Suitors and Sabotage is Cindy Anstey’s third novel. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I’ve enjoyed her other books. The novels are unconnected, but they all take place in Regency England, which is one of my favorite historical eras.
Imogene Chively has just finished her first Season in London, and is looking forward to spending the summer with her family and friends as they take turns hosting each other at a series of house parties. One of her suitors has received permission to visit her; Imogene is not particularly interested in pursuing a courtship with the young man, but she doesn’t really have much of a choice in the matter. When the earnest young man- named Ernest, of course- arrives, he brings his brother Ben along as well.
Imogene discovers that she has a lot more in common with Ben. They develop a rapport quickly, and Imogene agrees to give Ben art lessons to bolster his skills as a budding architect.
There are several problems, however: Imogene is supposed to be furthering her acquaintanceship with Ernest. Furthermore, Imogene’s friend Emily quickly becomes infatuated with Ben. And finally, Ben seems to experience so many accidents that they can no longer be dismissed as a series of unfortunate coincidences. Someone is determined to keep Ben away- but from whom?
The tone of this book is relatively light, and because it has been marketed to a YA audience, the content is much tamer than the typical historical romance. In keeping with the Austen-inspired motif, there is nothing more than kissing between the characters. This doesn’t mean that there is any less tension; Anstey is quite handy with the angst as characters try to figure out what they want, and how they can achieve their goals without hurting other people.
I would absolutely recommend Suitors and Sabotage. This book transcends its genre, and I think it will appeal to historical romance fans of all ages. The mystery is quite compelling; I found myself surprised by the reveal of the villain. Anstey does a good job with characterization and she has created an immersive Regency world. As I’ve mentioned, the previous books are not connected, so you don’t have to read any of Anstey’s other books before reading this one. Anstey is one of my favorite authors, and I am already looking forward to her next book.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book.