I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by Swoon Reads on April 19th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.
Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.
What an incredibly adorable book! I was struck from the very beginning and did not want to set this down. Very reminiscent of Gail Carriger and the like with strong, sensible female lead and a handsome, devilish male lead.
Not everything is given away at once. I loved the pacing of this as the main character, Juliana, is staying with family for her season. Interestingly, she is not at all into finding a husband. She is much more concerned with her research on beetles, to the horror of all the women around her. I thought this made her even more striking, especially when she stops all conversation around her because she is prattling on about beetles larvae!
Spencer makes a great match. The first time they meet I was nearly in stitches from laughing so hard. They are conversing on whether or not it is right to save Juliana, which it is, of course, but from Juliana’s perspective she is willing to be dashed upon some rocks if it means not getting herself, or her family, into trouble. What we would all see as ridiculous today is quite firmly logic back then. Which makes it all the funnier. This meeting is only the first and I could not wait until they met again!
The side characters are also quite intriguing. Although there are clues peppered around, it was difficult for me to know exactly who the villain of the story was going to be, although this is quite firmly understood the more I read. I was glad to be able to figure out the culprits, but it was not easily done!
The one critique was the back and forth between Spencer and Juliana’s chapters. Of course, this had to be done to give more clues because Juliana could not have seen all that Bobbington and Spencer did, however, it slowed down the story a little. I wanted to fast forward through those chapters and get to the banter!
In short: Lovely read! I’m a fan of Cindy’s and cannot wait to read more of her work!
|Overall:||4.3 / 5|
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.