Thursday, 7 July 2016

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey Review

This is a spoiler free review!

Love, Lies and Spies
Written by Cindy Anstey
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: April `9, 2016
Pages: 368
Source: Library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself


I have such a soft spot for Victorian/Nineteenth century England books. I adore the romance, the characters and the writing. This book has quickly become one of my favorite YA Historical Fiction books. It had so much potential and it lived up to it. I adored the book.


The cover is really nice. I really like the fact that it is in all black and white except for the words. I also like how there are lots of keys on the cover and I especially like the fact that there is a young woman chasing a carriage because frankly that resembles Juliana a ton.


The world building is done fairly well. We get to view a lot of London and what it was like in the nineteenth century. We get to see what each gender's role was in that time and what each person was supposed to do. I found it really interesting and Victorian London is one of my favorite time periods for books.

Then there are the characters.


We first meet Juliana when she is hanging off a cliff. Juliana happens to be clumsy. She is always tripping over things or getting herself into quite the muddle. She is very independent even though some things [such as her falling off cliffs] seemed to show she wasn't. It is also clear from the beginning that she has no interest in entrapping any young man. Nor is she swooning over any man she happens to meet. She is such a Lizzie type character [Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen] and I really enjoyed going on adventures with her.


Spencer is such a gentleman and a really unique character. I expected him to be compared with Mr. Darcy a bit but he really wasn't that type of person. Except he does do a little bit of brooding. But he wasn't mean to her or anything. Quite on the contrary, he was really polite and gentlemanly towards her. Spencer also showed a lot of compassion for the people he loved or cared about. He is also a very attractive and well-educated bachelor. To be honest, if I lived in that time period or in the book, I would totally go for him.


He is such a Mr. Bingley type character. He is best friend's with Spencer and their friendship is amazing. I really appreciate a good friendship and with some of the books that I have been reading lately, that is a given. He is hilarious and has his attentions on Lady Vivien when it is obvious that she doesn't like him.

She really cares about her best friend and cousin but sometimes she shows it in a bit of an awkward fashion. I really enjoyed seeing Carrie and she was a main character.


The plot greatly resembles Jane Austen books except for the ending which was a bit more exciting. You can even pick out some of the characters and put them in place of your favorite Pride and Prejudice characters or stuff like that. The women are supposed to marry well and have their husbands provide for them but the main character doesn't want to marry. She prefers to be free and study her hobby which is bugs or insects. She's even writing a book with her father. I really like how the plot plays out. There isn't any love at first sight and the plot is hilarious and highly enjoyable.


There is no love at first sight here which made me super happy. I was a little worried about a love triangle but that did not happen. Bobbington knows Spencer has his eye on Juliana and doesn't get in his way. The pair only have eyes for each other. Juliana is eighteen and Spencer is probably twenty-one or something around that. They act just like young lovers and are shy of their affections.

The ball scene was adorable and them dancing just made my day. There is one swoony scene that made my day and they are just so adorable and cute.


The writing is perfect. It would fit in with the Jane Austen books or books from that time period perfectly. The way the characters speak or describe things is so eloquently put. The writing is wonderful and I adored it.

Final Thoughts:

If you like historical fiction novels then I highly recommend this one. It has the perfect dose of everything and it is highly enjoyable. Be ready to read on into the night and rate it as high as you can. I adored this book. This tagline is perfect: In this hilarious homage to Jane Austen, a lady with a penchant for trouble finds a handsome spy much more than merely tolerable.

Quotes from the Book:

“I shall be considered completely beyond the pale if I am dashed upon the rocks. Aunt will be so uncomfortable. Most inconsiderate of me.”

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Crowns

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