Published by Swoon Reads on April 11th 2017
Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.
Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Well, this book was absolutely delightful! You know those books that reinvigorate your love for a specific genre? Duels and Deception totally did that for me. Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre, but I don’t read enough of it nowadays. Duels and Deception is a fun, witty Regency romance that I think almost anyone could enjoy.
First off, I really enjoyed both of the main characters, Lydia and Robert. The book is told through a 3rd-person omniscient POV, but there are chapters that follow both Lydia and Robert. Lydia reminded me lots of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice— she’s smart, capable young woman who has lots of agency and bucks conventional expectations of Victorian women. She’s quite witty, which I always love! Robert, on the other hand, was a really endearing character. He’s a law clerk who gets involved with Lydia’s family when a legal issue comes up with their manor. He’s also an extremely intelligent character, and he cares deeply for his friends and family. As for other characters, I really loved all of Lydia’s friends! Her friends always helped her out of sticky situations, and I enjoyed their friendship dynamic.
As far as the actual plot, I found it mostly enjoyable! The “mystery” element was a bit strange, and I found it quite predictable, but I enjoyed seeing it unfold and learning all the details nonetheless. The writing was so compulsively readable. I liked the incorporation of duels into the story! Previously, the only real knowledge I had of duels was from Hamilton, lol, so it was nice to see how duels evolved in later centuries.
Above all, I enjoyed seeing the romance unfold. I, like many people, am a sucker for a friends-to-more romance, and Duels and Deception definitely fits the bill. I’ve heard some people say that Robert and Lydia’s dynamic felt like instalove, but I didn’t get that vibe. I thought their feelings developed and grew over time. They make an awesome pair, and I feel like their combined intellectual strength is definitely a force to be reckoned with. All the other relationships in the book were pretty cute, too.
Overall, I definitely recommend Duels and Deception to any lover of historical fiction, especially people looking for a cute Regency-era romance. I think anyone who enjoys cute, uncomplicated romances will enjoy this one!
Have you read Duels and Deception? If so, share your thoughts! If not, do you plan to pick it up?