Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
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.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-lies-and-spies-cindy-anstey/1121648596?ean=9781250084033
First, thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title. The synopsis above is what drew me in, after the fabulous cover of course! And I was so excited to get to be a part of the tour with Xpresso Book Tours. By the time I finished the book, I was definitely sold on the book and loved the whole story.
When the book first started, we were getting from the viewpoint of one of the main characters, Juliana. And at first, well, let’s just say I wasn’t quite sure I’d like it, because she was being really annoying. For some reason it made me think of those Amelia Bedelia books? Not sure why. Fortunately though, once the other main character, Spencer, showed up, her annoying-ness went away, and I totally got into her part. The book then got into a story that reminded me of the adult romances I used to read, with the women in the bosom-baring bodices on their dresses, with the handsome man. When there was always a chance of someone running off to Gretna Green for a shotgun marriage, kind of like Vegas today.
I loved Juliana as she had her science interests that she’d inherited from her father, and how she didn’t quite give up on that. Her rebelliousness, tempered with her knowing that she really needed to follow society’s customs to get to what her end goal was, really endeared her to me. The way that she did her best to fit in and help her cousin out, but also to remain herself, so much that her aunt kind of “grounded” her to the house at times, is part of what made the story and the characters so much fun to read.
Spencer was a spy, working for England, but trying to keep an eye on some possible traitors working with the French. He not only had to fool those around him, such as Juliana and the rest of the gentry, but he had his best friend around that he also had to make sure was kept out of all the intrigue. I loved all the lengths Spencer went to in order to hide his identity. The disguises were so funny. And I loved that Juliana really almost saw through them, because of his eyes. I loved how even though the mothers tried to throw him at their daughter, he still made sure to show that his “interest” was in Juliana no matter what, even it was just a deal between himself and Juliana to further their own goals. Going out of his way to sit next to her, instead of having Juliana move down so that he could sit next to the other girl as suggested by the mother, it was funny.
In the end, the people who were the traitors turned out to be a bit of a surprise, one that I didn’t suspect right away, all the details laid out perfectly to mislead the reader. And when we finally met Juliana’s father, and were able to get to our happy ending, I just fell in love with the story even more. A fun, romantic, “swoon-worthy” read!
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
- A print copy of Love, Lies and Spies