Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book review - Duels and Deception

Title: Duels and Deception
Author: Cindy Anstey
Genre: historical fiction
Similar books: The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray
                      The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Summary (provided by publisher): In which a lady and a law clerk find themselves entangled in the scandal of the season...
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 the day Lydia is kidnapped—and Robert along with her. 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 unsullied and expose whoever is behind this 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...

My opinion: High marks for style. Anstey really captures the atmosphere of something like an Austen novel. And not just the setting - the dialogue and the very sensibility of the culture and the characters. The plot has a fair amount of excitement and intrigue, what with kidnapping and secret machinations towards money and influence. It's intriguing but not always compelling. For a reader used to the style and pacing of most modern novels the pacing of this one can seem kind of slow. The plot is, at times, overly reliant on convenient twists and suffers from some logical deficiencies. While it isn't the sort of thing I normally read, I know of a certain class of teens that will adore this novel.

More Information: Duels and Deception releases April 11.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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