I have no problem with the story, prose, or characters, what I DID have a problem with is the end. I wont spoil the end, but keep in mind if you do read this the book was written in 2005 (5 years ago) and the end STRONGLY suggests a continuation of characters... these characters AND others in a second novel, but a release date has yet to be hinted at. The author doesn't seem to have a website, and the book sites I tend to look at hasn't listed any other books for this author that have anything to do with these characters.
That being said, the novel takes place during the Regency era, it focuses greatly on the relationships that a young woman, left alone in the world, forms and what she learns of the less sheltered side of life as a single woman in Regency England (not always a pleasant experience). It certainly hints at religion, but it never outright convinces you to become more religious (thank heavens... pun intended). I was not disappointed, but have felt myself left wanting for the "rest of the story", which is one of my most hated feelings when I read books.
All in all, its a fun book. In a nutshell a woman goes to a "sketchy" engagement because she's starving, meets a man she can't resist and ends up fighting her own moral upbringing in the struggle to survive, love and hopefully have love returned. All this happens while the "lover" is attempting to sell a "magical" mask to several interested but not so pure of heart characters that are more than willing to pull any despicable moves necessary to ensure they are the ones that ultimately gain said mask. A fun mix of a fantasy element, relationships, some humor, love, and the ultimate morality battle of a young religious woman in love with a man that has absolutely no urge to commit.