An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire

Forever: Grand Central. (A Lady’s Guide, Bk. 2). Nov. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781538736159. pap. $15.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
The second installment in Collins’s Victorian England series (following A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder). Caroline Hardcastle is heiress to a sizeable fortune and is also half of the writing duo behind the newspaper column “A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder.” Indifferent to the snobbish opinions of the aristocracy, Caro makes no apologies for her father’s successful food business or the backgrounds of her friends and acquaintances. When her friend, a famous actress, is kidnapped, Caro is thrown back into close contact with Valentine Thorn, the man who broke her heart when he failed to stand up to his family and denounce their classist attitudes towards Caro and her parents. Now Caro and Val vow to work together—in spite of their past—to find the missing actress and her suitor (who happens to be Val’s cousin).
VERDICT Affable characters and rom-com banter make this an enjoyable read, even if the plot is a bit sparse. For fans of Julia Quinn’s “Bridgerton” series or Anne Perry’s historical mysteries.
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