Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Mystery plus romance is a real sweet spot of mine but while Manda Collins’s An Heiress’s Guide to Deception & Desire has its many commendable qualities it doesn’t fully satisfy.
Four years ago Miss Caroline Hardcastle—now a cookbook author & one of the writers of the notorious Lady’s Guide crime column—was secretly engaged to Lord Valentine Thorn.
But their class differences romance withered on the vine after he made a mistake.
They don’t entirely get along now but they’re paired together to solve the disappearance of a friend of Caroline & Kate’s (a lead from the previous book), who’s an actress who just so happens to be secretly engaged to Valentine’s cousin.
I enjoyed the twists this tale takes, particularly as their vaguely enemies to lovers story takes a turn toward something more matrimonial 👀 & both characters internally admit their leftover feelings.
Both leads have done a great deal of growth since they were together & separated & it makes it easy to see how things could be different this time around. Val, in particular, is very much into showing his desire to be better.
But I wanted more chemistry between them. Val is so self-aware, so perfectly imperfect & well-intentioned, & I’m sure this will be annoying to some reading my review, but it was a little much for me (*hiding behind my hands*). I just didn’t totally fall for this pairing, though I do love when characters grow & change & act to show it which these characters do in abundance.
This book doesn’t entirely click *with me* but that might be an it’s not you, it’s me kind of situation.
3.5 ⭐️. Release date: 11/16.
Give me that HEA, please.
Join my mailing list.
Want to receive a weekly email with links to my latest blog posts? Sign up below!