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Peek Inside Once Upon a Masquerade

New York City, 1883 Self-made shipping magnate Christopher Black first spies Rebecca Bailey at a masquerade ball and is captivated by her refreshing naïveté and sparkling beauty. But when Christopher’s investigation of the murder of his best friend leads him straight to Rebecca, he fears his ingénue may be a femme fatale in disguise. Now he must decide if he can trust the woman he’s come to love, or if her secrets will be his downfall.

Once Upon a Masquerade

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A 2015 Golden Quill finalist in the Best First Book category.

A 2015 GDRWA Booksellers’ Best Award finalist in the Historical category and Best First Book category.

New York City, 1883

A Prince Charming meets his match…

Self-made shipping magnate Christopher Black first spies Rebecca Bailey at a masquerade ball and is captivated by her refreshing naiveté and sparkling beauty. She’s a stark contrast to the hollow behavior of the ton and the guile of his former fiancee, but the closer he gets to her secrets, the further she pushes him away.

A Cinderella with a secret…

Rebecca is drawn to the charismatic Christopher from the first, but she cannot risk him discovering that she is really a housemaid impersonating an heiress. Her father’s life depends on it.

A Happily Ever After that could never be…

When Christopher’s investigation of the murder of his best friend leads him straight to Rebecca, he fears his ingenue may be a femme fatale in disguise. Now he must decide if he can trust the woman he’s come to love, or if her secrets will be his downfall.



"It's a fast paced, tightly woven romance/historical/mystery and suspense all rolled into one!" ~Author Barbara Longley

" exciting Victorian Historical Romance/Suspense. Filled with passion, danger, and romance." ~ My Book Addiction and More

"5/5 stars: Cinderella with a twist; an enchanting read that will hold your attention from start to finish..." ~Lil Miss Vix Reads

"I was hooked from the beginning until the very last page..." ~Stitch Read Cook

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781622664511
Release Date: Feb 10, 2014
Page Count: 293
Imprint: scandalous
Genre: historical
Tropes: across the tracks, bait and switch, enemies to lovers, fish out of water, forbidden love/off limits

Select Featured Reviews

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By Dianne June 08, 2018

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Was she a femme fatale acting the part of a sweet and rather naïve lady? Could she possibly be a callous murderer or did she hold other secrets, just as dark and for her, just as deadly? One thing for certain, Rebecca was nothing like the ladies of society and Christopher Black w ...more

By Alisha January 27, 2014

Christopher Black is a self made shipping magnate. Rebecca is a housemaid impersonating an heiress to become a mistress to a rich gentleman, in order to get the money she needs to pay off her father's gambling debts. The deadline has been lessened to a week, and if she fails, she'll be killed.

Chris ...more

By Ingrid February 16, 2014

Just finished Once Upon a Masquerade last night, let me first say, I am not a romance fan, but I love a good mystery with a wonderful love story and a bit of history thrown in. That's why two of my childhood loves were Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. Thank you, Ms. Hughes, the author of this grea ...more

By Crissy February 03, 2014

Good book, set in the 1800's. Lot's of scandal and mystery. Loved it! Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to review this book for my honest review. ...more

By Tonyalee February 21, 2014

I love starting out my reviews with confessions, so here goes; Historical Romance use to be one of my least favorite genres. Ever. No particular reason why, per se, I just didn't care for em. But over the years, our taste change and we grow as readers, and for me-- it has become one of my *new* favo ...more

By SE July 14, 2014

Rebecca Bailey first spots Christopher Black while pretending to be an heiress in a high-society ball. Despite being drawn to the charismatic, self-made shipping magnet, she knows that she’s on a mission: raise the money to pay her father’s gambling debts. And the clock is ticking since she has only ...more

By Vicki February 02, 2014

Full review here:

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

First of all, to state the obvious, the cover to this novel is stunning! It sold the book to me before I had even read the blurb. Rebecca Bailey is a maid desperate for mon ...more

By Cher February 04, 2014

Nice Historical Romance. It started a bit slowly but then you couldn't have pried my hands away from my reader if the house was on fire!

Take a girl that had once been from a wealthy family, whose father has never gotten over her mothers death. He gambles himself into a real mess and she has 1 week ...more

By E. February 12, 2014

Once Upon a Masquerade by Tamara Hughes is an entertaining historical romance that combines a mystery with the tale of the challenges facing a dutiful daughter, Rebecca Bailey, who is desperate to save her father from his own downward spiral which has resulted in a threat to his life. Christopher B ...more

By Farrah February 02, 2014

A lovely romance, with secrets and thrills in store, Once Upon a Masquerade was a wonderful read. I really liked this book. It was a truly enjoyable read.

Rebecca was a great heroine. She was strong, determined, and very loyal to those she loved. I really liked her. I thought she was a lovely charact ...more

By My Book Addiction and More February 11, 2014

ONCE UPON A MASQUERADE by Tamara Hughes is an exciting Victorian Historical Romance/Suspense. What a thrill ride!! Meet Rebecca Bailey, a housemaid in trouble and Christopher Black, shipping magnate. Fast paced! Filled with passion, danger, and romance. A most impressive debut for this author. Altho ...more

By Dana February 18, 2014

Christopher is searching for the murderer of his best friend and when he encounters the lovely Rebecca, he senses there is more to her than meets the eye. In dire financial straights and struggling to protect her reprobate father, Rebecca assumes the identity of an heiress and the romp begins. A tru ...more

By Eleonora February 08, 2014

I have read quite a few books based on classic stories and fairy tales and most of the times I have found them boring, predictable or lacking in some way. Once Upon A Masquerade proved to be the exception to this rule. It really is a very good piece of work. There are hints of the fairy tale in it, ...more

By Barbara February 02, 2014

Rebecca, a housemaid for a wealthy New York family, has only one remaining relative—her father. He's in trouble, and she'd do anything to help him. When another maid she works with suggests that the best way might be to find a wealthy benefactor, and the only way to do that is to crash a ball while ...more

By Aislynn February 27, 2014

Life hasn’t been the easiest for Rebecca and her family over the last decade. She lost her beloved Mother and watched her Father fall into depression, gambling and drinking. Leaving her to fend for herself, she’s taken a position with the wealthy family in hopes of helping her Father climb out of de ...more

By Stacy February 11, 2014

I was drawn into this story from the beginning. I liked how readily I empathized and rooted for Rebecca. Of course, Christopher himself is scrumptious. Not as edgy and intense as how I love my heroes, but he was enough to draw me in. From the get go I could see they would be great together, and I en ...more

By Chelsea February 21, 2014

Cinderella in this story is a young woman working as a maid to support her father who has gone into a decline following her mother's death. She's up against the wall trying to cover his latest gambling debts, which come with the threat of physical violence if they fail to come up with the money.

Rebe ...more

By Lola March 22, 2014

First - this cover is gorgeous. It lured me in. I enjoyed the unusual time period for this romance - late 19th century New York and the glamorous heyday of the American tycoon. Heroine Rebecca's family lost their fortune and she works as a maid. When a fellow maid suggests she masquerade as a fine l ...more

By Nan February 16, 2014

What a wonderful debut, I couldn't put it down. Finished the book in 2 days!
I loved that the book was set in New York but had all the wonderful historical aspects: masquerade party, class distinctions, home parties, mazes and servants. And of course the mystery of why anyone wants to hurt the feisty ...more

By Cas February 15, 2014

This book was very intriguing, it appealed to me once I read the description. A maid, poses as an heiress to save her father from death, only to be swept up in a scheme to murder her. Thankfully Christopher Black saves her, and decides that he wants to keep her safe. I received a free copy of this b ...more

By Daydream Books January 03, 2015

A likable historical story that takes the reader on the tantalising journey of secrets, ballrooms and the naughtier side of Regency London while not embarrassing a lady about 'ton sensibilities too much. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ...more

By Lily September 09, 2016

This book was pretty quick to read (short novel length, I think), and I enjoyed it very much. A unique setting, a murder mystery, and, of course, romance (with some really good jealous moments!). ...more

By Robin December 31, 2014

Cute story. Really enjoyed and a fast read. Love the cover! ...more

By Amber August 15, 2020

Rebecca Bailey works as a maid in an upstanding New York household. After her father loses a ton of money in gambling and a couple of thugs threaten both him and Rebecca, she takes her fellow maid’s advice to find a rich man, become his mistress, and get the money to save her father. With a borrowed ...more

Once Upon a Masquerade by Tamara Hughes is the story of Christopher Black and Rebecca Bailey.
Fell in love with both characters! They were both great and this story had a little bit of everything! It has the hint of a Cinderella story with the grand love but also had some suspense in it to keep you ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.44 avg rating
Tamara Hughes

About the author

Tamara Hughes

A small town girl with a big imagination, Tamara Hughes had no idea what to do with her life. After graduating from college, she moved to a big city, started a family and a job, and still struggled to find that creative outlet she craved. An avid reader of romance, she gave writing a try and became hooked on the power of exploring characters, envisioning adventures, and creating worlds. She enjoys stories with interesting twists and heroines who have the grit to surmount any obstacle, all without losing the ability to laugh.

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