(Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Love, Lies and Spies
Published by Macmillan on April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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…
I really loved Cindy Anstey’s Love, Lies, and Spies so when I found out she had a new book called Duels and Deceptions, of course I had to get my hands on it. I love historical romance and this book was exactly what I was looking for.
Lydia Whitfield is the main character and I loved her. Growing up in a time where women are supposed to be quiet, marry, and let the men make all the decisions, Lydia stands out as she is smart, decisive, and pretty much has her future planned out. Her plans do not include marrying for love, like one of her closest friends, but she will marry the man her father thought would be best for her and her family estate, Lord Barley Aldershot. She just needs to get everything settled with her solicitor.
Robert Newton is the third son of an Earl and his career as a law apprentice has started out as a law clerk for Mr. Lynch, Lydia’s solicitor. I loved everything about Robert…everything. Upon meeting Lydia, Robert is immediately drawn to her based on her personality and as he gets to know her, and her quirks, he finds himself looking for reasons to spend more time with her. Unfortunately Robert knows that he can never do anything about his attraction. Not only is Lydia expecting to marry Lord Aldershot but as an heiress, he would be seen as a fortune hunter or kept man and he would never want to drag her down because he has to have a career.
On her way into Bath for a meeting with Robert and Lord Aldershot, the unexpected happens and Lydia is kidnapped. As Robert happened to jump into the carriage at the last minute he is also taken by the thugs and as he is tossed out of the carriage, he realizes he has to do whatever he can to save Lydia from the men who have taken her. Even though she eventually gets away from the kidnappers, in a time when reputation is everything, the situation has put Lydia in a position where her biggest worry is how she will explain being on her own with an unmarried man. When they find they are close to her friend’s home, they make their way there and together, everyone comes up with a story that will cover up the situation.
Just when you think things are ok and Lydia has made it past the storm, a blackmail letter shows up…and eventually another. As Lydia and Robert work to figure out who is behind the kidnapping and notes they come to realize that they really do care about each other and I loved how Anstey built up the relationship between them. It was definitely slow to build but it really worked with this story as it took time for Lydia to realize that there is more to life than just doing what will be good for her estate.
I loved the secondary characters in this book. Lydia’s mom ended up being someone I liked and she really did help Lydia realize some important things. Robert’s friend Cassidy was an interesting character and I kind of want to know more about him. Cora, Lord Aldershot, and her aunt/uncle all helped to move the story along and added to the overall story.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a light historical romance with a bit of a mystery, I definitely recommend this one and if you haven’t read Love, Lies, and Spies…you should go read that book too. I am definitely looking forward to whatever Anstey writes next and will be keeping an eye out for whatever it is.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!