Book Review: Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey (spoiler-free)

Hello lovelies! First of all I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC of Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey! I have read Anstey’s debut novel Love, Lies and Spies earlier this year and let me tell you – it’s really adorable. And with this new instalment – Anstey delivered a brilliant and enthralling story once again!

Synopsis:

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…

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Publication Date:
April 11 2017
RRP:
$16.99 AUD

This book was so cute. If you’re into regency romance, along with a fast-paced plot setting in beautiful England, you’ll definitely enjoy this novel. The things I loved most about this book were the dual perspectives, the sense of humour, and array of personalities of each of the characters. The way people conversed during this time period is very fascinating to me, and I simply love the fact that the author did a fair amount of historical research as the authenticity of the era was very spot-on in the book.

The very beginning of the story, Lydia meets Robert in quite an interesting encounter – Lydia, being a wealthy and the rightful owner of her father’s estate and Robert, being a apprentice-to-be lawyer on his way to her place to discuss about her estate. I am a huge sucker for head-strong, intelligent and honest female leads, and Lydia is one of them. Her character was portrayed brilliantly and develop as the plot progresses – her kind and responsible nature, her passion towards her family and running the estate smoothly, her selflessness and resilience – I can go on and on about how I adore her character.

With such a fascinating character being out main girl, comes Robert Newton, my precious adorable little bean. Immediately after their encounter, Robert finds himself to be drawn towards Lydia, and constantly seek excuses to see and be around her. Not long after the acquaintance was made, Lydia was kidnapped (as written in the synopsis), along with Robert. Oh man, that part was so thrilling to read, and a friendship was formed between those two. But you might think that: is the kidnapping thing most of the book? HA NO! That’s definitely not the case, there’s HEAPS more to it, but I won’t say much more because I would not spoil anything for you. When I was reading that part, I couldn’t stop giggling and making a fool of myself, because it was written very well.

There were a few scenes that got me confused, maybe it was the figure of speech that was employed which I am unfamiliar to, and some actions scenes would have been better if executed more clearly. Although I was expecting a bit more action in the middle part, things become more steady and I actually did not mind at all because I really enjoy reading about Lydia and Robert’s routine.

The theme deception is a HUGE one in this book (hence the title), and I had doubts on people right at the very start because they were simply shady. It was very interesting to see the plot thickens as I got to see how the interactions between characters change as the story develops.

I particularly enjoy Robert’s POV. This guy is honestly so so sweet, and respectful, and funny and simply ADORE Miss Lydia and how he can’t stop constantly thinking about her and everything he does all comes back to dearest Lydia – my heart: *SWOON*.

There are quite a few surprises in the book that I really love, and bits of feminism is also incorporated nicely (if you have read it you will know what I mean, and it concerns with Mrs. Whitfield). Female empowerment is something I look for in books, and we definitely need more of this in today’s world. Love a good laugh? Love a swoon-worth romance? Love a good, kind-hearted gentleman? This is the book for you! And that’s a wrap for this review!

Happy Reading! xx

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