Author: Cindy Anstey
Publication: Swoon Reads (April 11, 2017)
Description: In which a lady and a law clerk find themselves entangled in the scandal of the season...
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 the day Lydia is kidnapped―and Robert along with her. 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 unsullied and expose whoever is behind this 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...
Fans of Georgette Heyer will delight in this YA Regency romance from Cindy Anstey, author of Love, Lies and Spies.
My Thoughts: DUELS & DECEPTION was a fun Regency Romance. Lydia Whitfield is an heiress who is scheduled to marry her next door neighbor Lord Aldershot. Her father had planned the marriage before his death. Lydia is willing to go along with the plan since she is a sensible young woman who has never fallen in love.
Robert Newton is the third son of an Earl and is making his living as the apprentice to a lawyer. He is sent to help Lydia write the contract for her marriage to Lord Aldershot. After meeting her, he doesn't want to do that. He greatly appreciates her and is quite certain that Lord Aldershot does not. However, she is rich and he's a man who has to make his own way in the world. Nothing should ever happen between the two of them.
When Lydia is kidnapped and Robert along with her, they get a chance to know each other better and team up to discover who instigated the kidnapping and why. Since Lydia's guardian is her mother's brother who is a financial idiot who drinks too much, he was my first suspect. Lydia has a rather complicated family situation including a cousin who flirts with any man who comes into her range.
In addition to the main plot, there is also a subplot about a friend of Lydia's whose heart has been broken by a suitor and another subplot about a friend of Robert's who has been tricked into taking part in a duel.
The story was busy and entertaining.
"Very good, sir. Far be it from me to suggest that the back hall might be more appropriate for someone of his ilk."I received this one for review from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.
"I'm pleased to know that you are not going to suggest such a thing,"
Robert pivoted and climbed the stairs, almost glad to put his worries of the duel aside temporarily. It was a sing of his distress that talking about a kidnapping would be a relief.