A Lady’s Guide Reviews: Historical Mystery with a Dash of Romance

December 2, 2021 by Jenna | 4 stars, Books, Double Reviews, Reviews

A Lady’s Guide Reviews: Historical Mystery with a Dash of RomanceA Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem (A Lady's Guide, #1) by Manda Collins
Series: A Lady's Guide #1
Published by Forever on November 10, 2020
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Romance
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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An intrepid female reporter matches wits with a serious, sexy detective in award-winning author Manda Collins' fun and flirty historical rom-com!

England, 1865
: As one of England's most notorious newspaper columnists, Lady Katherine Bascomb believes knowledge is power. And she's determined to inform and educate the ladies of London on the nefarious-and deadly-criminals who are preying on the fairer sex. When her reporting leads to the arrest of a notorious killer, however, Katherine flees to a country house party to escape her newfound notoriety-only to witness a murder on her very first night. And when the lead detective accuses Katherine of inflaming-rather than informing-the public with her column, she vows to prove him wrong.
Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham's refusal to compromise his investigations nearly cost him his own career, and he blames Katherine. To avoid bad publicity, his superiors are pressuring him to solve cases quickly rather than correctly. When he discovers she's the key witness in a new crime, he's determined to prevent the beautiful widow from once again wreaking havoc on his case. Yet as Katherine proves surprisingly insightful and Andrew impresses Katherine with his lethal competency, both are forced to admit the fire between them is more flirtatious than furious. But to explore the passion between them, they'll need to catch a killer.

I was extremely hesitant to pick up A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem because it has a pretty low rating on Goodreads. Like 3.43 stars low (at time of writing this review). But I’m really glad I did because I highly enjoyed it.

My favourite part of A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem was definitely the mystery. I’m not a big fan of thrillers but I do enjoy some softcore mystery! There was the right amount of intrigue for me and I really enjoyed that the book was more mystery-forward than romance-forward. I also really enjoyed the way that the mystery played out because I was expecting it to be predictable but the reveal ended up surprising me. And I didn’t mind the way that it was resolved either, though I can see why people were a bit dissatisfied by how quickly and easily the resolution came about.

I absolutely loved the characters in this novel. Lady Katherine was such a strong female lead, who was independent and strong-willed. She’s a widow and had some more freedoms despite being a single woman in the 19th century. I loved that she was a business owner and refused to let anything get in the way of her being an independent person who could take care of herself. I also really liked Eversham, her love interest, though for me he was overshadowed by Katherine’s friend, Val (who features in the second book of the series).

And I enjoyed the romance between them and how it happened organically. I wouldn’t say that there was a lot of romance but I was so invested in the characters and the way they interacted with each other that I didn’t mind that the romance was only a small component of the book.

Come for the romance and stay for the mystery! I don’t think you can go wrong with this one if you enjoy strong female characters, historical fiction and a good murder mystery.

Rating: 4 out of 5

A Lady’s Guide Reviews: Historical Mystery with a Dash of RomanceAn Heiress's Guide to Deception and Desire (A Lady's Guide, #2) by Manda Collins
Published by Forever on November 16, 2021
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Romance
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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Former lovers become reluctant allies in this delightfully witty historical rom-com from the bestselling author of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem—for fans of Evie Dunmore, Enola Holmes, and Netflix's Bridgerton!

England, 1867
: As half of the writing duo behind England's most infamous crime column, Miss Caroline Hardcastle has quite the scandalous reputation. It may have cost her a fiancé, but she would much rather bring attention to crimes against those ignored by society than worry about what the ton thinks of her.
After Caro's dear friend is kidnapped, however, she has no choice but to work with Lord Valentine Thorn, the same man who broke her heart. Worse, when her actions put her father's business at risk, a marriage of convenience may be her only solution . . . but can she trust Val to stand by her? Or will their past repeat itself?
Val--the new Viscount Wrackham--is in an untenable position: His father is demanding he find a respectable bride to secure the succession. Yet the only woman he's ever loved, Miss Caroline Hardcastle, is notorious for behaving improperly. And she's never forgiven him for his youthful transgressions, missteps made in the name of familial duty, but ones he still regrets to this day.
As they grow closer to unmasking the culprit, Val sees an opportunity to show Caro he's a changed man. But can he convince her to give their love a second chance--before death does them part?

I was really excited to pick up An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire after learning that it would feature Caroline and Valentine, two characters that I loved in A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem. It also featured some of my favourite tropes: enemies to lovers and second chance romance.

An Heiress’s Guide had a bit more focus on the romance compared to A Lady’s Guide, which was kind of what I wanted because I was so curious about Caroline and Valentine’s history together. They were so cute together that I just wanted to give them both big hugs. I thought they were really well-suited to each other and I loved that Val was really supportive of Caro and all of her pursuits, even when he was worried for her safety. The only thing that could’ve made it better for me was a bit more milking of the second chance romance trope.

I also enjoyed the mystery in this novel but I felt like it took a bit of a backseat to the romance. I was interested in the disappearance of the Caro’s friend but there was a little bit of a lull in the middle of the book where nothing really progressed with the mystery. It also wasn’t quite as intriguing as the murder mysteries in A Lady’s Guide but I did appreciate the side characters that we met along the way. I’m hoping that the next book in the series will feature Flora and a certain duke.

If you love second chance romances that also involve the enemies to lovers trope, An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire is an easy and delightful read. The romance was super cute and I can’t wait to read more about Caro and Val in future books.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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