Book Review: An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire by Manda Collins

Posted November 12, 2021 by WendyW in Book Review / 10 Comments

An Heiress's Guide to Deception and Desire
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Manda Collins
Publication Date November 16, 2021
Published by Grand Central Publishing
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Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths, Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency, Fiction / Romance / Historical / Victorian, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 368
Format: ARC

Former lovers become reluctant allies in this delightfully witty historical rom-com from the bestselling author of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem—for fans of Evie Dunmore, Enola Holmes, and Netflix's Bridgerton!

England, 1867: As half of the writing duo behind England’s most infamous crime column, Miss Caroline Hardcastle has quite the scandalous reputation. It may have cost her a fiancé, but she would much rather bring attention to crimes against those ignored by society than worry about what the ton thinks of her.

After Caro’s dear friend is kidnapped, however, she has no choice but to work with Lord Valentine Thorn, the same man who broke her heart. Worse, when her actions put her father’s business at risk, a marriage of convenience may be her only solution . . . but can she trust Val to stand by her? Or will their past repeat itself?

Val—the new Viscount Wrackham—is in an untenable position: His father is demanding he find a respectable bride to secure the succession. Yet the only woman he’s ever loved, Miss Caroline Hardcastle, is notorious for behaving improperly. And she’s never forgiven him for his youthful transgressions, missteps made in the name of familial duty, but ones he still regrets to this day.

As they grow closer to unmasking the culprit, Val sees an opportunity to show Caro he’s a changed man. But can he convince her to give their love a second chance—before death does them part?

My Review:

An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire by Manda Collins is her second book in her A Lady’s Guide series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone book.  It’s a fun, lighthearted Regency-era romance with just a bit of mystery.  

Miss Caroline Hardcastle is one-half of the crime column writing duo.  Caro, along with her friend Lady Katherine, writes about crimes in London and teaches women about crimes and how to protect themselves.  When their close friend is kidnapped, Caro has to find her abductors before something horrible happens to her.  Unfortunately, in order to find her friend, she has to team up with her ex-fiance, Lord Valentine. 

Lord Valentine, or Val, never loved anyone like he loved Caro, but when he failed to support her and appeared to be embarrassed by her lifestyle, Caro broke off the engagement many years ago.  But, now he has to work with her in order to help his cousin who is in love with the abducted woman and is also a person of interest in the investigation.  But working again with Caro ignites the passion he felt for her all those years ago.  

This book is just a lot of fun.  The dialogue was so good, and I enjoyed reading about such adventurous women in a time when women were not supposed to do anything except marrying and raising children.  The relationship between Cara and Val was realistic and fun to watch.  Their love for each other is always there, underneath the surface as they spar with each other after not seeing each other for the past 7 years since their engagement was broken off.  

I also enjoyed the mystery.  I did not figure out who abducted Caro’s friend and there were a few red herrings that led me in different directions.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a lighthearted mystery in the regency time period.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

10 responses to “Book Review: An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire by Manda Collins

  1. I love that this has a mystery element. It sounds like a fun read. Definitely one for me to keep in mind. Excellent review!