Blog Tour: Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey (Review)


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.

29569260Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey

Release date: April 11th, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, romance
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

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.

CindyWhenever 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.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Click the link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway. Win a print copy of Duels and Deception. Open to Canadian and US residents only.

Mini Reviews: Geekerella by Ashley Poston & Awakening by by Lindsay Smith


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.

30201136Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Release date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Format: eBook


Goodreads | Amazon

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

“Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.”

*squeals* I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS STORY!!!!!!! The plot, the characters, the romance, the fandom….oh! It was perfect and I’m so glad that I picked it up. It was everything I adore about a story and more. My heart exploded and I had a permanent smile from start to finish. 

Reasons Why I Loved It:

  • It’s a modern retelling of Cinderella. Retellings are so much fun!
  • It features a POC lead character who was all kinds of swoon worthy and adorable.
  • I could totally identify with Elle, the main character. I’m obsessed with shows such as Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. Yes they are made up and perhaps I take them a little bit too seriously but they make me happy. They get me through tough times. Elle also used her love of a sci-fi show Starfield to help her deal with some difficult circumstances.
  • Talking about Elle, she was one of my favourite parts of this book. She’s brave, honest and willing to take risks. My heart was fully invested in her journey. I was emotionally all over the place. I was smiley like crazy when she was happy and outraged when a certain character tries to upstage her. I want more characters like Elle!
  • Fandoms are interesting things. The message of the book was perfect. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a fan for ages or are new to the TV show or movie or whatever. Fandoms are for celebrating our love of a particular show or character. Nobody should judge you on how “into” the fandom you are. THANK YOU!
  • It also touched on how sci-fi is very male dominated. Gender doesn’t dictate your love of a particular genre or how much knowledge you have about a show. I always felt strange letting people know I was so nerdy or into certain shows. But guess what? I don’t care anymore. I’m a sci-fi nerd and proud of it! I wish I would have had this book when I was a teen.
  • Sage, Elle’s friend, was simply kickass and amazing! She’s simply the best!

This book was so much fun to read! It brought be tons of joy, smiles, laughs. It had it all and I can’t recommend it enough.

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.

33360275Awakening by Lindsay Smith
Release date: February 8th, 2017
Publisher: Serial Box Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, historical fiction
Format: eBook


Goodreads | Amazon

The spies and sorcerers of Prague face hard questions and increased oversight in the wake of last season’s explosive events. On the Vltava, a Flame op goes up in literal flames when a mysterious interloper joins the fray.

Welcome to Prague, 1970: the epicenter in a Cold War of spies and sorcerers. The streets are a deadly chessboard on which the CIA and KGB make their moves, little dreaming that a deeper game is being played between the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame, ancient factions of sorcery.

The Witch Who Came In From The Cold has quickly become one of my favourite series. The stories are super short (two or three chapters long) and take place during the Cold War. So forget about the whole CIA vs. KGB spy game, the real story here is a secret battle between the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame, two magical factions. It’s hard to completely explain everything without giving so much away! You just really need to read “season one”.

Awakening, the first story in season two, was just as good or even better than its predecessors. So much happened near the end of the previous season and this story certainly started with a bang. It featured all of the things that I loved about the first set of stories and added in a couple of new items to keep me interested in finding out what will happen next. With such short stories, I’m always wanting more and more. It’s just this time around I’ll have to wait for the next part to be released. With season one I was able to read them all at the same time. Oh, the patience I’m going to need!

One thing I want to point out is that while the story does a good job of summarizing the main plot points of season one, it’s not for people who haven’t read the first set of stories. You’ll be very lost and unaware of minor plot details that pop up now and again. That said, I’m always amazed by how a series written by multiple authors can be so cohesive! Anyway, you really, really need to read this amazing series! You won’t regret a second of it. 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

33784373This week I’m looking forward to Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of my favourite books from last year! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of it and started reading the book as soon as it was out of the packaging. IT WAS SO GOOD! Easily five stars or more. I adored the main character Audrey Rose and couldn’t get enough of her banter with Thomas. THOSE TWO *sigh* I need this book NOW! ❤

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

The Book Fests Award

Mini Reviews-2

Thanks so much to Tiana at The Book Raven for nominating me! Also, please go check out her blog, it’s beautiful! I’m really late in doing this but better late than never right? 🙂


  • It’s always proper and the right thing to do, when you receive something from someone, you thank them. It’s the same with this award. You can link the blogger who presents the award blog in the post you use to fulfill the requirements of the award.
  • Answer the award questions that will be listed below.
  • Write a Fifty Word Story, because it’s fun.
  • Award five or more bloggers with this award.
  • Ask them a question of your making you would like them to answer.


Q: What is your favorite quote from the book you most recently read? What does that quote mean to you?

A: I recently bought a physical copy of The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace. It’s such a beautiful and very emotional collection of poetry. Every single poem made me feel something so deep. It’s difficult to completely explain. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Seriously!

This particular poem really stood out for me…


50ish Word Story:

Breathe in. Breathe out. She repeated those words over and over again inside her head. However, her body had other ideas. Her skin felt clammy, her hands shook and her legs felt wobbly. It was just a speech. It wasn’t as if it was the end of the world. She would stand up in front of the class, say a few words and then sit down. No big deal…right?

My Question & Nominations

Have you ever had a book, character or specific passage change the way you think about the world or yourself? If so, please explain how it impacted your life.

Bookish Bingo: Spring 2017 Edition

bookish-bingo-1024x379Bekka from Pretty Deadly Reviews is hosting a spring round of Bookish Bingo throughout March, April and May. The point of Bookish Bingo is to get as many bingos as possible. The more bingos, the more giveaway entries. All types of books (fiction, non-fiction, novellas) count, but you can only have one square per book. Also, for a book to count, it must have been read between March 1st and May 31st, 2017.


My Progress:

  • Magic: The Golem by by Ian Tregillis
  • Historical: Cover the Silence  by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • LGBT+ Main Character: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember
  • Spring Release: Geekerella by Ashley Poston
  • Witches: Radio Free Trismegistus by Ian Tregillis
  • Multi-POV: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Are you participating in this round of Bookish Bingo? How are you doing so far?

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

33155334This week I’m looking forward to You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins. The title is what first attracted me to this book when I stumbled across it on Goodreads. Then I read what it was about I added it to my TBR. I love generational stories, the weaving together of old and new. It’s a clash of cultures, identities and ideas. It sounds stunning and I can’t wait to pick it up. It’s set to be released on September 12th by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse.

From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.

Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Ok, so I’m behind on the blog and missed last week’s topic. I’m not a huge fan of the topic for this week, so I’m making up for the one I skipped. So, my topic this week revolves around the theme of books read in one sitting. I’m going to narrow that down to ten novellas/short stories that I enjoyed and finished without taking a break. Here we go…

Have you read any of these novellas? Do you have any to recommend? 🙂