I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey
Release date: April 11th, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, romance
Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father’s choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.
Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won’t hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert’s help, Lydia strives to keep her family’s good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…
Adorable. Delightful. Wonderful. Romantic. Lovely. These are some of the words that best describe Duels and Deception and I could go on and on. I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen and the Regency period. There’s just something so romantic about it. The slow burn romance. The clothing and manners. *sigh* This book was something that I enjoyed reading from beginning to end. You really need to have this in your life!
The story is about a young woman named Lydia who is the heir to a fortune and a large estate. She’s headstrong, intelligent and very witty. Lydia thinks she has everything figured out but when she meets an attractive law clerk her whole life is changes. So, while the plot was pretty straight forward and didn’t really include any surprises, I just couldn’t stop reading this book. Lydia was a fabulous main character. She wasn’t portrayed as being too overly controlling or unfeeling, like many assertive women from the time period were. She knows what she wants, but is loving, kind and oh so feminine. Lydia is also very flawed and I enjoyed seeing how she developed and changed throughout the story. I also adored Robert, Lydia’s love interest. The banter between these two was pure gold. Flirty and at times kind of awkward. Oh…I just loved it!
I really enjoyed how the story was written from two perspectives. It makes me really wish that Austen’s novels were written this way. Wouldn’t it have been fun if we also had seen Mr. Darcy’s perspective? It really made me become emotionally invested in the story and the budding relationship between Lydia and Robert. The dual perspective also gave the reader a glimpse into social conventions of the time and what influenced how they approached each other. It just made the characters so real, like I was right there.
My only complaint was that some parts of the book were quite slow. I guess I wanted the quick, exciting pace to last throughout the entire story and was a bit disappointed when it didn’t. Also, more kissing!!! There just wasn’t enough kissing. Seriously! Other than that, this is a must read for all fans of Jane Austen and adorable, witty romances. I haven’t read Anstey’s debut Love, Lies and Spies yet, but can’t wait to pick it up soon.
Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.
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