy night, and I’m in heaven. And it’s Halloween, so I should be talking about things that go bump in the night.

But I decided not to. We all know that Halloween is about scaring away malevolent spirits from the underworld. And the way we humans do that is to  dress up in terrifying disguises to scare away the bad spirits. (Like THAT ever worked, eh?)

My blog today is about characters in books who disguise themselves for reasons other than to scare away Halloween spirits. I asked the other Quills to help me out with this, and I’m going to ask all of you for your input, too.

Robyn and Kathy both mentioned Gentle Rogue by Joanna Lindsey. The heroine disguises herself as a boy in order to get on a ship.  Which reminds me of Shana Galen’s The Rogue Pirate’s Bride – it also has a heroine whose identity is hidden from the hunky pirate and leads to some interesting shenanigans. Which always works well in romance, right? The hero doesn’t know she’s a girl and – well, let the games begin. 🙂

Terri Brisbin’s The Earl’s Secret had a hero who hid his true identity to search for his adversary who was also hiding hers. Talk about conflict!

My first book, The Bride of Windermere, had a heroine who dressed as a boy – but not because of a disguise. She was a tomboy in a Medieval world. The hero knows she’s female, and falls in love with her in spite of her clothes (and in spite of himself!)

In Emily McKay’s Her Wildest Dreams, the heroine, Jane, disguises herself as someone who is sexy and uber-confident so she can do an important presentation. But then she runs into her boss and starts an affair with him while in disguise. O.M.G. I haven’t read this one yet, but I just added it to my kindle because I want to find out how this works out.

Seems like we mostly run across heroines who disguise themselves. There’s one exception I can think of – it’s a book that was high on everyone’s list of favorites: The Scarlet Pimpernel. And what a great premise – the hero behaves like an effeminate fop in one “life” while he is the brave and dashing Pimpernel in his other “life.” [[Sigh]] What a man!

Shana Galen says some of her favorite disguised characters are from Shakespeare -Rosalind dressed as Ganymede in As You Like It, and Portia saved Antonio when dressed as a lawyer in The Merchant of Venice. And of course there are all kinds of mixed up identities in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare was a master at this.

What are your favorite “character in disguise” books? I’m going to choose one commenter to receive a copy of my latest book, a Highlander adventure without any disguises at all, The Warrior Laird.

18 thoughts on “In Disguise

  1. Connie Fischer says:

    The only character I can say I really liked was the gal in one of Julia Quinn’s novels who had the newspaper column and called herself Lady Whistledown. She would see and hear bits of gossip and incognito and share them in her column. There was a lot of humor in this novel as is typical of Ms. Quinn’s writings. “Hiding” in broad daylight so to speak is quite intriguing.

  2. Laurie G says:

    In Madeline Hunter’s book PROVOCATIVE IN PEARLS. Verity was hiding from her husband the Earl of Hawkeswell. Her cousin had forced her to marry him so she fled and hid out at the Rarest Bloom under an assumed name.

  3. Connie – I remember that. Lady W got her own book at some point, didn’t she? Did she ever tell anyone that she was the hidden gossip columnist?

  4. I’m putting this one on my Wish List, Laurie.

  5. Kathleen OD says:

    I have read Johanna Lindsey’s book and I love it.I know I have read other book where the heroine disusies herself, but I can’t think of the titles of the top of my head.. These are all good ones though..

  6. Shana Shana says:

    Great post, Margo! Like Terri, The Scarlet Pimpernel is another of my favorites.

  7. Stefanie D says:

    Kathleen Woodiwiss’s A ROSE IN WINTER. The hero was pretending to be his brother, hiding behind a mask to find out who killed his brother and burned down the house.

  8. oh yes, I LOVED A Rose in Winter! I’d completely forgotten that one.

  9. Terri Brisbin says:

    Ohmigosh — A ROSE IN WINTER — one of my favorites of all-time — and yes, the hero disguises himself as a disfigured monster of a man….LOVED IT! Must re-read it again soon….

    I do love the theme of it — I think that’s why I loved the Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies that did it — Lover Come Back, Pillowtalk….

    Happy Halloween everyone!

  10. catslady says:

    Now that I heard A Rose in Winter I can’t think of any other titles but I’m really horrible at remembering names. It is a theme I’ve enjoyed many times though.

  11. Melody May says:

    Margo, love Shana’s book. Here are a couple other books that I like: Maggie Robinson’s LORD GRAY’S LIST and Lauren Willig THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION. So many masquerade books. So, little time to list them.

  12. Hey Melody May – I’ll have to check out the Robinson and Willig books. Love those characters in disguise! In the meantime, I’ve got lots of little gremlins showing up at my door – in disguise. Trick or Treat!!

  13. Ann s. says:

    I really liked The Heir by Grace Burrows. I liked how Anna pretends to be a housekeeper in order to keep herself safe. Thank you so much for the giveaway.

  14. bn100 says:

    I liked Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey.

  15. Oh yes – The Heir was a great read! Excellent addition, Ann!

  16. Emily McKay says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Margo! I hope you love it. It’s actually one of my favorite books I’ve written.

  17. LilMissMolly says:

    The Phantom of the Opera is my all time favorite. I can’t help but feel sorry for him! And, then there is the Beast from Beauty and the Beast! 🙂

  18. Janie McGaugh says:

    A couple of “old” books that are particular favorites are The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer and The Curious Rogue by Joan Vincent. I also love The Scarlet Pimpernel, Gentle Rogue, and A Rose in Winter.

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