As the first-born son of the Duke of Tournai and cousin to the prince, Cathal has always tried to fulfill his duty to family and country, including following through with an arranged marriage to Velia, cousin to the emperor of Ardunn. But it’s Velia’s companion, Flavia, who fascinates Cathal. Cathal doesn’t know that Flavia is really Flavian, a man masquerading as a woman to escape Ardunn, a restrictive place in which Flavian’s preference for men is forbidden.
Even when Cathal discovers Flavian’s true gender, he cannot fight his attraction to him. Flavian is intrigued by Cathal, but Cathal is still betrothed to Velia, and Flavian worries Cathal is more taken with his feminine illusion than the man beneath it. While both men battle their longings for each other, spies from Ardunn infiltrate the capital, attempting to uncover Tournai’s weaknesses. They are also searching for Flavian, who possesses a magical Talent that allows him to see the truth of a person just by painting their portrait—a skill invaluable to Ardunn’s emperor.
Release Date: December 21, 2015
Dreamspinner Press ebook
Dreamspinner Press paperback
Thanks for having me on your blog today! I’m Antonia Aquilante, and my new book, The Artist’s Masquerade, came out December 21st from Dreamspinner Press. The Artist’s Masquerade is the second book in the Chronicles of Tournai series, but it can be read as a standalone if you haven’t read the previous book, The Prince’s Consort, yet. It’s the story of Cathal, cousin to the prince and son of a duke, and Flavian, an artist on the run from his restrictive and dangerous homeland.
When I was thinking about what to write in these blog posts, the idea of discussing deception in The Artist’s Masquerade came to mind and wouldn’t go away. For a while, actually, I considered titling the book The Artist’s Deception, but ultimately I didn’t think the connotation was quite right for what Flavian is doing or what the book is really about. Deception seems to imply some degree of malice, and Flavian never intends that. But he has disguised himself as someone else and is lying to everyone about a huge part of who he is. He, and Cathal too, hold back quite a bit from each other and the people around them, even the people they love. But what’s more, they spend quite a while deceiving themselves. Lying to themselves about what they want and how they feel. They create a bit of a tangle for themselves, and it’s only when all the deceptions are cleared away that they can really find their way to each other.
Oh, and there are spies running around too, adding to the snarl of things and people that aren’t exactly as they seem.
About the Author
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent - they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the New Jersey Romance Writers.
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