Title: Love, Lies and Spies
Author: Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: 19th April 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
I’ve always had trouble getting into the classics like Jane Eyre and The Great Gatsby, but this book that tips its hat to Jane Austen made me want to go find all of the classics I could and give them another shot.
Love, Lies and Spies is set in 1813 England when all of the young men and women, joined by their chaperones (of course), go to London to attend parties and luncheons in hopes of finding someone to marry.
Juliana Telford is not cut from the same cloth as her cousin, who is excited to meet, marry and settle down with someone all while in her finest pearls. Juliana is interested in research, specifically on ladybugs. She initially plans on going to London for the Season with her cousin’s family so she can find a publishing house to give her and her father’s research papers to for publishing. Well aware of the possibility of being turned away as a female writer and researcher, Juliana gathers up her confidence and executes her plans intelligently and you can’t help but be a little impressed.
Spencer Northam, a charming and mysterious young man, first comes across Juliana when he finds her hanging from the edge of a cliff. Juliana, being quite the unconventional young woman herself, asks that he doesn’t help her up as she would rather pretend they never saw each other. She doesn’t want to soil her family’s reputation by word of her off gallivanting alone and ruining her dress getting to others’ ears. Spencer is more than happy to agree to this proposition and they part ways without any exchange of information.
Juliana quickly gains the attention of a man she is uninterested in during her Season in London who just so happens to be connected to Spencer’s reason for being around in the first place. Spencer and Juliana quickly become a wonderful and trusting duo and work together to complete several different goals.
There is no big reveal or major climax in this story but it’s quaint and the light romance between Juliana and Spencer is sweet, despite their reluctance to admit their feelings for each other, and the mystery of the events that bring them together keeps the story going. This book was an enjoyment to read and had me laughing and supporting Juliana and Spencer in all of their endeavors. It’s an interesting insight into the early 1800s in London from a modern perspective. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a light read with a twist of love, lies and spies.