Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Review: Love, Lies, and Spies

Title: Love, Lies and Spies
Author: Cindy Anstey
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance

A Quick Introduction: All Juliana Telford wants while in London is to get the scientific research she and her father have been working on published. She is determined to get that done, and have an otherwise completely uneventful season before returning to her father in their country home. This plan is interrupted by a chance encounter (one where she was stranded on the side of a cliff) with Spencer Northam. Unbeknownst to Juliana, he has is own reasons for being in London- he's working as an Agent for the War Office, and the family she's staying with are under suspicion.

Out of Ten: 5/10

Review at a Glance: This novel focused mostly on a romance that I just wasn't feeling, and would have benefited from a change in pacing.

Review: I think this novel was okay for what it was, and the issue is that it just wasn't what I was hoping it would be. You may have noticed that I don't generally read stories that are just romance. I confess I was hoping for explosions. And also lady scientists. And this book didn't really deliver on those fronts.

I didn't really feel like either of the main characters were particularly memorable. It wasn't that I disliked them, but I wasn't terribly invested in the characters, or their romance. And since this story was entirely romance, that was a biiiiiit of a problem. They didn't really have any chemistry, I suppose? They didn't really have the characteristics that I like in my fictional pairings. I think I would have been more invested in the relationship if I'd been more invested in them as individuals. (Is this a veiled complaint of NOT ENOUGH LADY SCIENTISTING? Maybe.)

The writing was just kind of "meh." There were certain word that were used excessively, and I found that really getting on my nerves. (The overuse of the word "pure" for one thing kind of made me want to scream.) Otherwise this writing was just sort of flat, and the dialogue suffered for that. The plot meandered somewhat- it was fairly simple, and didn't move anywhere with much urgency.

Overall, this novel just didn't have what I was looking for. It was definitely a fluffy romance, but didn't have the kind of character depth and writing that I would have liked to see.

P.S. Also the lack of an Oxford comma in the title dove me to distraction.

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