And Only To Deceive, a historical mystery romance book by Australian Author Tasha Alexander is the first in The Lady Emily Series. I came by a copy of the book after casting aside a truly dreadful, unreadable book that shall remain nameless. With a two hour bus ride ahead, I simply needed something new and more readable, and there in Vinnies it sat.
Within the first fifteen minutes I was hooked. I wish I could say I didn’t put it down until I finished, but with four active children, it would be a blatant lie. A more truthful account would be that I snatched every opportunity I could over the next week, until I finished, and I have eagerly ordered the next book from the library. As fate would have it, they didn’t put the order through properly so I’m in book limbo and I’m cranky.
And Only To Deceive is a fabulous light read full of vibrant female characters. The author states that she didn’t want to take 21stC characters and dump them into the past, and she doesn’t disappoint on that front at all. Reading this book is like being in a time machine, it’s just how I like my historical romance to be.
With a slow building, suspenseful mystery, backed by the in depth character development, this book keeps the reader turning pages. Did the Viscount Ashton steal the priceless artworks? Will Colin Hargreaves be caught out? You’ll have to read it to find out!
For me, the sign of a good book, is when you reach the end of it and wonder what you’re going to do to fill the void. In this case the answer is simple, I’m going to read the second book, A Poisoned Season. And after that I will probably read the remaining ten books as well!
My everyday reader score for this book is 4.5 stars out of 5. I gave the book this score because it is rich with mystery and romance, an extremely enjoyable presentation of society in the 1890s, and it’s a wonderfully light hearted book.
My feminist reader score for this book is 4.5 stars out of five. If you want to read a book about fully liberated women you’ll have to read sci-fi of some variety. If you want to read a book with characters that represent women in a far less enlightened society than we have now, characters that have the spice of women reaching out past the boundaries, then this is brilliant.
I love reading books by women, about women, and this book is by an Australian woman which makes it even more appealing to me. There are some amazing Australian women writing books, and they don’t get nearly enough credit. If you’re looking for a book that will keep you turning pages, with a light and entertaining plot, a book with well developed characters, and the odd giggle, you really can’t go past And Only To Deceive.
Meg Heket is a writer for Whole Woman (www.wholewoman.com.au) who loves to read books written by women, about women.