Another book I received from a giveaway! I actually spotted a finished copy in my library the other day, which raised my expectations a bit more.
Title: Duels and Deception
Author: Cindy Anstey
Rating: 3/5 stars
I didn’t know what to expect from this book but it seemed like an interesting concept, with a period mystery and some romance. The story follows Lydia, the heiress to her family’s fortune, who gets kidnapped along with her law clerk. It is all set in Victorian times and it does have quite a beautiful cover that I would compare Pride and Prejudice to.
But, this was no Pride and Prejudice. It wasn’t about finding love, or not trying to find love. A lot of it was about love, in fact. Lydia chose to marry her father’s choice, who he chose before he died, and the choice didn’t seem to keen on it at first. As she is traveling, her carriage is ransacked and she is kidnapped with Robert (the law clerk). I thought that most of the story was going to focus on this, but it didn’t – more on that later. I actually liked Lydia as a character. I thought she was smart and cunning and didn’t really live up to those ideas of women not being able to take care of themselves. Actually, when she was kidnapped, she was pretty good at thinking of a way to get them out alive. I think the picture was painted very well and every chapter had a cute little blurb that was a funny synopsis of what happened in that chapter. I haven’t seen that before and I thought it was unique and add to the humor.
As I said before, I thought the bulk of the book was going to be about them being kidnapped and trying to get away. But in reality, they got away pretty quickly and that left a bulk of the book a different plot altogether in some ways. They began to receive letters asking for bribe money and the rest of the book focuses on the two main characters trying to find out who sent the letters. I thought it was an interesting investigation and I certainly enjoyed the way it progressed. I was surprised by the ending and that doesn’t often happen, so it was a cool element! I also have to say that I didn’t really like Robert. He seemed to care for Lydia very much but he just didn’t resonate with me like Lydia’s character did. I can’t exactly put my finger on why but he definitely wasn’t my Mr. Darcy.
I would recommend this book to fans of Pride and Prejudice or any other novels set in the Victorian era. It’s funny and lighthearted and a quick read as well.
Happy reading! ~ Taylor