- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 830 (What's this?)
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Swoon Reads (April 19, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250084032
- ISBN-13: 978-1250084033
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Love, Lies and Spies Paperback – April 19, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-In spite of the trappings of her time, Juliana is a lady of education and scientific interests thanks to her father. In London for her first season, she meets a young man who at first thinks she may be mixed up in some shady dealings that he's in town to investigate. No new ground is covered in this tale: it follows the general formula of most Regency romances. It is still, however, an entertaining love story for young adult readers. It's no Jane Austen, but it is a great recommendation for teens who are not quite ready to tackle the complex language of Austen's classics. Give to young teens in need of a fluffier Patrice Kindl's Keeping the Castle (Viking, 2012). VERDICT A cute premise and cover make this a solid purchase for budding historical romance readers.-Sarah Jones, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Praise for Love, Lies and Spies:
"It’s Jane Austen meets Jane Foster in Anstey’s debut novel, which serves up a delightful combination of Regency romance, scientific curiosity, and spy intrigue for a tale that will have readers rooting for love and science." ―Entertainment Weekly
"A tongue-in-cheek nod to Regency romances, Anstey’s lighthearted novel is perfect for readers looking for an Austen-inspired tale of intrigue and romance. The story gets an additional boost from Juliana’s many humorous scrapes, which are unbefitting of a nineteenth-century lady. This would make a nice companion for Garth Nix’s farcical Newt’s Emerald." ―Booklist
"Give to young teens in need of a fluffier Patrice Kindl's Keeping the Castle. . . . A cute premise and cover make this a solid purchase for budding historical romance readers." ―School Library Journal
“I cannot tell you how much I love this book. Juliana, Spencer, Bobbington, ALL of them are just so utterly wonderful. This is BETTER than Georgette Heyer. YEP, I SAID IT.” ―Kelly Zekas, author of These Vicious Masks
“Such an enjoyable read! It had some of the very best of what I like in Regency novels, including a plot twist (or two!) and a happy ending. I couldn't put it down!” ―Leslie Moon, reader on SwoonReads.com
“The characters are well fleshed out, the dialogue believable and the plot engaging. I feel as though I took a vacation in Regency England, so real did that historical period seem as it leapt from the pages. The attention to detail is amazing. But what I really appreciated was the laugh-out-loud moments.” ―Deborah, reader on SwoonReads.com
“A wonderful read with a lovable quirky heroine. Just what I needed for thrills and entertainment over the holidays!” ―Christine Sarah, reader on SwoonReads.com
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Top customer reviews
However, once I started reading "Love, Lies and Spies," it didn't take long at all to realize that Cindy Anstey falls into quite a lot of common sexist tropes in her writing.
Juliana, the main character, is supposed to be this smart, independent young woman scientist, but all she ever does it get rescued by men. The book starts as she is rescued by two attractive gentlemen, and the reader is supposed to see that she is spunky and "not like other women" because she was out alone in the first place. The men save her and fix her carriage and send her home. This pattern continues throughout the whole book. Even when it comes to her scientific research, which is her entire purpose in life, she fails until her male family members fix it for her and finish what she couldn't do on her own.
And I can't write this without addressing the whole "not like other girls" aspect of Anstey's novel. IT. IS. SO. SEXIST. Juliana's cousin is sweet, but doesn't understand how a lady could want to read books instead of finding a suitor. All of the women in the novel except for Juliana are either sweet but dumb, or evil and calculating. All of the women except for Juliana care only about dresses, shopping, money, and marrying the best man. Of course, we are supposed to love Juliana because she's so different from all the other women! So refreshing! Except I don't find it refreshing to read a novel that tells me women are shallow and kind of stupid, and presents women who are smart and motivated as a novelty. That's not refreshing - that's exactly the same as every other misogynistic book, movie, or TV show out there.
One more HUGE example: In the beginning of the book, Juliana professes to care only about her research and her father. She cares nothing for fashion and does not want to get married. She meets an attractive gentleman in the first chapter, and immediately changes all of her priorities, starts worrying about her dresses, and is now thinking about her handsome stranger when she would have previously been focused on her work. We really just have to take Anstey's word for it that Juliana ever cared about her work at all, because Juliana changes before the book even gets started.
This book is the BEST combination of Jane Austen’s prose and Rick Riordan’s hilarity. It is silly, political, romantic, and swoon-worthy.
We had a smart & quirky main character, and a dashing, mysterious love interest. The dual POV (alternating between Juliana and Spencer) works to the advantage of this book, in a way that it doesn’t for many.
The side characters were all well-developed, and were woven into the plots seamlessly.
I also loved the history of the Napoleonic War threaded through this story.
So, the villains were….not my favorite part of this book. SPOILER ALERT, but I saw the twist where the Pyebalds were concerned from a mile away. But, to be honest, I didn’t see any of them as very threatening, except for Maxwell. Maxwell was quite fearful, simply because he is a character whose sexual obsession is something we see WAY too often in real life. Also, I didn’t QUITE believe that the War Office and the Home Office would get their wires crossed THAT extremely, but I know that it could have happened, at least to a lesser effect.
Good book, especially for lovers of Jane Austen and other Regency authors. I love the author’s writing, and I’ve already pre-ordered the next Regency novel written by this author (Duels And Deception, Swoon Reads, April 2017).
I am a big fan of Regency novels, especially if they accomplish to detach themselves from Jane Austen architypes and format. In addition the book felt authentic, without becoming alien to 21 century reader.
I liked the characters. I actually enjoyed follow the romantic developments between two nice people, who liked each other from the beginning. And in spite of romance being without excess of tension, it still managed to be eventful enough to be intriguing.
The only two things I had tiny complaints are: I wish Juliana were more involved in mystery and I wish there was some closure about second couple possible romance.
I wish those things, despite the fact that I’m perfectly aware of heroine being Regency-accurate female and the author’s desire to leave something to reader’s imagination.
I don’t think I will ever re-read the book, but I will definitely read the next thing Cindy Anstey will write.
Most recent customer reviews
What I liked: this is a cute regency-lite romance.Read more
Oh the banter is Jane Austen enacted by Katherine Hepburn !Read more
*I read this in February 2017. I’m reviewing it in March. I read it as an ebook.
I loved this book so much.Read more