Hi there my gorgeous readers! Welcome to Quite the Novel Idea and one of the stops in the tour for the lovely Love, Lies and Spies. I adored this one, so please stick around for my review and for the giveaway. Also, check the rest of the schedule here.
About the Book
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
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.
I think the first word that comes to mind to describe Love, Lies and Spies is fun. This book was SO MUCH FUN to read. If you don’t already know, I’m a big historical romance reader and fan, thus I was so eager to read it, plus how could I resist this beautiful cover?
Juliana was raised in the country with his widower father. Free of the restrictions of city life they both found common ground in the study of the ladybug and other insects. The need to see their research published drives Juliana to ask her Aunt to sponsor her on one London season. However, Juliana couldn’t foresee the many etiquette lessons and lectures that she had to endure, all the constraints on her times and liberties. Or in meeting a particular fascinating and mysterious gentleman. Juliana is clumsy, nice, loyal, smart, a good friend and daughter, with a whole lot of common sense and great taste.
Spencer is a spy for the War Office meets Juliana while in the middle of an investigation. Using his best friend as an excuse, he asks Juliana to pretend to fall for each other in order to give him easy access to the family. Spencer is a handsome gentleman of means that was searching for meaning in his life and found it by doing something for his country. I love how his priorities shifted to make room for Juliana at the top. The relationship grows slowly, until they have to admit their feelings for each other. This is a sweet romance and I adored both characters!
I’ve read a lot of historical fiction and I can tell that Anstey’s did her research. I liked the attention to every detail, from the setting, to the costumes, to titles, and everything else. Even though some of the elements of the plot are not completely original, they are very well done. I really liked the twists and turns and I didn’t see some of them coming. I hoped this wasn’t a stand alone since I feel there is room for a lot more of Juliana and Spencer’s adventures. The ending is satisfying, no cliffhangers!
Cindy Anstey’s writing reminds me of Gail Carriger in it’s playfulness, funny notes and off-handed observations of the customs of the times, especially the restrictions and expectations placed by society on women.
Overall, Love, Lies and Spies is a solid debut novel that will appeal to the YA, romance and historical reader looking for a fun read that will leave you craving for more. I can’t wait for Anstey’s next novel 🙂
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.
A print copy of Love, Lies and Spies (US/Canada)