Waiting on Wednesday: Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey


This is a Waiting on Wednesday post which is hosted on Breaking the Spine. If you want to join the fun, click here.

Love, Lies and Spies

Release Date: April 19th 2016



Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.


I looooove historical romances. I love love love them. But it’s very hard to find a good one these days. Most of them follow the same plot and it’s so tiring to read the same thing over and over again. For example, the woman is either so beautiful or really plain. She can’t be somewhere in the middle. This is going to sound really shallow but the other day I picked up one where the heroine had four sisters and they were all soooooooo beautiful and, lo and behold, our heroine was the only one who was ‘plain’. Like I get that we shouldn’t only have beautiful main characters, I get it, I really do, but is this really plausible?? Her sisters weren’t merely pretty, they were described as angels and oh the beauty and their mother was super beautiful as well so where did her ‘plain’ looks come from? Again, I realize that this might sound shallow to some people but it just looked like the author wanted to throw this character out there just to show that she can. I felt like she was telling everyone “look I can have a character who isn’t pretty and she can make a really handsome dude fall in love with her!!!“. 

Is this making sense??

On the other hand, one of my fav books ever, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, the heroine wasn’t beautiful and you never once think “oh this doesn’t feel right”. Julia Quinn always portrays the characters well and it doesn’t sound forced or unnecessary.

Do you understand what I’m trying to say?

I’m really hoping that this book is different. The synopsis doesn’t sound very original with the not-your-typical heroine thing but it has a lot of potential to stand out and to not be with the clique. Usually, the ones who aren’t interested in marriage aren’t interested in it because they “aren’t pretty enough” and I want to see a “pretty” character who isn’t interested. That’ll be a nice twist.

I’ll just shut up because I feel like I haven’t explained this well and yeah.

Q: Did you get what I was trying to say? Do you agree with me?

Q: What do you think of this book? 


8 thoughts on “Waiting on Wednesday: Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

  1. Petra December 16, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    I’m not sure I want to read this, but I do love that cover. I hope you get to read, and enjoy, it soon. Thanks for sharing, and happy Wednesday! 🙂
    Here’s my WoW

    • Jinan December 17, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      That’s understandable! Thank you and have a happy Thursday 😀

  2. sydneyeditor1 December 16, 2015 / 2:24 pm

    I understand what you’re trying to say — sometimes, authors try too hard to make their heros/heroines stand out, and fall into ald, frustrating tropes that make it seem (for me) like their readers are too stupid to get their point if they’re not making their characters beautiful or too plain — readers are actually of figuring stuff out. Sometimes, the too-studious character can be a stereotype too, but some authors, like you said, can pull it off. Hopefully she can! Here’s mine: http://editingeverything.com/blog/2015/12/16/wow-rebel-of-the-sands/

    • Jinan December 17, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      Yes exactly!! I’m so glad that you think so as well!!!!

  3. The Charmed Reader December 16, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    I totally understand what you’re saying. Also, sometimes I just want a character to be pretty and know she is pretty! She doesn’t have to be model gorgeous but you know, normal pretty and every once in awhile she catches her eye in a mirror and thinks, “damn I’m hot.” THAT is all I want. I’m so sick of all this “I’m not pretty…” Self confidence is what YA should be all about. And I’m really looking forward to this one! great pick! My WOW

    • Jinan December 17, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      YA is so full of those self depreciating books it’s a crime. As you said, YA should make about raising self esteem not destroying it. Hopefully we’ll break free of that trend soon. And exactly. She doesn’t have to be model gorgeous. She has to look like like a normal person.

    • Jinan December 17, 2015 / 12:01 pm


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