About the Book:
Title: An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire
Author: Manda Collins
Series: A Lady’s Guide #2
Page Length: 313
Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2022
Synopsis: A feisty heiress and reluctant duke are partners-in-crime but enemies in love in this delightful and witty historical romance from the bestselling author of A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem—for fans of Sarah MacLean, Sabrina Jeffries, and Netflix’s Bridgerton!
England, 1867: Miss Caroline Hardcastle has fully embraced her scandalous reputation—even though doing so cost her a chance for love. She would much rather bring aid to those ignored by society by writing for England’s most infamous crime column. When Caro’s dear friend is kidnapped, however, she is shocked to find an ally in Lord Valentine Thorn, the same man who broke her heart years ago. Refusing his help would be the height of foolishness, but can she trust Val to stand by her?
Val—the new Viscount Wrackham—is in an untenable position: His father is demanding he find a respectable bride to secure the succession. Yet when Caro’s improper actions require her to marry for convenience, Val sees an opportunity to show her he’s a changed man. As the two grow closer to unmasking the culprit, can he convince her to give their love a second chance—before death does them part?
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An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire is an entertaining addition to the series with a great cast of characters, an intriguing mystery, and a wonderful romance. I wanted to know more about Caro and Val’s relationship since we met them in A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem. They had so much chemistry, and you could tell there were some unresolved feelings between them. Their story gets even more complicated as they work together to find a missing woman.
I love historical romances with strong female leads, and Caro is a delight. The daughter of a wealthy businessman, Caro is an unconventional woman who writes a crime article in the newspaper. Caro is friends with Kate, who is the protagonist in the first book, and I was happy to see her and her husband have roles in Caro and Val’s story. Like Kate, Caro is smart, capable, and feisty. Plus, she has this fabulous love-hate relationship with Val.
When Caro’s dear friend is kidnapped, Caro must work with Lord Valentine Thorn, the man who broke her heart several years ago, to find her. And when their investigation finds them in a scandalous situation, they must marry. Val regrets his past actions and desperately wants to prove to Caro that he is a better man. Val is fantastic! I love that he has matured so much and learned from his mistakes. I enjoyed seeing them find their way back to each other. You can tell there are still a lot of unresolved feelings between the two by their actions and quick banter. And they have so much chemistry. Their story has so many great tropes, and they work so well together. A love-hate, second-chance, forced proximity, marriage of convenience romance? Yes, please!
The story also has an intriguing mystery and a few unexpected twists. It was interesting and kept me guessing, and it, as well as many of the characters, highlights class differences and the prejudices and snobbish behavior of many people of the ton. The judgments passed about Caro and Kate’s friend because she is an actor show how differently people are treated based on social class. This is also what caused Caro and Val’s breakup, and it remains a big concern for Caro when dealing with Val and his family. She despises the snobbery of the social elite and rejects these beliefs. I like that she, and her friends fight against prejudice, elitism, and more.
I thought this was a fun read. It has a good mystery, great characters, and a swoon-worthy romance, and it made me excited to read Flora’s story in A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes. Special thanks to Forever Publishing for sending me a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance!
- The intrigue.
- The character development.
“For all of the terrible things that can go wrong,” she said simply, “there are just as many wonderful things that can go right. Without hope, we may as well surrender to the dark.”
I would recommend An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire to readers who enjoy:
- historical romance
- romantic suspense
- second-chance romance
- great banter
- marriage of convenience
- forced proximity