Blog Tour/Review: Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey


I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey.  I really enjoyed Cindy’s previous book, Duels & Deception, when I read it a while back.  And Suitors and Sabotage is more of the same – a lovely, light read with more than a few nods to that illustrious novelist, Jane Austen.  You can read my review of Suitors and Sabotage below.

WinIf you’re a resident of the US or Canada, there’s a giveaway with a chance to win a paperback copy of Suitors and Sabotage.  To enter, click here.  Entries must be received by 26th April, so don’t hang about!

Check out the tour schedule here for links to reviews by other great book bloggers, guest posts by Cindy, extracts and interviews with Cindy.

Suitors and SabotageAbout the Book

Two young people must hide their true feelings for each other while figuring out who means them harm in this cheeky Regency romance from the author of Love, Lies and Spies and Duels & Deception.

Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London, complete with a suitor of her father’s approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.

Charming Ben Steeple has a secret: despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother’s intended.

But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of “accidents,” it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows—despite their efforts to remain just friends – so does the danger…

Format: ebook (331 pp.)           Publisher: Swoon Reads
Published: 17th April 2018       Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, YA

Purchase Links*  ǀ  ǀ (supporting UK bookshops)
*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

Find Suitors and Sabotage on Goodreads

My Review

‘In which a young lady finds her attention is drawn to her charming but rather serious suitor’s hotter younger brother.

Apologies to Cindy Anstey for my rather poor attempt to emulate her humorous chapter headings that playfully evoke the era of Jane Austen.  Some of my favourites include:

‘In which hands and fluff are subjects of a deep discussion.’
‘In which the words “dreadful” and “secret” are bandied about.’
‘In which a question about the question is questioned.’

Imogene (with that curious ‘e’ on the end) finds herself in a quandary.  She admires her suitor, the kind, charming, bookish Ernest, who lives up to his name in being serious and (whisper) at times perhaps a little dull.  As she confides to her best friend, Emily, ‘I never feel my heart race when our eyes meet.’  However, she knows her mother and father would strongly approve if she was to accept an offer of marriage from Ernest.

But….Imogene finds herself becoming more and more attracted to Ernest’s younger brother, Ben – a lively character, very easy on the eye and someone who shares Imogene’s interest in architecture and art, even if he’s no match for her on the sketching front.  Fortunately, Ben’s need to improve his drawing skills in order to progress in his architecture apprenticeship provides the pretext for him and Imogene to spend time together for some one-to-one tuition.

Imogene forces herself to fight against the attraction, especially once it appears it may test the bonds of friendship. ‘Ernest had so many stellar qualities that Imogene had made a list of them…a list she repeated every time her traitorous thoughts veered toward Ben.’ Keep repeating that list, Imogen!

Events take a darker turn when what start out as mischievous pranks progress to sabotage and acts that may endanger life or limb.  Uncovering the culprit provides a gentle secondary story line to the brotherly rivalry for Imogene’s affections.

I really enjoyed Cindy Anstey’s previous novel, Duels & Deception, and in this book again she provides insights into the social proprieties of the time.  For example, the contrast between ‘town manners’ and ‘country manners’, with the latter involving relatively more informality, much earlier hours of rising (except for those ladies who keep ‘town hours’ and rise late) and outdoor pursuits such as walks and picnics.  I was also glad to see a welcome return for the phrase ‘doing it up brown’.

Suitors and Sabotage was a lovely light read with some nice little touches of humour.  For example, I liked that the author has Emily remark, ’The wonderful aspect of books is that they wait for you…and are not in the least insulted if you deviated for a bit.’  How true!  Also, I loved the little in-joke as Emily comments, ‘I’m not at ease with the idea that someone under this roof has some sort of sinister intent.  That is something that happens only in novels, not in reality.’   

I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley, publishers Swoon Reads and Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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In three words: Light, charming, lively

Try something similar…Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey (click here to read my review)

CindyAbout the Author

Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found – actually, not found – adventuring around the world with her hubby. She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.  Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester.

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