Mask of Duplicity

The Jacobite Chronicles, Book 1
Series: Jacobite Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (312 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Following the death of their father, Beth's brother, Richard, returns from the army to claim his share of the family estate. However, Beth's hopes of a quiet life are dashed when Richard, dissatisfied with his meager inheritance and desperate for promotion, decides to force her into a marriage for his military gain. He will stop at nothing to get his way. 

Beth is coerced into a reconciliation with her noble cousins in order to marry well and escape her brutal brother. She is then thrown into the glittering social whirl of Georgian high society and struggles to conform. The effeminate but witty socialite Sir Anthony Peters offers to ease her passage into society, and she is soon besieged by suitors eager to get their hands on her considerable dowry. 

Beth, however, wants love and passion for herself and to break free from the artificial life she is growing to hate. She finds herself plunged into a world where nothing is as it seems and everyone hides behind a mask. 

Can she trust the people professing to care for her?

©2015 Julia Brannan (P)2019 Julia Brannan

What listeners say about Mask of Duplicity

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Historical fiction w/ excellent dual narration.

First, this book is more historical fiction than historical romance, which in no way took away from my enjoyment of this well written, well researched, and exceedingly interesting story. This is Book 1 in the five-volume series The Jacobite Chronicles. At the time of this review, this is the only volume available on Audible. The dual narration by Rosalyn Landor and Will M. Watt is outstanding and is certainly the best, most original dual narration (that I have yet to hear). Ms. Landor voices ALL the female characters, and Mr. Watt performs ALL the male characters. They are individually, as well as jointly, superb. The narrators intermittently take turns as the general storyteller and the switching is done seamlessly. The audio editor(s) and these narrators should all each win an Audie for this work. The story centers around the Jacobite uprising, starting (in this story) in 1741. The main character, Elizabeth "Beth" Cunningham, a cash-poor, country-bred, orphaned heiress, with political leanings to the James Stuart. Beth is pushed into London society (in hopes of making brilliant match) by her older, sadistic*, ruthless stepbrother, Richard, a sergeant in the Dragoons, and their cousin Edward, a staid misogynist. Both seek to use Beth as a means to increase political influence and power. Beth is supported by a varied group of loyal servants as well as her uninteresting, but basically kind older female cousins. The story takes place early on near Manchester, and later in London. Sir Anthony Peters, a foppish, rich, influential personality becomes more and more central to the story. Parallel to the London society aspects of the story, is the group of rebels hoping to bring James Stuart (or his son, Bonny Prince Charlie) back to the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland, held at the time by George II. The rebel group centers around Alex MacGregor, his brothers, and other clansmen, whom Beth unknowingly meets in Manchester. A smart reader will figure out the specific connection early, but it doesn’t take away from the excellence of the story. This was *very* entertaining and I really hope the other volumes are released on Audible soon. *Note: there is some brutality and a sexual assault in the book which were hard to listen to, nevertheless, I will listen to this book again (although I may speed up considerably through those parts).

25 people found this helpful

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had potential

This book ended with so many unanswered questions that it feels like a part one. Unfortunately it also dragged forever that the interest to get answers is gone.

8 people found this helpful

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Gripping Story

This is clearly not just a light-hearted romance, though it has light-hearted moments. Many are offended by the rape passage but it is in keeping with the tone of the book. The author wants us to know that this character is a bad guy. Sometimes, an author will just describe a character's personality but that's pretty two dimensional. It's better to show us. The intended victim gets the upper hand on the would be rapist. Also, most sexual assaults described in romance novels are met with the heroine arching her back while there's a "thrumming" in her nether regions. This has a much more respectable outcome. The hero is also more complex and interesting than the usual hero. The book is also well edited. The only error I can recall is one time the author used the word "prone" when she meant supine. Overall, well done. The dual narration by Rosalyn Landor and Will M. Watt was superb.

6 people found this helpful

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An excellent listen

This book is great on so many levels. It's an accurate representation of the period for which it was written, based on very well researched archives in Scottish and English history. It's an exciting fictional story with interesting and well developed characters. It's a well crafted book in a world of so much less than literary work that has been a constant for the past few decades. And now we have the audio version. I'm blown away by the quality. As an avid consumer of audiobooks, I would say this is the best of the best. It's difficult enough for one reader to craft a good audio experience, but to have a male and female representation and to do it so flawlessly is such a treat. It's really, really good. I can't wait for the entire series on audible!

11 people found this helpful

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Marvelous Surprise

Because Rosalyn Landor was the narrator of Mask of Duplicity I took a chance on this book by an author I did not know. So glad I did because I enjoyed it greatly, especially the character of Sir Anthony and his story. The heroine, Beth, was suitably strong minded and outspoken yet compassionate. Be prepared for the ending to be a happy cliffhanger. If you enjoy books by Joanna Bourne, Lucinda Brandt, or Stella Riley, you will very likely enjoy this author as well.

8 people found this helpful

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Good read!! Recommended.

Good book. Is it the best book I’ve ever read? No. However, it was an engaging easy listen. Compelling work great characters. I’d highly recommend it and I’ll be purchasing the second book immediately. Some books are written to be literature and rated on a different plane. This book is made to be enjoyed, and it was very much enjoyed. It’s well written and not a cheesy romance as the cover implies. It’s romantic, yes, but in a good way in my opinion. I think those who love the Jacobite time period and such would be even more interested in such a book. Yet it’s a good listen for all. I did enjoy the narration a great deal. Everyone did a good job. In fact Will Watt did a terrific job as Richard who was narrated with contemptuous perversity-a wonderfully done villain. My only issue with the narration was his depiction of Sir Anthony Peters. While he’s a fop and a dandy, I felt it was much too over the top. It was hard to take at times and, being a spoiler I won’t reveal, it was much too false and odd a voice and characterization to fit with any plausibility to the overall character. Unless Sir Anthony’s job is an Oscar winning actor it was rather too much a deviation from himself. An uncomfortably ridiculous and cringeworthy depiction made the character more one dimensional which is opposite of the writers intention. Sometimes less is more. Foppish narration would have been perfect, but this narration made him the single most effeminate character I’ve seen in person/books/films. Too much. Unfortunate as Mr Watts other characterizations were so well done. This character accounts for my 4/5 on performance. Otherwise it would get a 5. Overall I RECOMMENDED this book!

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent slow-burn historical romance!

I don't know if there will be more books on Audible in this series, but I do hope so. This is not a Steamy romance so far, but the Scottish history is well researched (in my admittedly non-expert opinion), the characters are well developed, the slow burn love story is not predictable but is natural in it's evolution, and, of course, narration is excellent! It is always very humbling for me to be reminded of how little choice some women had in where they live, how they live, and who they marry. Historical Romance fans who love Scottish history and skillfully executed Scottish accent work in duet-style narration by the super-spiffy Will Watt would enjoy this one. Disclaimer: I am certainly no expert on the Scottish accent, but if there is one thing that can rip you right out of a story it is a poorly done accent, and that was definitely not the case here.

3 people found this helpful

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Mediocre romance

I bought this because all of the reviews that went on about how historically accurate this book was. Well, it is set in the 18th century and it is about the Jacobite rebellion and that is about it. I was surprised no one had mentioned the gratuitous incestuous rape scene in the beginning of the book-it was violent and explicit and the victim was really, really mad and offended but never suffered from and realistic trauma-it served no purpose to forward the plot. This is a historical romance-the mentioned scene is the only sex/violent scene but it checks all the boxes for a romance. If you are interested because you enjoy reading historical fiction, this will probably come up short. It is nothing like Stella Riley or Laura Kinsale- The only thing that tempted me to continue listening was the narration. Roslyn Landor is either exceptionally good or exceptionally annoying to me. She is good in this one and having a male narrate the male characters works really well. I’m not particularly looking forward to the next book-the cliff hanger is only a short drop.

6 people found this helpful

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A wonderful story with excellent narration

I loved reading the kindle version of Mask of Duplicity so when I heard about this audiobook version I couldn’t wait to listen to it. I had never before listened to an audiobook with the male and female characters performed by two different readers. That method added so much to this particular story. I highly recommend both the novel and the audiobook to anyone who is interested in the Jacobite historic era. I am already anticipating the audiobook version of the entire series.

5 people found this helpful

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Immersed instantly ! Loved it!

This is a web of intrigue and historical fiction that will suit the guys and the gals ! The characters are taking you on a journey into meticulously researched factual history . This is a fantastic audible ! Can’t wait for the next !

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-27-19

Mask of Duplicity

A cracking good story. Wonderful to listen to. I hope more of Julia's books are made into audiobooks.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-03-19

Mask of Duplicity

Great story with vibrant and dynamic characters and performed so very well by Rosalyn Landor and Will M. Watt. Excellent! Would like to hear the rest now, please.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rachel Reads
  • 04-13-20

outstanding

really enjoyed this - the narration was epic, I usually tire of Rosalyn's voice as she is the preferred narrator of period dramas it's quite tedious BUT on this occasion she was excellent and a great coupling with Will Watt - this is the first I have heard of him an I will definitely be looking for books narrated by him, his accents are really good. I'm addicted to find out the next part of this story- so, so good.

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  • Bouves
  • 04-13-20

Brilliant start to a fascinating series!

The book is well written and grips you from the start but what is of course crucial to any audiobook is the narrator in this case narrators Rosalyn and Will are just perfect! I am writing a quick review in the hope that it will bring us the rest of the books in this series by the same narrators. I have started on book 2 and have found out that book 3 has a delay as to the final date for various reasons, so eagerly anticipate the release date. I sincerely hope this is just a hiccup and the rest of the series can be forthcoming at regular intervals I will definitely listen to all the books in the series and am really looking forward to this. Thank you to Julia Brannan for writing these novels in the first place of course.

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  • asearle79
  • 10-03-19

Sir Anthony Peter's comes alive!

I'm glad that Mask of Duplicity was my first audio book. The storytelling really brings the characters to life. Sir Anthony Peter certainly excelled himself. Congratulations to the audio readers for providing a marvelous retelling of Book 1 of Julia's Jacobite Chronicles. I've read the all the books in the series so far, but it was a wonderful experience to have the story read. I look forward to enjoying the rest of the Jacobite Chronicles in audio versions too!

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  • Sue C
  • 09-30-19

The Mask If Duplicityv

This was my first audio book so I was unsure if I would like it After one minute of listening I loved itv I’ve read the book do I knew the story but listening to it and hearing the characters come alive was wonderful Rebellious Beth a lovely heroine Richard was pure evil and best of all Sir Anthony Peters a most unusual hero It’s a good story Well written Beth the secret Jacobite in a very dangerous time and finally the mysterious highlander Alex who we don’t know much about but Im sure we will in the next book Can definitely recommend this audio book Well worth a listen to be transported back to 1743 in Manchester and London in dangerous times .

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  • John Rees
  • 06-14-19

Thoroughly enjoyed

This was recommended to me. I'm glad it was. A thoroughly enjoyable story. Well written. A great plot packed with twists and turns. Characters are well drawn. I could picture the people and places. Not my usual genre so good to step out of the box. Am looking out for book 2 on audible. Hope it comes along soon. The narration is very good. Two voices. and they work together beautifully. Well worth listening to.

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  • susan sacranie
  • 05-19-19

very enjoyable

I really enjoyed listening to this reading. I highly recommend it if you love history.

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  • Jodie Hoger
  • 03-10-19

Just brilliant!

A brilliant rendition of one of my favourite books of all time. This audio book has brought the characters of “The Mask of Duplicity” to life. I thoroughly recommend Julia’s “Jacobite Chronicles” to all readers who enjoy historical romance with accurate elements of history tied in with characters brought to life with the penmanship of a wonderful writer. I cannot wait for the next in series to come out as an audio book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sue Bluntish
  • 03-02-19

Mask of Duplicity

I have waiting for this book to be released in audiobook, and thrilled to say it has been well worth the wait. Rosslyn and Will, have done a brilliant job of bringing Julia’s wonderful story and characters spectacularly to life. I highly recommend it to those who are already fans of Julia’s books and for all those yet to discover this brilliant work of historical fiction, that tells the history of the 45 Jacobite Rising through the wonderful characters of Alex, Beth and co. I for one will listen to it many times and look forward to the release of the rest of these books in this fabulous series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-16-20

Engaging story and narration

It would be good if the chapters on screen matched the commentary. It was hard to find my place each night as a result.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-02-19

Outstanding audible novel experience.

Mask of Duplicity is a wonderful narrative, written by Julia Brennan. Spoken by Rosalyn and Will it is a rich narrative combining history, drama in the best storytelling tradition.