I’m not here typing this on this day. Today, I’m away from my computer, enjoying the pleasures of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Feel free to be jealous. I certainly would be if our circumstances were reversed.
Before I departed on my holiday to Florida though, I had the pleasure of finishing Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey, and it was stupendous! I was feeling frustrated last month with the excessive amount of romance books I was reading. I don’t particularly enjoy the genre in general, and every book I read seemed to be oozing with silly, romantic fancies. If I’m going to read a romance novel though, then I want to read more like this one!
Love, Lies, and Spies is the story of an unlikely encounter and romance between Miss Juliana Telford, a young woman more interested in researching the lady beetles of the English countryside than her upcoming debut, and Spencer Northam, a proper gentlemen working undercover for the War Office trying to find proof of treason by Lord Pyebald. All the necessary elements for a successful Regency novel were present: a handsome suitor, an independent woman, overbearing chaperones, less enlightened females, and shameless matchmakers. The plot was delightful, and I was overjoyed to find a novel set in the Regency period that focused on more than the social aspects. I liked that the authoress chose to also incorporate the Napoleonic Wars into her story.
Furthermore, the writing strongly recalls the works of Jane Austen in its style and tones. Those romances I very much enjoy, and this book impressed me with its Austen essence. It seemed to me to be a bit of an infusion between Pride and Prejudice and Emma. You can imagine my delight given that Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse are my two favorite heroines of Austen. I do think the writer incorporated perhaps a bit too much of modern thinking in the interactions between her characters, but not enough to be a nuisance or take away from the setting of the story.
The writing was also emotionally compelling to me. I smiled, I chuckled, and I laughed out loud unabashedly. In addition to the good wit and humor however, there were also moments were I felt the frustration and longing of the characters to the point where I was almost in tears without quite knowing why.
Without a doubt, I give my recommendation to Love, Lies, and Spies. If you enjoy a good historical romance, you simply must pick up a copy.
Until tomorrow, darlings! Tootle loo!