An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire
By Manda Collins
Rating: 4.5/5 Genre: Historical Romance Steam: Explicit! Publisher: Forever Publishing Pub Date: November 16, 2021 Thank you Forever Publishing & NetGalley for an eARC of this novel! Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire Synopsis (from GoodReads):
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?
An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire Review:
I was so thankful that I was immediately able to read this right after finishing A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem because I NEEDED it. That book was entertaining and fun and an all around joy to read. I expected something similar from this one but adding a second chance romance, and I got it. An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire was fun, thoughtful, and a freaking delight to read. Seriously, you need to pick up both of these books and enjoy them.
Valentine goes through a lot of development in this book and he is the sweetest. I mean his life has completely changed in the last year and honestly I felt for him the entire book. He was juggling so much. His feelings and actions towards Cora the entire time was great and I really enjoyed his arc throughout the book. Also, Val’s relationship with Andrew is my favorite thing.
The plot kept me moving along through the book when the relationship between Valentine and Cora was dragging. The mystery in this book, I felt, was better than the first book. It was a little more believable, the rationality was better plotted out, and the characters along the way withheld so much more information that made the whole thing better.
Cora annoyed me a little at times, but her internal dialogue was what sold me on her. The way that she cares about her father and her tenuous relationship with Valentine was sweet. I loved the way she stood up for herself and was on the brasher side of things the entire way through. So lovely!
I wanted more from the relationship between Cora and Valentine. Had there been more to their backstory and that the pining had been a heavier theme. I wanted some softer moments that caused more internal conflict than what was given. Like, I still enjoyed the ride of their relationship, but I wanted some more. (and maybe a couple of more stolen kisses/touches/more earlier in the book;)).
All relationships with Cora outside Kate and Val needed some additional meat to them. I wish there was more around her and Effie and Kate. I wanted to see interaction between her and her father. Her mom and her had moments, but just some more depth of Cora through those relationships would have really sealed the deal for me.
Long Story Short:
I found this book to be such a fun time to read and definitely recommend that you pick it up. It’s a lovely combination between mystery and romance, plus adding the historical element to the mix also brings it up a notch. For those who love Evie Dunmore’s A League of Extraordinary Women these books would be absolutely perfect for you. The levels of modern feminism just feels so good in a historical romance. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books that Manda Collins puts out! I will definitely be waiting in great anticipation!
If You Liked This One…
Obvious Collin’s first novel A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem needs to be a read! Pretty on par with this book and totally worth the read. If you liked any of Evie Dunmore’s novels (League of Extraordinary Women) then this will be for you and visa versa! Here are my reviews for Bringing Down the Duke (1), A Rogue of One’s Own (2), Portrait of a Scotsman (3). Seriously though, if feminist historical romances are your thing then these are a must!!