I can’t tell you the number of Regency romances I’ve read over the years – it’s far too many to count – but there’s just something about them that keeps me coming back for more. I’m not actually a big fan of romance novels otherwise. Maybe it’s because one of the first “classic” books I read was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and that early exposure left a hole yearning to be filled. Or maybe it’s because I get a nice chuckle every time the indecency of an exposed ankle is mentioned!
Whatever the reason for my love of Regency romance, it led me to pick up a copy of Duels & Deception, Cindy Anstey’s latest novel, in which we follow Lydia and Robert (or, as formality requires, Miss Whitfield and Mr. Newton) as they try to fill the roles society expects of them while also forging their own paths and [not-so-spoilery spoiler] fall in love.
Lydia is an heiress who is set to inherit her family’s estate, but must suffer her uncle’s control until she comes of age. In comes Robert, her lawyer’s clerk turned apprentice, who starts off as her ally and becomes so much more. I think Anstey did a wonderful job giving the two main characters unique, distinct voices that really shine as the story alternates between their points of view.
The only real issue I had with this novel is that the third quarter of the story felt a bit slow, but I think it might be because the rest of the novel is rife with intrigue (think: kidnapping, blackmail, duels, etc.) and having several “down moments” back-to-back seemed to drag more than it should have.
I don’t really want to give any of the plot details away because, like most romance novels, you know how the story is going to end, and the excitement comes from how you get there. But, I will say that Duels & Deception is a classic romance for the contemporary reader, perfect for anyone who loves an entertaining, intriguing historical romance.
3.5 out of 5 flowers!
Duels & Deceptions is available for purchase as of today, April 11, 2017 (Happy Publication Day!). If you want to know more, make sure to check out the book’s synopsis on Goodreads or Amazon (or any other site where books are sold) and maybe buy a copy while you’re at it!
***I received a free advanced reader copy (ARC) of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review consideration. Receiving a free copy of a book in no way influences the honesty of my reviews!