A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes by Manda Collins
Historical Romance | Mystery
Having seen the Ladies Most Scandalous series floating around for a while now, I’ve been intrigued by the creative titles. While romance isn’t typically one of my go-to genres, I couldn’t resist when I saw them described as “Nancy Drew mixed with Jane Austen with more kissing!”
And A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes felt like it provided exactly that. Above all, this was a fun read. Light and perfectly fluffy, this historical romance gives all the rom-com vibes complete with fake dating, banter, dislike to love, forced proximity, and more!
The book follows the main characters Poppy and Langham. After agreeing to a fake betrothal that benefits them both, the two embark on an occasionally dangerous search for a murderer amidst the English countryside. As they investigate, the chemistry between them grows — creating a lively and enjoyable dynamic. Poppy is a feisty, stubborn, and independent heroine, and Langham is protective but in a way that builds her up rather than holds her back. Between the two of them, they’re caught up in a web of secrets including murder, blackmail, and a local cult.
The mystery element of the story kept the plot moving at a quick and entertaining pace. While this portion of the plot felt weaker than the romance storyline (and required some stretching of belief) it was still a highly engaging read.
Although this is the third book in the Ladies Most Scandalous series, it can easily be read as a standalone. This regency romance was a quick read with some heat (the steamiest part was mostly contained to one chapter.) Fast-paced and full of witty banter and strong characters, this story felt like a cross between Miss Scarlet and the Duke and Bridgerton, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Regency romance fans who enjoy a little mystery on the side
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance copy of the book provided courtesy of Read Forever Pub. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
England, 1867: Miss Poppy Delamare is living a lie. To escape an odious betrothal, she fled to London where she’s been hiding as the unassuming secretary Flora Deaver. However, when her beloved sister is accused of murder, Poppy cannot leave her to the wolves. Only a most unexpected—and unwelcome—collision interrupts her journey home . . .
Despite a rather dismal first meeting, Joshua Fielding, the Duke of Langham, has no intention of abandoning a lady in need. But he’s not above asking a favor. A fake betrothal will give Poppy and her sister the power of the dukedom and protect Langham from the society misses intent on becoming his duchess.
Yet the longer the ruse goes on, the more Poppy and Langham realize how false their first impressions were—and the less pretend their engagement feels. But before Langham can propose in truth, their search reveals a tangled web of lies and betrayals. With time running out, can Poppy and Langham find the real culprit—before Poppy becomes the next victim?