Share this Manuscript
Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London complete with a suitor of her father’s approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.
Charming Ben Steeple has a secret; despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother’s intended.
But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of “accidents,” it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows—despite efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger…
A generous breakfast had been laid out on the sideboard, enticing him with the delectable aromas of ham and fresh breads. Though there didn’t seem to be a pot of coffee or...
Ben turned with surprise, in time to see Miss Imogene enter the dining room and then take a half step back, straddling the threshold into the hallway.
“Ah, Miss Imogene,” he said, placing his half-filled plate on the table and then executing a formal bow of his head. “How are you this morning? Up early?” He smiled and was pleased to see a like expression spread across her face as she stepped farther into the room.
“I am well.” She winced, as though some thought of an unpleasant nature had flitted through her mind, and dropped her eyes to the floor. “Thank you.” Her voice was slightly muffled. “I believe the other ladies are keeping town hours.”
Ben puckered his brow. This would not do. He was certain that he had made headway with Miss Imogene yesterday. Helped her to feel comfortable in his company. He needed to extol his brother’s virtues since Ernest was not here to do so... And talking to the crown of her lovely head was of little use.
Tipping his head to the side, Ben squatted, trying to look up into her downturned face. His antic elicited a smile and then a laugh, and then, more important, she lifted her head.
“Whatever are you doing, Mr... Ben?”
“Well, I am trying to hold a conversation with a lovely young lady, full of wit and wisdom... and enamored with dogs and castles. But it would seem that something on the floor has caught her full attention.” Bending down, he made a show of picking up a spec of lint from the floor. “There. I have it, Miss Imogene. Worry no more, it has been found.”
“And what, pray tell, is it?”
“I think it’s a bug.” Offering the lint to her, he was surprised when she took it without hesitation and then proceeded to examine it.
“An unusual species. Often disguised as fluff.”
“Indeed.” Imogene chuckled and dropped the rare bug on the floor with a jaunty look. “We’ll send it home.”
A laugh burst from Ben before he could temper it, and he stared at Imogene with admiration. Few returned his teasing so readily. “Come, let us break our fast,” he said, waving toward the sideboard—actually, her sideboard.
A 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection
"Anstey’s tale embraces a self-reliant main character, a loyal friend, innocent romance, witty conversation, and English country settings, each more splendid than the last. This is a delightful salute to Jane Austen and will be a treat for her fans." —VOYA
"Mystery and romance are delightfully intertwined . . . Taking inspiration from Jane Austen novels, Anstey’s latest is a lighthearted and romantic read." —Booklist
"All in all, this novel was a delight to read. ... I am continuously impressed by Anstey! ... These books are simply lovely to read, and I can't get enough!" —The Eater of Books
Duels & Deception:
"Jane Austen fans in need of a good new book, look no further. Cindy Anstey’s new YA novel, Duels & Deception, is your next regency romance treat." —Entertainment Weekly
"Delightful ... It is Jane Austen spiced with action, suspense, and humor." —VOYA, starred review
"If you love Jane Austen and Downton Abbey, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of this #girlboss book ASAP." —Brit + Co
Love, Lies and Spies:
"It’s Jane Austen meets Jane Foster in Anstey’s debut novel, which serves up a delightful combination of Regency romance, scientific curiosity, and spy intrigue for a tale that will have readers rooting for love and science." —Entertainment Weekly
"A tongue-in-cheek nod to Regency romances, Anstey’s lighthearted novel is perfect for readers looking for an Austen-inspired tale of intrigue and romance. The story gets an additional boost from Juliana’s many humorous scrapes, which are unbefitting of a nineteenth-century lady. This would make a nice companion for Garth Nix’s farcical Newt’s Emerald." —Booklist
"Love, Lies and Spies has it all: rollicking adventure, corky dialogue (my new favorite descriptive word, thanks to Cindy Anstey), thrilling peril and espionage, dastardly villains, memorable sidekicks, splendid romance, and oh yes, a perfectly paired hero and heroine. 5 out of 5 Regency Stars." —Austenprose
Hello Swoon Readers.I would like to announce the release of my third Regency mystery-romance, Suitors and Sabotage!The launch was an exciting affair celebrated with lots of laughter, food and fellowship. It was an informal gathering with few speeches and a full house.There were many questions about the book and I was happy to explain all about the ...read moreCindy Anstey, authors, Swoon Reads, Suitors and Sabotage, Pub Day, launch
The day has finally come, Swooners! Cindy Anstey's third Regency novel, Suitors and Sabotage, is finally on sale TODAY!!! Don't miss out!In which falling for the wrong gentleman is the least of a lady’s worries.Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London complete with a suitor of her father’s ...read morenews, Cindy Anstey, Suitors and Sabotage, Pub Day
Hello Swoon Readers,This is the Cindy Anstey edition of "Oops, I did it again."Suitors and Sabotage is my third Regency mystery-romance and, naturally, the first draft was near perfect. Er… nope. Every writer has a different process in planning and executing her book. Often the story morphs away from its original concept. Those changes are normal but can ...read moreCindy Anstey, writing, revision, Editing Update, Swoon Reads, process, Suitors and Sabotage, editing, author
There’s nothing quite like having an animal best friend. Well, I suppose it’s a lot like having a human best friend, except better in every single way. The LOVE, y’all. It’s just so pure. I’d be the first to admit that I have a reprehensibly codependent relationship with my own fur baby. Here’s a ...read moreEmily S., YA, Cindy Anstey, horses, list, books, pets, book recommendations, The Way to Game the Walk of Shame, Jenn P. Nguyen, Suitors and Sabotage, young adult, cats, dogs, animals, reading, teen, fiction
Hello Swoon Readers, I write with glad tidings. Yes, indeed; my fourth Regency Romance, Carols and Chaos, will be released October 2018. In a slight departure, the continuing story will pick up directly after Suitors and Sabotage but move downstairs to the servant’s hall where the hustle and bustle and preparation for Yuletide is hectic and fraught with mystery ...read moreCarols and Chaos, news, Love Lies and Spies, Suitors and Sabotage, new book, Duels & Deception, Cindy Anstey