A Delicate Deception
by Cat Sebastian
When Amelia Allenby escaped a stifling London ballroom for the quiet solitude of the Derbyshire countryside, the very last thing she wanted was an extremely large, if—she grudgingly admits—passably attractive man disturbing her daily walks. Lecturing the surveyor about property rights doesn’t work and, somehow, he has soon charmed his way into lemon cakes, long walks, and dangerously heady kisses.
The very last place Sydney wished to be was in the shadow of the ruins of Pelham Hall, the inherited property that stole everything from him. But as he awaits his old friend, the Duke of Hereford, he finds himself increasingly captivated by the maddeningly lovely and exceptionally odd Amelia. He quickly finds that keeping his ownership of Pelham Hall a secret is as impossible as keeping himself from falling in love with her.
But when the Duke of Hereford arrives, Sydney’s ruse is revealed and what started out as a delicate deception has become a love too powerful to ignore. Will they let a lifetime of hurt come between them or can these two lost souls find love and peace in each other?Blurb taken from book blurb
Okay so, A Delicate Deception?
Two bisexual/pansexual characters + One introvert author/spinster + One softly damaged/emotional engineer = an amazing book that I enjoyed SO much.
While the plot of A Delicate Deception is strong and engaging, the real appeal for me came from the characters of the novel. Not only did I find them both so incredibly relatable, but they just worked so well together. They talked, they accepted each other, and they compromised!
Honestly the characterisation of A Delicate Deception read far more like a contemporary romance novel than a historical one, if only for the amounts of mutual respect between the two romance leads. Also you know, the sexual openness also helped.
I have read a few of Cat Sebastian’s books and I am going to keep reading. Sebastian’s writing is just so damned refreshing and so effortlessly inclusive with it’s LGBTQ+ content. Authors should take note, because this is how you write a romance novel with bisexual/pansexual representation.
Cat Sebastian is now a confirmed favourite of mine, and I cannot wait to back track and read the second novel of the Regency Imposters series, A Duke in Disguise.
The Mistaken Identity trope isn’t something I usually seek out, and even though it wasn’t a huge focal point of A Delicate Deception‘s plot, I still enjoyed the elements at play. While I tend to favour Mistaken Identity plots that use the narrative device in a more light hearted fashion, it is no less powerful as a device of angst.
The ability of the trope to evoke sudden and strong emotions at the reveal of an identity, packs quite a punch. This is very true in romance novels as the perceptions of romantic pairs of each others can provide a great deal of pressure on burgeoning relationships and often will be the centre point of plot lines. The trope was played for more angsty reasons in Sebastian’s novel as the reveal brought a number of character misconceptions to light, and rather than providing any comedic relief instead moved the plot forward and the romance backwards (for a time).