Rarely does a romantic mystery marry passion and intrigue effortlessly. An Heiress’s Guide To Deception And Desire exhibits all the qualities of a perfect who-done-it with sparks of sensuality and romance blended to perfection. Issues relating to this period are addressed, including class difference and women’s rights; they are intertwined with the story, enriching it.
Valentine Thorn, Viscount Wrackham and new heir to the Dukedom, is trying to navigate his new responsibilities with his father’s expectations. In the past, Val had hurt Miss Caroline Hardcastle by not standing up for her when he had the chance. Val has had his eyes opened to his family’s prejudice regarding class. Val evolves, learning to stand up for himself and those he loves. I enjoyed how Val owned his past mistakes and took active steps to correct them.
Caroline’s heart was broken by Val years ago, and she has vowed to remain independent and refuses to open her heart in fear of getting hurt again. Caroline is many things, a brilliant journalist, a faithful friend, and a loving daughter. Caroline goes against all of the rules of propriety, making her the worst choice for a bride of an aristocrat. I loved how Caroline stood her ground, and even when she had to adhere to society’s rules, she did it on her terms.
Val and Caroline must face their past when the two are thrust into solving the same mystery of a missing woman. From their first explosive encounter, it is obvious the couple has magnetic chemistry. Both Val and Caroline are very different people and must learn about each other all over again. Facing a marriage of convenience, the two must learn to trust each other again while simultaneously discovering the answers to Caroline’s friend’s disappearance. The couple’s connection is tenuous at first. However, as they re-discover one another, their passion ignites the page.
An Heiress’s Guide To Deception And Desire is the second book in A Lady’s Guide series. Val and Caroline’s story is multifaceted and captivating. The mystery kept me guessing until the very end, and the romance was enthralling and sublime. The many different locales kept the plot moving well. The secondary characters were vivid and enriched the story. Caroline’s cat stole several scenes! The ebb and flow of the plot was spot-on, leaving me wanting more. Manda Collins has created a rich, decadent romance filled with intrigue and suspense. This was a novel I couldn’t put down!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: November 16, 2021