Genres: Historical, Romance, Historical Romance, Regency, Young Adult
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.
A decent standalone YA historical romance.
My Thoughts on Love, Lies and Spies
I picked up Love, Lies and Spies after reading a review of it somewhere. It’s basically “lite” historical romance, meaning it lacks the same depth to the emotional arcs you find in most historical romances (at least that I like to read). Given that this is a YA historical romance, the lack of depth is a disservice to readers.
Spencer and Juliana both struggle with finding their places within society. Spencer is attempting to be a spy (and not really doing well, if you ask me), and Juliana uses the excuse of a season to go to London to see if she can get hers and her father’s research on insects published.
Juliana isn’t anything like the typical debutante in her time, and that’s a big point in her favor. But other than trying to find a publisher for research, she seemed to spend more time meeting or thinking about Spencer than focusing on her bluestocking tendencies that make her so different. Her family (aunt, uncle, cousin) were an interesting collection of characters that mostly faded in the background unless they were needed.
Spencer seems to be a pretty typical hero of his time, although it’s hard to judge without a lot of information about his past. (Which either I missed or there wasn’t any.) Despite his thinking that to work for the War Office, he must remain single, he can’t help his growing attraction to Juliana.
If you’re looking for a standalone YA historical romance (so yes, people, that means it’s a clean romance), Love, Lies and Spies is a fun romp that won’t pull the angst strings.