CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 36. . . .May 26, 2017
Duels and Deceptions.
New York, NY: Swoon Reads/Feiwel and Friends (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 2017.
348 pp., trade pbk. & ebook, $15.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-250-11909-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-250-11908-7 (ebook).
Grades 8-12 / Ages 13-17.
Review by Teresa Iaizzo.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
"I will not let you fall... Well, no, that's not true - you are going to fall. What I mean is, I will not let that fall cause you an injury."
"I'll land on you."
"Above and beyond the duties of a lawyer's clerk."
"Perhaps it is stretching the definition a little. But it certainly is not above the expectations of a gentleman."
"And a clerk second."
"Quite like that."
As a teenager, I fell in love with Jane Austen, or maybe it was Mr. Darcy. Regardless, Jane Austen opened up a lifelong passion in me for Regency romance novels that feature strong female characters who must battle societal pressures in order to find their happily ever after. I know it sounds a bit sappy, but trust me, you should try it! So, it should come as no surprise that I was super excited to read Cindy Anstey's newest novel, Duels & Deception.
When the novel opens, readers meet Lydia Whitfield of Roseberry Hall, a smart, often controlling young woman who has her whole future planned out. Since the death of her father, Lydia has been running the family estate alongside her uncle, and she will continue to do so until she turns 18 when she will marry Lord Aldershot, a man of her father's choosing.
However, Lydia's plans get a bit derailed when she meets the charming and carefree law clerk Mr. Robert Newton. Robert has been tasked with drawing up Lydia's marriage contract, but in the process of doing so, Lydia gets kidnapped, and it is up to Robert to save the day. Of course, the action does not stop there. Once Lydia is safely home, she is blackmailed, and once again, Robert comes to her rescue. And it should come as no surprise, but they do live happily ever after.
Duels & Deception is a delightful young adult novel that is very reminiscent of the Regency romance novels that I have come to love since my own teenage years. It wouldn't be a Regency romance without a love triangle and a bit of deception, both of which this book has in spades. Moreover, this novel is a fast-paced page-turner that I couldn't put down. I was so excited to know what would happen next. Therefore, I recommend this novel to the newest generation of teens who want to fall in love with a good Regency romance of their own.
Teresa Iaizzo is a Librarian with the Toronto Public Library.
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