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Suitors and Sabotage

Review

Suitors and Sabotage

SUITORS AND SABOTAGE is author Cindy Anstey’s latest novel. Anstey’s other works are the historical romances, LOVE, LIES, AND SPIES and DUELS & DECEPTION.

SUITORS AND SABOTAGE takes place at several countryside estates in nineteenth-century England. Imogene Chively and her lifelong friend, Emily Beeswanger, along with their familes, have always spent the summer traveling to each family’s home, enjoying the countryside and warm weather. This summer, however, is a bit different. Imogene’s suitor from her Season in London, Ernest Steeple, and his brother, Ben, are joining the families at the Chively’s manor. Imogene hopes to connect with and get to know Ernest, as it is likely he will be her husband one day, but much to her dismay, she finds herself far more interested in Ben.

"SUITORS AND SABOTAGE is historical fiction, and Cindy Anstey did an excellent job making it seem very realistic."

Ben is an architect’s apprentice but is terrible at drawing, while Imogene is a talented young artist. Ben enlists Imogene to teach him how to draw, and spending time with her leads Ben to fall in love with her. The two teenagers are tortured by their forbidden love, and to make matters worse, a number of dangerous incidents points to the possibility that someone is out to harm Ben.

SUITORS AND SABOTAGE is historical fiction, and Cindy Anstey did an excellent job making it seem very realistic. The language the characters use, the descriptions of their homes and outfits and their interactions with each other all show the historical aspect of the novel.

However, there were several aspects of SUITORS AND SABOTAGE that left me disappointed. Even though it is meant to be a love story, the majority of the book is consumed by the psychological torture and angst that Imogene and Ben are putting themselves through, instead of an actual beginning love story. In addition to that, there are a number of filler characters who are present throughout SUITORS AND SABOTAGE, yet do little to advance the plot. In any novel there are bound to be unimportant characters, but they are never present for the whole story unless they somehow serve a greater purpose. I found it very difficult to stay interested in SUITORS AND SABOTAGE as the plot did not progress much until the very end and there was just not much happening in the novel. I did not go into it expecting an action story, but considering it is romance, there was not much of that either.

SUITORS AND SABOTAGE does have some merits, however. Imogene Chively, the protagonist, is interested in art and becoming an art teacher. She shows perseverance by continuing to achieve her goals even when she is not supported by her own family. The novel also includes a nice story of friendship, by showing close Imogene and Emily are and how they truly care about each other.

While SUITORS AND SABOTAGE was not exactly the book for me, if you are looking for an accurate historical fiction novel, you will certainly find that in SUITORS AND SABOTAGE. This book is also a relatively quick read, and if you are big fan of architecture or art, you will definitely find something to like.

Reviewed by Ansley K., Teen Board Member on April 26, 2018

Suitors and Sabotage
by Cindy Anstey