Suitors and Sabotage
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 their efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger. . .

Suitors and Sabotage Details

TitleSuitors and Sabotage
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 17th, 2018
PublisherSwoon Reads
ISBN-139781250145659
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Romance

Suitors and Sabotage Review

  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    [3.5] Need to read more books by this author. My heart. This was just the cutest story about a girl and her dreams, going after her heart and art. I love it when books explore characters pursuing their passions. I get weak by it every time. I had so much fun reading it. ——————————————Buddy-reading with me bookish partner-in-crime and enabler!I’m expecting some good ol’ historical fiction romance. We all know how adorable they can get.
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  • ❄️Nani❄️
    January 1, 1970
    A lighthearted romance in all its quintessential Englishness. ”... I am a reader. Nothing that I like better than quiet days of contemplation and the written word."The art of seduction at its finest, ladies and gents. A man after my own heart.Buddy read with Ma gurl!
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. Might round up to five, haven't decided!***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy AnsteyPublisher: Swoon ReadsPublication Date: April 17, 2018Rating: 4 starsSource: ARC sent by the publisherSummary (from Goodreads):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 you 4.5 stars. Might round up to five, haven't decided!***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy AnsteyPublisher: Swoon ReadsPublication Date: April 17, 2018Rating: 4 starsSource: ARC sent by the publisherSummary (from Goodreads):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 their efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger. . .What I Liked:It's no secret that I love Cindy Anstey's books! YA historical romance - how delightful! I am a huge adult historical romance junkie, and these YA HR novels are giving me LIFE. Suitors and Sabotage is Anstey's third YA HR standalone (all three books are unrelated, completely standalone novels and not companion novels), and it's safe to say that her books are all fun and swoony to read. I'm very excited about this new one being printed in hardcover! Anstey deserves this and more!This story starts with Imogene's suitor Ernest Steeple arriving a day earlier than expected, with his younger brother Benjamin Steeple. Imogene is expected to accept Ernest's offer whenever the young man proposes, as he is her only suitor. She and Ernest barely know each other, hence why Ernest has arrived to visit. As Imogene gets to know Ernest, she realizes that she can't see herself sharing a life with the man. Instead, she sees Ben, the architecture apprentice, the charming, teasing young man who puts everyone at ease and makes all the ladies laugh. But someone is trying to sabotage Ben, and for what reason, Imogene and Ben can't understand. It's only a matter of time before something truly dangerous occurs... not unlike falling in love!I was actually a little nervous about this one because I figured there would be a love triangle of some sort. But there really wasn't! Ernest is doing his duty in trying to find a wife, and the more Imogene gets to know him, the more she realizes that she would grow to like him... as a friend. There was never any competition or real "love triangle", because not once did Imogene develop feelings for Ernest, and Ernest, well, he wanted a wife but I'm not certain he specifically wanted Imogene. This type of romance is always tricky, involving two brothers and a woman. But I thought Anstey navigated it perfectly. I like forbidden romance but hate it when it involves two brothers. But this romance seemed to work; Imogene was never "unfaithful" to her suitor, but her feelings for Ben grew nonetheless. And Ben never betrayed his brother, but his own feelings grew.As is Anstey's style, the romance was sweet, adorable, swoony, and very subtle. There weren't passionate kisses or steamy chemistry, but there was plenty of rising interest and subtle tension. Ben and Imogene clicked, and they began a solid friendship, which turned into more.Ben is an upstanding gentleman, and Imogene is a kind and shy lady. Their personalities worked well together, especially with Ben being so lively and fun, and Imogene being a quiet dreamer. Ben is studying to be an architect and Imogene wants to teach art - their passions are not always looked kindly upon, but they follow their dreams nonetheless.The story was full of charm, subtle swoon, and a little bit of mounting drama! The drama being all of the "incidents" that keep occurring, of which Ben was in the middle. Someone is trying to sabotage Ben and he ends up getting hurt several times. But why?Also worth noting is how Anstey's books are always subtly feminist and in a very positive but not-in-your-face way. I love that Imogene wants to follow her dreams of being an art teacher - and I love how Ben acts like this is the most normal thing in the world (remember the time period), and he can see his life with her and both of their careers. This was fantastic!All in all, this novel was a delight to read. I had nothing to be worried about, and I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction romp. The ending is perfectly lovely and definitely a HEA, so no worries there either. I am continuously impressed by Anstey!What I Did Not Like:I so wanted a bit of a romance for a certain character (you can guess who), but I suppose I can create one in my head. Not a huge complaint, but it would have been nice!Would I Recommend It:I highly recommend this book and any of Anstey's novels, if you like historical fiction/historical romance. Adult HR fans will LOVE this YA HR novel. It isn't full of kisses and chemistry and passion BUT it is a fun and sweet romance novel set in the 1800s. These books are simply lovely to read, and I can't get enough!Rating:4 stars. I cannot wait to read Carols and Chaos, Anstey's next YA HR novel! I'm excited that it will be publishing in September - a shorter turnaround than usual. Swoon Reads, please keep publishing Anstey's books! And keep up the good work with these A+++ covers.Pre-read squees:HOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYY GUACAMOLEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! More Cindy Anstey????????? YAAAAAAASSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I have loved all of Cindy’s previous books, so I was beyond eager to start reading this one. I loved Imogene and Ben. She’s smart and he’s charming and together they’re really good people with the most chemistry you could have during this time period. I’m a sucker for the longing filled glances from across a room and while we do get a bit of banter from them, the pesky fact that Imogene is nearly engaged to Ben’s brother is quite a fun snag. Plot wise, it was delightful. There was a big group of I have loved all of Cindy’s previous books, so I was beyond eager to start reading this one. I loved Imogene and Ben. She’s smart and he’s charming and together they’re really good people with the most chemistry you could have during this time period. I’m a sucker for the longing filled glances from across a room and while we do get a bit of banter from them, the pesky fact that Imogene is nearly engaged to Ben’s brother is quite a fun snag. Plot wise, it was delightful. There was a big group of characters and some of the reveals felt a bit convoluted; however, I was in it for Imogene and Ben and found I didn’t quite care. Of course there isn’t kissing until the end, but it completely works and I was so satisfied with the last few chapters. Overall, it was a fun story with a great group of characters. I can’t wait to see what Cindy writes next. **Huge thanks to Swoon Reads for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Tin
    January 1, 1970
    The story started as Imogene was supposed to be engaged to Ernest but as we get through the book, Imogene realized that she isn’t in love with Ernest but only see him as a friend because her heart belonged to Ernest’s brother, Ben. Imogene is a shy lady with a passion for arts. She is awkward to talked to unless they talk about something she loves. Ben on the other hand is quite a gentleman who women loves, has a passion for architecture and dream of being an architect one day. Imogene and Ben w The story started as Imogene was supposed to be engaged to Ernest but as we get through the book, Imogene realized that she isn’t in love with Ernest but only see him as a friend because her heart belonged to Ernest’s brother, Ben. Imogene is a shy lady with a passion for arts. She is awkward to talked to unless they talk about something she loves. Ben on the other hand is quite a gentleman who women loves, has a passion for architecture and dream of being an architect one day. Imogene and Ben were slowly falling in love with each other. They tried everything they could not to but eventually they fall for each other without any warning. The two are really good together, they have this chemistry that you can’t deny.Along the book, these accidents kept on happening to Ben, which I think is definitely the sabotage part in the book. These incidents also added a little bit of mystery in the book. During these accidents Ben always ends up getting hurt, getting into trouble and worst, almost getting killed. Imogene thought that these things were happening intentionally and together with Emily, they wanted to find out who is the person behind all of these. I feel bad for Ben for getting hurt. It broke my heart a little.As much as I would love Imogene and Emily’s friendship, there was just these times that they could’ve talk their problems out and fix it right away. Other than that, I like how they were supportive with each other and doing most things together like they were sisters. I would also love to know more about Ernest and Emily’s characters as we are more focused on the two, Imogene and Ben.Suitors and Sabotage is a YA historical romance with a little bit of mystery that will keep you intrigued and a lot of family, friendship and romance that will keep you turning into the next page. Historical romance fans of all ages would definitely enjoy this book set in the Regency times.This was my first read by this author and I think I would try reading her other books as they are historical fiction as well.
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  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.When Imogene has a good season in London, her family deems it best for the most suitable gentleman to join them over the summer. She is eager to get to know her suitor better as a proposal is bound to come, that is until she meets his younger brother. As Imogene and Ben spend more time together, they do their best to fight off their growing feelings. However, it seems that someone amongst them seems to be plotting against Ben as many incidents happen ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.When Imogene has a good season in London, her family deems it best for the most suitable gentleman to join them over the summer. She is eager to get to know her suitor better as a proposal is bound to come, that is until she meets his younger brother. As Imogene and Ben spend more time together, they do their best to fight off their growing feelings. However, it seems that someone amongst them seems to be plotting against Ben as many incidents happen that when put together just couldn’t be accidents.The StoryHow does Cindy Anstey do this? When I read her books I am reminded how much I just adore regency novels. All the proper manners and indirect speech. I love it. It gives more for the heart to yearn for.So I docked a star solely for the fact that the book seemed to lag just a little bit in the middle. As Imogene and Ben got closer a lot of time was spent with them ignoring their feelings and just pushing it aside. Unfortunately for me I didn’t become really attached until Ben and Imogene were so wound up that they began to have a disagreement. Really it’s not the part where they are falling for each other, its the part where they just can’t be together that I find so riveting.The fact that there was actually a 4-way love triangle at first seemed like such a terrible idea, but it turned out to work so perfectly. It made the growing tension more…intense. I just loved how much their affection grew as their denial was forced more and more. The complication of their feelings for each other affected so much more than just their own shyness or situation, it affected a brother and a best friend.The underlying mystery of who was trying to subtly attack Ben definitely added substance to a story that could have just been about a real awkward situation between best friends and brothers.The World BuildingI loved the description of the homes and the ruins in this one! I absolutely adore old architecture, so the fact that our characters visited more than just one home over the course of the book, but also old castle just made my heart happy. I would just love to jump into this book and lounge about on a picnic while learning to sketch.The CharactersOne of the best part of this book was that you were subtly thrown into the mystery of who was trying to hurt Ben. With that being said we were introduced to a plethora of characters that could have had reason to hurt him. While I guessed it about half way, I still wasn’t entirely sure. I am not going to really discuss all the characters because I don’t want to give anything away. However, I could say I adore Imogene. It was so hard to read about her forcing herself to try to admire Earnest while watching her friend flirt with the man she was actually interested in. I loved that neither girl ended up being ridiculously catty about the men. They were both just sweet, tender hearted women.The SoundtrackCat Power – I Found a Reason Blog | Bookstagram | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    I mean when do I ever say no to historical fiction?
  • Wing-yee (bibliomeds)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a sucker for Cindy's books why did I only find out about this one now. smh
  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    In which a young lady finds her attention is drawn to her charming but rather serious suitor’s hotter younger brother.’Apologies to Cindy Anstey for my rather poor attempt to emulate her humorous chapter headings that playfully evoke the era of Jane Austen. Some of my favourites include:‘In which hands and fluff are subjects of a deep discussion.’‘In which the words “dreadful” and “secret” are bandied about.’‘In which a question about the question is questioned.’Imogene (with curious ‘e’ on the In which a young lady finds her attention is drawn to her charming but rather serious suitor’s hotter younger brother.’Apologies to Cindy Anstey for my rather poor attempt to emulate her humorous chapter headings that playfully evoke the era of Jane Austen. Some of my favourites include:‘In which hands and fluff are subjects of a deep discussion.’‘In which the words “dreadful” and “secret” are bandied about.’‘In which a question about the question is questioned.’Imogene (with curious ‘e’ on the end) finds herself in a quandary. She admires kind, charming, bookish Ernest, who lives up to his name in being serious and (whisper) at times perhaps a little dull. As she confides to her best friend, Emily, ‘I never feel my heart race when our eyes meet.’ However, she knows her mother and father would strongly approve if she was to accept an offer of marriage from Ernest. Imogene finds herself more and more attracted to Ernest’s younger brother, Ben, a much more lively character, very easy on the eye and someone who shares Imogene’s interest in architecture and art, even if he’s no match for her on the sketching front. Ben’s need to improve his drawing skills in order to progress in his architecture apprenticeship provides the pretext for him and Imogene to spend time together for some one-to-one tuition.Imogene forces herself to fight against the attraction, especially once it appears it may test the bonds of friendship. ‘Ernest had so many stellar qualities that Imogene had made a list of them...a list she repeated every time her traitorous thoughts veered toward Ben.’ Events take a darker turn when what start out as mischievous pranks progress to sabotage and acts that may endanger life or limb. Uncovering the culprit provides a gentle secondary story line to the brotherly rivalry for Imogene’s affections.I really enjoyed Cindy Anstey’s previous novel, Duels & Deception, and in this book again she provides insights into the social proprieties of the time. For example, the contrast between ‘town manners’ and ‘country manners’, with the latter involving relatively more informality, much earlier hours of rising (except for those ladies who keep ‘town hours’ and rise late) and outdoor pursuits such as walks and picnics. Suitors and Sabotage was a lovely light read with some nice little touches of humour. For example, I liked that the author has Emily remark, ’The wonderful aspect of books is that they wait for you...and are not in the least insulted if you deviated for a bit.’ How true! Also, I loved the little in-joke as Emily comments, ‘I’m not at ease with the idea that someone under this roof has some sort of sinister intent. That is something that happens only in novels, not in reality.’ A small issue I had, and this may be more down to formatting and because I was reading an ARC of the book, was that there were a few sudden changes of scene or location mid-chapter without any indication: no section breaks or bridging sentences. For example, in chapter six, one minute we’re with the young people on an excursion to an Abbey and the next paragraph we’re back at the house with everyone dressed for dinner. However, these are minor quibbles and didn’t affect my enjoyment of this entertaining, fun read. I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley, publishers Swoon Reads and Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Karlita
    January 1, 1970
    Full Review at Tale Out Loud | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramActual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars "Love was a gift, a compliment. It might not be reciprocated..." Imogene Chively's suitor Ernest Steeple arrived at the Gracebridge Manor a little too early with his brother Ben Steeple. She was expected to say yes whenever Ernest asked her hand in marriage, especially her father. However, it turned out that Ben has caught Imogene’s eyes even more than it should be because Mr. Chively had always E Full Review at Tale Out Loud | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramActual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars "Love was a gift, a compliment. It might not be reciprocated..." Imogene Chively's suitor Ernest Steeple arrived at the Gracebridge Manor a little too early with his brother Ben Steeple. She was expected to say yes whenever Ernest asked her hand in marriage, especially her father. However, it turned out that Ben has caught Imogene’s eyes even more than it should be because Mr. Chively had always Ernest's company instead of spending it together with Imogene to know each other really well, with a little time for both of them.Studying architecture as a first-year apprentice in Canterbury and granted with the summer off, Ben could not really draw and didn’t know how to render his own designs. He realized that what he needed all along was having the right teacher. With Imogene's impeccable talent, Ben knew she was the one he was looking for.As they've spent more time together with heated glances and a furtive kiss behind a parasol, their feelings grew even they didn’t want to. With a series of incidents, rather than an accident and what started out as tomfoolery, became desperate and threatening, it was a mystery as to who and why someone like to harm Ben. Was it because of an insatiable need for mischief or was it done out of delusion cause by sorrow? Probably someone who got a secret jealousy that no one knew has coming.At the beginning of the story, I thought that there has a love triangle of some sort (thankfully there's none) and it got complicated when Emily, Imogene’s best friend thought that she was in love with Ben too. Ernest wanting to know Imogene better before the imminent marriage, Imogene who felt something for Ben rather than her original suitor, Ben who denied his feelings for Imogene because he didn’t want to betray his brother and so he flirted with Emily who meant that there was something more between them — the dynamic within these characters were undeniable. I really enjoyed each time they were all in the same room together because it always felt like the long awaited secret would finally revealed.While insta-love existed and was twisted into a slow-burned romance where Ben and Imogene’s relationship developed into something more, I couldn’t say that it worked well for me the way I wanted it when the pacing was sometimes tedious and uneventful. All I know is that, the chemistry between Imogen and Ben was just perfect, swoony, and dreamy.As I went along and all these mishaps were keep coming with an air of mystery which I didn’t realized until after Emily and Imogene were trying to figure out the true culprit behind, the story got me on spiral.The “sabotage” aspect came to me by surprise though there were moments in the story that made me think it was all about Ben because he inadvertently came between Imogene and Ernest, and the real shift was he's actually the one being sabotage.What I love most was how the story ended with the realization of Imogene becoming an exemplary character who have dreams of her own. What seem to be a disaster was only just a minor setback in the fulfillment of her becoming an art teacher and setting up a studio or art academy. Even if her father would not agree, she knew that what she has was never been a pipe dream but something tangible if only she believed in herself.I also like Imogene and Emily's friendship because even if it was problematic or they were not entirely honest to each other, they acknowledge it in the end. They didn't let one man to come between their relationship as friends but instead became even more supportive with each other.Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey is a fun and delightful read with Regency-filled setting and a Jane Austen vibe into it. I would still recommend this book as I am looking forward to read more books from the same author like Carols and Chaos which will be a spin off to Matt and Kate's story to be release later this year.***Thank you to NetGalley, MacMillian Children’s Publishing Group – Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours and Cindy Anstey for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    As a huge Jane Austen and Regency-era fan this book seemed right up my ally, but unfortunately I was just so incredibly….. bored and uninterested that I decided it just wasn’t worth it when I could be reading something I actually want to read, you know? You feel? You get me?First off, the characters were kind of, like, boring. And flat. And two-dimensional. And I just didn’t really care about any of them. I want to be able to like my characters, or, at the very least, have them be interesting to As a huge Jane Austen and Regency-era fan this book seemed right up my ally, but unfortunately I was just so incredibly….. bored and uninterested that I decided it just wasn’t worth it when I could be reading something I actually want to read, you know? You feel? You get me?First off, the characters were kind of, like, boring. And flat. And two-dimensional. And I just didn’t really care about any of them. I want to be able to like my characters, or, at the very least, have them be interesting to read about, but everyone here was cookie cutter and boring and just so,,,,,, I don’t want to say too Regency because this is legit a Regency novel, but they were all characters I have read time and time again in every single Regency-era romance. I thought that this book would have something new in the character department and it just didn’t.Second, the plot. Uhhhh idk if I should put spoiler warnings but honestly I only made it a quarter of the way through this one so I guess don’t read this paragraph if you don’t want spoilers for anything. (view spoiler)[ The pacing in this novel was jilted and choppy, at least up until what I read. Half of the time I was just sitting there thinking What?? What? because everything was just kind of weird and it didn’t run very smoothly. There’s one part near the beginning where Benjamin is carrying this giant dog (described as “3 and a half stones” which is, like, 50 pounds (and looking back on that, I realize that the dog isn’t truly giant but that would be huge to me, seeing as how I can hardly do one push up without collapsing, and I’m not saying that Benjamin isn’t stronger than me, which he probably is, but 50 pounds is still nothing to call home about)), and then the cast of the novel……. has an entire five to ten minute conversation….. and the dog is never mentioned again…….. and the whole time I’m sitting there thinking ???? where is the dog???? Is he okay???? and then everyone is like “Oh wait!!! Haha I completely forgot about the dog!! Oops we better take care of that!” and I’m like…… the dog is big and Benjamin is carrying it and it’s pretty injured……. so can someone explain to me how this is plausible?? Lol (hide spoiler)]Okay, so here’s the deal. I feel weird calling a book I read only one-fourth of out for lack of diversity, but I mean, come on. After the popularity of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, I never again want to see a historical fiction novel with no diversity. There’s no excuse. POC and lgbt, disabled people have been around forever, and it annoys me when authors just decide to not include them. And another thing – one of the secondary character’s names is “Matt,” and, you know, the name Matthew really wasn’t a popular name back in the 19th century. It was popular during the middle ages, and then came back into popularity, seemingly randomly, in 1960, but between those two times, it was rare to see someone named Matthew in a primarily English-speaking country. That kind of annoyed me and every time Matt was mentioned I was just sitting there like I also thought that this book would be about Benjamin and Imogene falling in love, but it kind of wasn’t???? I got maybe, like, twenty pages in and Imogene is already full-fledged crushing on Benjamin and I was like where is the slow burn I wanted? Why does insta-love exist?? wtf????So, honestly, I would probably skip this one. It wasn’t super good as a romance novel, or a historical fiction novel, or a historical romance novel. It took me like four days to get a quarter of the way through. Bleh.
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  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    hello friends, you can read this review on my blog as well!---I am a bit unsure about Suitors and Sabotage. One the one hand, I did like the growing attraction between Ben and Imogene. On the other, it was really messy and complicated between the two.This third novel by Anstey is probably the most worrying historical rom-com she’s written, or at least, that’s how it felt like to me. It’s almost like that one Shakespeare play! Imogene is gearing up for a potential engagement to Ernest, Benjamin’s hello friends, you can read this review on my blog as well!---I am a bit unsure about Suitors and Sabotage. One the one hand, I did like the growing attraction between Ben and Imogene. On the other, it was really messy and complicated between the two.This third novel by Anstey is probably the most worrying historical rom-com she’s written, or at least, that’s how it felt like to me. It’s almost like that one Shakespeare play! Imogene is gearing up for a potential engagement to Ernest, Benjamin’s brother. But Imogene is smitten with Benjamin, and vice versa. But, Imogene’s best friend, Emily, is completely head over heels for Benjamin. It’s… definitely complicated. A really strange love… square? of sorts.I did like it though, because it’s not like Imogene was torn between the brothers. I liked her interactions with Ben, even though the both of them knew they shouldn’t be feeling the way they did for each other. Still, their company was just easy. Imogene wasn’t shy or awkward around him, like she was with his brother. She was able to talk to him easily about anything.I really loved the brothers! They constantly joked around and teased each other without abandon and it was just the most endearing thing! It was clear that Ernest and Benjamin are super close and I’m so happy that Anstey wrote them to be friendly towards each other. I also liked Emily and Imogene’s relationship! They tell each other almost everything and it’s clear they’re very important to one another.Overall, I thought this book was okay! Love, Lies, and Spies still holds the cake for my favourite Anstey novel, but it’s pretty clear that I’ll basically read anything she writes! 3.5 stars.
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  • ✨ Kaira ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Characters - 4Plot - 3.5Writing style - 4 Romance - 4In which a shy eighteen-year-old girl fell in love with her intended's flirty younger brother. Characters - I think they're okay. Sometimes hilarious and sometimes annoying. And, dear Lord, I just can't see the whole female lead being shy. I mean, sure, she tends to refuse to look at people's eyes but that's where her so-called-shyness stops. I love the heroine's best friend. Usually, she's the type of characters I easily get annoyed with but Characters - 4Plot - 3.5Writing style - 4 Romance - 4In which a shy eighteen-year-old girl fell in love with her intended's flirty younger brother. Characters - I think they're okay. Sometimes hilarious and sometimes annoying. And, dear Lord, I just can't see the whole female lead being shy. I mean, sure, she tends to refuse to look at people's eyes but that's where her so-called-shyness stops. I love the heroine's best friend. Usually, she's the type of characters I easily get annoyed with but in this case, I'm totally fine with the gal. And, is it wrong if I hope there's a brotherly love between the heroine and her older brother? Her brother doesn't give a shit, that am sure of. Plot - now, when I first read the synopsis, I was totally intrigued but truth be told, I was kinda disappointed. Felt like I was reading a fanfiction of any Jane Austen's work. Writing style - I have to say, I am impressed with the dialogues and some monologues. Fast-paced but kinda boring. Read it in one sitting. Romance - the romance has so much potential. I love the first hundred pages of the novel but the rest, nah. The romance began to bore the hell out of me, it's not cute anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love that the heroine ended up with him but throughout the book, I am torn between who among the two gentlemen should she choose. I like the older brother because he's husband material. Safe but boring. Plus, he loooooooves reading books. Haha. However, I also do like the younger brother because I don't know, there's just something about him that makes you want him. Maybe his monologues. He's fun but dangerous. Flirty af.
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  • Kassie
    January 1, 1970
    I've come to realize that I really enjoy historical fiction whether it has magic or not. Question that I don't have an answer to: was this story inspired by the play, The Importance of Being Ernest ????We follow a story of a group of four - essentially a very messy love square while also realizing one of them may be in serious danger of getting hurt in a purposeful accident.I LOVED all of the characters in this story. Cindy Anstey did an amazing job creating characters that made it hard to know I've come to realize that I really enjoy historical fiction whether it has magic or not. Question that I don't have an answer to: was this story inspired by the play, The Importance of Being Ernest ????We follow a story of a group of four - essentially a very messy love square while also realizing one of them may be in serious danger of getting hurt in a purposeful accident.I LOVED all of the characters in this story. Cindy Anstey did an amazing job creating characters that made it hard to know how you wanted this very messy love square to end up. I loved every second of this story. Adding the setting of the 1800s added such an amazing, wistful experience with all the discussion of outfits and locations.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*I really enjoyed Suitors and Sabotage! There is a unique style in Cindy's books that reminds you strongly of Pride and Prejudice"! All the English form and attitude, the shy heroine who at the same time wants more for herself and even the small funny moments between the scenes.The romance is sweet and adorable between Ben and Imogene! Like a teenage historical movie, you expect to happen and can't he I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*I really enjoyed Suitors and Sabotage! There is a unique style in Cindy's books that reminds you strongly of Pride and Prejudice"! All the English form and attitude, the shy heroine who at the same time wants more for herself and even the small funny moments between the scenes.The romance is sweet and adorable between Ben and Imogene! Like a teenage historical movie, you expect to happen and can't help but root for! If the fluffy, historical romance is your trope then the whole stand-alone books are here for you!
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    This book has such a nice cover and, as a fan of both Jane Austen and mysteries, I was hype to read Suitors and Sabotage. Reading the other reviews here has got me a little disquieted, because most of them are full of praise, and the one word I came away with to describe this book was "trash."I thought it would be both a mystery, and a Regency social drama type romance. The mystery aspect is barely there at all -- mildly odd things happen occasionally, and no one even acknowledges that there's a This book has such a nice cover and, as a fan of both Jane Austen and mysteries, I was hype to read Suitors and Sabotage. Reading the other reviews here has got me a little disquieted, because most of them are full of praise, and the one word I came away with to describe this book was "trash."I thought it would be both a mystery, and a Regency social drama type romance. The mystery aspect is barely there at all -- mildly odd things happen occasionally, and no one even acknowledges that there's a mystery up until almost the last chapter, when it is also solved. The romance aspect was... there? But it didn't make me care about any of the characters, or their romance, even a little. It's like a love triangle/quadrangle thing (ugh) between all four of the main characters, and three of them are POV characters, alternating every so often (ugh). It was hard to invest in any of the four mains, and outside of that the rest of the cast was one-dimensional. There was mutual pining, so I would have thought I could find at least one thing to like, but there just wasn't any tension outside of "I like this guy ok but I LOVE his brother what do I do" type tension, which is just pulpy and unpleasant. Suitors and Sabotage disappointed me a lot, and I'm sad. It reminded me neither of Jane Austen nor of any good mystery, but rather of something to be read in desperate lack of other reading material and then immediately thrown away and forgotten.
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  • Jes Drew
    January 1, 1970
    I can always count on Cindy Anstey for a nice, comfortable regency read that feels like it was written in Jane Austen's time. This one was no different, and Benjamin was so charming. Also, Imogene is so relateable as the shy artist who likes to teach. Their chemistry was undeniable, and made all the sweeter by Benjamin's special bond with his brother and Imogene's special bond with her best friend. This is a clean (at least, I don't remember many bad words) summer read as we follow three familie I can always count on Cindy Anstey for a nice, comfortable regency read that feels like it was written in Jane Austen's time. This one was no different, and Benjamin was so charming. Also, Imogene is so relateable as the shy artist who likes to teach. Their chemistry was undeniable, and made all the sweeter by Benjamin's special bond with his brother and Imogene's special bond with her best friend. This is a clean (at least, I don't remember many bad words) summer read as we follow three families and two suitors visiting each other throughout the summer. What a way to live! And what a sweet read.
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  • Kayla
    January 1, 1970
    This is described as Pride and Prejudice meets the romance of A Midsummers Night Dream... I had to pick it. I really liked this though like historical fiction really isn't my most read genre but I've been getting into so much more of it lately and loving it and this was not an exception.
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  • Vee ♔Under Mountain Books♔
    January 1, 1970
    I hope this is a great fluffy romance followed by some stabby stabby
  • ✦ Maica ✦
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one. Imogene was a very loveable character. She was sweet, strong willed and intelligent. I loved how she respected Emily and Ernest so much to the point that she was smothering her feelings towards Ben. And seeing Ben doing the same thing was very amendable. He loved Imogene but he also loved his brother. And he was willing to give her up if it meant that his brother would be happy. (view spoiler)[Emily and Ernest were also very caring and thoughtful. During the end, no ma I really enjoyed this one. Imogene was a very loveable character. She was sweet, strong willed and intelligent. I loved how she respected Emily and Ernest so much to the point that she was smothering her feelings towards Ben. And seeing Ben doing the same thing was very amendable. He loved Imogene but he also loved his brother. And he was willing to give her up if it meant that his brother would be happy. (view spoiler)[Emily and Ernest were also very caring and thoughtful. During the end, no matter how much it hurt them, they found a way for Ben and Imogene to be together again. (hide spoiler)] The characters were solid. They made choices that were realistic and compassionable. The writing was very beautiful. It painted the scene and the era well. I could feel myself being sent to this timeline. The mystery as to who would want to harm Ben was also an intriguing plot line.Overall, I love a good historical fiction romance novel. The Victorian era is a time period that I really enjoy reading about. The petticoats and the Victorian men never fail to dazzle me. You can almost never go wrong with it. Thankfully, most of Cindy Anstey's published works are historical fiction. I guess it's time to binge read her books. Crossing my fingers for a sequel.
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  • Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
    January 1, 1970
    Another utterly delightful YA historical romance from Cindy Anstey! The romantic entanglements and the mysterious accidents befalling one of the suitors created for quite a web of intrigue. Cindy writes such charming characters and stories, with witty banter and English manners. Though I do wish there was a tad more kissing. :) I can't wait to read what she writes next! Her books always leave me feeling light-hearted and giddy.
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  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all. This was a full on struggle bus of a story. I was bored. There was no character development, bad pacing, and I have yet to figure out what the actual plot was aside from girls BEGGING boys to marry them. If you want me to believe this was supposed to be a type of mystery then you need to sell that somewhere else because I'm not buying. You want me to sit and wonder who would "pull pranks" like putting a burr under a horse saddle or moving the dog? PFFFT. I have less than no cares when it Y'all. This was a full on struggle bus of a story. I was bored. There was no character development, bad pacing, and I have yet to figure out what the actual plot was aside from girls BEGGING boys to marry them. If you want me to believe this was supposed to be a type of mystery then you need to sell that somewhere else because I'm not buying. You want me to sit and wonder who would "pull pranks" like putting a burr under a horse saddle or moving the dog? PFFFT. I have less than no cares when it comes to that.FRTC------------Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...I have been hesitant to write my review for this because I do not fancy writing less than stellar reviews. The struggle was real with this book and I’ll explain why.I did not read any other reviews before borrowing this book, I went into with fresh eyes and that was the best way to go. I won’t write a short recap because I cannot be absolutely sure what this story was about. I think I have an idea and I’ll be slightly upset if that was it because it was lame. I can tell you that I found this story dull, lifeless, and drawn out far too much. There is supposed to be a mystery within the story but I felt that was hidden beneath the story of two girls trying desperately to catch the eye of boys so they can be married. The story does take place in a date in time where females were to be proper and well mannered, never showing ankle or looking too long at a male for fear of being considered a tramp. You get the idea. That is what a majority of the story was – two girls giggling and talking about ways to catch a boy’s eye. Boring.I did mention there was some story of mystery but it was weak and spread incredibly thin. An item, such as a necklace, was moved or the dog was found tied up in the barn. There was never anything harmful done to anyone nor were there notes. So what was the point? Odd things that happened were always brushed off so there was no sense of urgency. Why include that story line if you aren’t going to expand upon it?Don’t get me started on the romance. Alright, I’ve started myself on the topic. It was just .. awkward. There couldn’t be just an attraction between a boy and a girl, NOPE. There had to be a love triangle or quadrangle, perhaps? It was complicated for the sake of being complicated. It did not add to the story, it made it worse. I didn’t care who chose whom. I had no dog in that fight.I walked away from this story deeply disappointed. I normally really like period stories like this, but this needed revision. There was no developed plot, weak characters, and just too much crammed into one story. This novel didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up and that was sad. It had potential. I couldn’t wait to be done with this book so I skimmed – quickly.
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  • Riddhi Mazumder
    January 1, 1970
    Another book by Cindy Anstey.Pinch me, please.
  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
    January 1, 1970
    Added to my TBR because of Alyssa's very convincing review @ The Eater of Books!
  • Austine (NovelKnight)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I'm not sure if it was intentional, but Suitors and Sabotage reminded me a bit of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. To be fair, it's referenced in the book as the play the characters put on at one point so perhaps there was more intent there than I initially thought.The third of Anstey's historical romances, I'm at odds with how I felt about this one. I've enjoyed her previous This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I'm not sure if it was intentional, but Suitors and Sabotage reminded me a bit of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. To be fair, it's referenced in the book as the play the characters put on at one point so perhaps there was more intent there than I initially thought.The third of Anstey's historical romances, I'm at odds with how I felt about this one. I've enjoyed her previous two titles well enough, though wouldn't say that either was mind-blowing, and the same applies to Suitors and Sabotage.As a tale of four young people spending the summer together and going on an assortment of small adventures, this book is great. I loved the dynamic between Imogene, her friend Emily, and the brothers Ernest and Ben. Throughout this, Ernest is supposed to be wooing Imogene as their families believe a marriage proposal is imminent, but Imogene isn't so sure they're a good fit when Ben enters the picture.Here is where the Midsummer's comparison comes in, with Imogene crushing on Ben, Ben on her but also spending a lot of time with Emily, who thinks he's falling in love with her, and Ernest developing feelings for Imogene and thinking they're reciprocated. . . you get the picture. Lots of FEELINGS all around and making a mess of things. And yet, the romance just wasn't quite working for me due to the pacing. I liked Imogene and Ben, how their relationship develops from friendship to something more, not just an insta-lust or insta-love. There was something substantial to it and you bet I shipped them hard from the beginning.The problem is that it took an awfully long time for anything to happen and when it finally did. . . the book ended. And because it was so drawn out, I never really felt the romance in this historical romance. Sure, I wanted certain characters to end up together but that was it, and more wishful thinking -- hoping for something to happen -- on my part.Suitors and Sabotage also lost me with the whole mystery element. Throughout the story, bad things happen and the group tries to figure out the source. But the mystery wasn't clear in a way that you (as a reader) could follow the random occurrences very far and while I understand that the author doesn't want to give away the BIG REVEAL until the right moment, the reader needs something to work with. It came to a point where those "accidents" felt like plot fillers rather than a necessary part of the story (and ultimately, I really didn't think they added much).Now, to be fair, it wasn't a bad book. I didn't enjoy it as much as Love, Lies and Spies (my favorite of Anstey's 3 books) and  Duels and Deception , but it was entertaining enough. I'll certainly pick up future books by the author and will buy this one for my shelves.Find Me on: My Blog || Twitter || Instagram || Bloglovin'
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 3.5 StarsLast year, I read my first Cindy Anstey book, Duels and Deception. I found it so delightful, and can honestly say, that history repeated itself here with Suitors and Sabotage.•Pro: Imogene played the part of the a lady, but she had dreams of doing her own thing and being more than just a wife and lady of the manor. Her passion and her conviction were fabulous, and I love that Anstey always gives us a somewhat feminist heroine in all her books. •Pro: Ben was so charming, and I ad Rating: 3.5 StarsLast year, I read my first Cindy Anstey book, Duels and Deception. I found it so delightful, and can honestly say, that history repeated itself here with Suitors and Sabotage.•Pro: Imogene played the part of the a lady, but she had dreams of doing her own thing and being more than just a wife and lady of the manor. Her passion and her conviction were fabulous, and I love that Anstey always gives us a somewhat feminist heroine in all her books. •Pro: Ben was so charming, and I adored the way he subtly adored Imogene. For a man of that time, he showed a great support for her talent and dreams as well. •Pro: Anstey always mixes romances with a little suspense, and I am a fan of this blend. •Con: I understand the "sabotage" events were important, but I would have like more of the romance and less of the "sabotage".•Pro: Emily and Imogene shared a wonderful friendship, to the point that Imogene was considered part of Emily's family and they were a huge source of love and support for her, which was missing in her own home. •Pro: Anstey knows how to do this time period, and I don't know what it is, but I always find reading books set in the Regency time period so delightful. The propriety of the era makes every touch and glance that much more meaningful. Overall: A charming period romance, with a hero and heroine, who won my heart, and a romance, which left me with a light heart. **ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Alisha
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cute romantic comedy set in...Regency times, I think? Imogene and her family are set to entertain a young man who is visiting as an avowed suitor for her hand. However, his younger brother Ben is the one who really catches Imogene's interest. Both of them spend the length of the novel trying to do the "right" thing in denying their feelings for each other, but, of course, things are going to get satisfactorily resolved. I liked that Imogene and Ben bond over art and architecture. Ther This was a cute romantic comedy set in...Regency times, I think? Imogene and her family are set to entertain a young man who is visiting as an avowed suitor for her hand. However, his younger brother Ben is the one who really catches Imogene's interest. Both of them spend the length of the novel trying to do the "right" thing in denying their feelings for each other, but, of course, things are going to get satisfactorily resolved. I liked that Imogene and Ben bond over art and architecture. There is a "mystery" thrown in that is not really all that intriguing due to a lack of suspects. It is fairly simple to figure out who is at the bottom of the sabotage.Aside from a few quibbles over manners and vocabulary (just because I'm me, and I'm picky over historical fiction), this was an enjoyable, light read.
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  • Candyce Kirk
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cute book. If you aren't a fan of love triangles, this isn't a book for you, haha. I have to say I didn't mind it in this book. The mystery element was nice as well.I am part of the blog tour and my full review can be read here: https://thebookdutchesses.wordpress.c...
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    Cindy Anstey has done it again! Another adorable, swoon worthy story set in the Regency era had me hooked from the first chapter. Don't even get me started on how amazing and charming Benjamin Steeple is....I think he is by far my new favorite leading man from Anstey! Imogen is pretty amazing as well; I loved her quiet determination to do what she loved no matter how others perceived her. Thanks to MacMillan for the ARC!
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  • Katherine Paschal
    January 1, 1970
    Review and more can be found at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ ** "Might I have the return of my hands, Ben?"Ben looked down to see that Imogen's hands were encased in his. He rather liked the way they fit together; then he realized that he had been holding them overlong."Oh, yes, indeed. Are these yours?" He let go with a laugh that sounded a little forced even to his ears."Since birth." What a situation we have here! We have serious Ernest who has an intense crush on quiet Imogen, want Review and more can be found at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ ** "Might I have the return of my hands, Ben?"Ben looked down to see that Imogen's hands were encased in his. He rather liked the way they fit together; then he realized that he had been holding them overlong."Oh, yes, indeed. Are these yours?" He let go with a laugh that sounded a little forced even to his ears."Since birth." What a situation we have here! We have serious Ernest who has an intense crush on quiet Imogen, wanting to court her; Shy Imogen who feels nothing for Ernest but is attracted to his younger brother Ben; Charming, flirty Ben who only wanted to help his brother get the girl but then finds himself also falling for the same girl; and bold Emily, Imogen's best friend practically sister, who is instantly infatuated with Ben and thinks he feels the same way. Can you say complicated? Why yes, yes indeed my good chap! The story is dual narrated by Imogen and Ben as they navigate themselves through their romantic feelings, their current situation and the mystery to solve. I really enjoyed them both, liking their quirks and personalities and loving what their interactions brought out in each other. I hate to say this, but I really did like Ernest. Sure, Ben is more charming, outgoing and personable, but Ernest was so real, genuine, and sweet- but maybe he was too much like Imogen and she needed someone to challenge her and bring her out of her shell instead of someone also quiet who make no demands. Let's take just a minute to fully appreciate the wonderful friendship between Emily and Imogen. Here we have two girls who are developing feelings for the same guy, yet both want to be good friends and support the other in any situation. There was no cat-fighting or throwing the other under the bus, just two girl who would do anything for the other regardless of them not getting their way. Now, this, this is what we need more of in YA. Also, Emily's parents, the Beeswangers were pretty much amazing people (and that is all you get out of me- read the book, you will not be able to argue). ​“Are you?” Ben stared again— no longer sure if Imogene was being enigmatic or if he was having a problem thinking. His brain seemed to have lost its train of thought. “Am I what?” Imogene laughed. “Greatly interested?” Ben stared at pretty Miss Imogene Chively in her soft blue dress that accented her lovely blue eyes and agreed readily. “Most definitely,” he said, no longer sure of the topic. “Very interested.”I really find myself enjoying historical romances with the proper rules, etiquette, societal expectations, costuming, courting procedures- it is always such a fun time reading these types of stories and I love that now there are YA versions (you know, the same but without the heaving bosoms and such). I found this to be a cute story heavy on the romance and light on the mystery with engaging characters that I felt like I really ended up knowing. I enjoyed Ms. Anstey's fun writing style so much so that I have already picked up her previous book Duels and Deceptions to jump into next (technically this is her third book, but I am like 95% sure they are all standalones and can be enjoyed independently- this one most certainly can!).I am voluntarily reviewing an advance, complimentary copy of this book.
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