Title: Love, Lies & Spies
Author: Cindy Anstey
Genre: YA Historical Romance
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
ISBN-10: 1250084032 (Macmillan)
ISBN-13: 978-1250084033 (Macmillan)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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.
Quick & Dirty: Fantastic romance that I fell completely in love with. The amazing characters and intriguing mystery will make this a big hit with all YA regency fans!
Opening Sentence: “Oh, my this is embarrassing,” Miss Juliana Telford said aloud.
Miss Juliana Telford is a young independent woman that has a mind of her own and in the early nineteenth century that was considered most improper! She cares way more about researching ladybugs then she does dresses or finding a suitable husband. But society demands that young ladies act a certain way and there are things every young women should experience, like a season in London! Juliana agrees to go to London and participate in the balls, the flirting, and the shopping, but she has also plans to find a publisher for her very important research! The one thing she wasn’t looking for or wanting was a husband. But upon meeting one particularly charming gentleman she just might change her mind about never wanting to marry!
Spencer Northam is a young gentleman with a beautiful estate and comfortable living. He would be a great catch for any eligible maiden looking for a husband, but Spencer has no interest in looking for a bride. He is too busy trying to save his country. He secretly works for the war office and they are investigating a family that has ties to smuggling and possibly are trading important secrets to France. His mission requires him to watch and stay close to the suspected family and he finds the best way to do that is by striking an agreement with the beautiful Miss Telford. She is traveling with the family to London and they will be housed together for the duration of their stay. Spencer loves his job but he knows it is dangerous. It isn’t the type of lifestyle you want to bring a wife and children into, but the more time he spends with Juliana, the more he questions spending the rest of his life as a bachelor!
Juliana is the perfect heroine and I can honestly say I adored everything about her. She is independent, witty, intelligent, and fun. I had so much fun getting to know her and found her spunkiness endearing. I loved that she didn’t care about what other people thought of her. She is the type of person that makes her dreams a reality instead of waiting around for others to do things for her. She is someone I wish I could be friends with in real life because spending time with her would never be dull. She is just an all around great character that I connected with and admired!
I pretty much fell madly in love with Spencer right away and my love for him just grew throughout the story. He is charming, sweet, thoughtful, cunning, and funny. I really respected that he chooses a profession that served the country he loved even though it was dangerous and he didn’t need the money. He was very well off, but instead of living life like a normal gentleman he decided to do more. His relationship with Juliana was adorable and slow burning. He treated her with the utmost respect, but at the same time he would totally make you blush with a few of his thoughts! It was the perfect romance and it will definitely make you swoon!
Love, Lies, & Spies is a fun story full of adventure, espionage, romance, and humor. It has been a while since I have read a regency novel and I forgot how much I love this genre. The setting in the story was beautiful and romantic. The plot was intriguing and full of suspense. The language in the story perfectly fit the time period it was set in and it made the story feel more authentic. The characters were engaging and easy to love. The writing was fantastic and Anstey really knows how to create a captivating setting. The only complaint I had was that there was a small moment in the middle of the book that dragged for me. Thankfully it didn’t last too long but it was slow enough that I did start to get a little board. Overall, this was a fantastic story and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great romance or a fun regency/mystery novel.
Spencer’s brows furrowed, and his gaze went from her hand to her mouth. The singular way in which he was staring made Juliana feel rather heady, as if she were about to float away. Without conscious thought, her body leaned into him at the moment his seemed to be drawn to her. She dropped her hand and took a deep breath, waiting for his next move. He swallowed and then leaned closer. His lips were mere inches from hers.
FTC Advisory: Swoon Romance/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Love, Lies & Spies. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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