"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."
Carolyn's thoughts on the book:
Love, Lies and Spies is a captivating romance, full of action and intrigue contrasted with the historical setting. Set in Regency England, this book follows the escapades of Julliana Telford, a young women far more interested in ladybugs than lords and ladies. Alongside her cousin, she is about to enter ~the Season~, the glorified husband-hunt amongst the aristocracy, when she finds herself unwittingly drawn to Spencer Northam, a dashing gentleman who comes to her rescue when she finds herself dangling off a cliff (while pursuing ladybugs, of course - all in the name of science). Little does she know that Spencer works for the War Office and is focused on tracking down Napoleonic traitors... leading him straight to her social circle.
Julianna is a likable character - her scientific studies are more than just an unusual hobby, they’re her passion, and a shared interest with her devoted father. Her dedication to her work leads her to first believe that she would have to forgo marriage to keep her independence. Similarly, Spencer believes that any romantic attachments would prevent his efficacy as a spy; however, as an explanation for his involvement in Julianna’s social group, and to keep Julianna’s Mrs. Bennet-esque aunt off her back, the two agree to pretend to be falling in love. As anyone who’s ever seen a classic rom-com knows, that never works, and the two begin to have difficulty discerning the truth in their relationship from the lies. Of course, both have other pressing concerns - Julianna is too preoccupied with convincing the publishers of London to take her (and her research) seriously, and Spencer is caught up in helping his friend in his hopeless pursuit of Julianna’s friend. As the fate of the British Empire hangs in the balance, the two face kidnappings, secret codes, Dickensian rogues, and smuggling rings, all while adhering to the strict social codes of the era. Whether pursuing spies or pursuing a husband, one must always act with decorum.
Full of romance and action, spies and scientists, Love, Lies and Spies is perfect for fans of Austen-style romance with a side dish of espionage. I’m excited to read Cindy Anstey’s next book, Duels and Deception, which promises even more action and adventure.
Carolyn is a teen blogger who shares her favorite YA reads and favorite book related finds with readers on Fridays.