ARC Review: Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

Title: Suitors and Sabotage
Author: Cindy Antsey
Publication Date: April 17th 2018
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan)
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Macmillan INTL (Thank You!)
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: 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. . . 
Actual Rating 2.5 Stars

Over the last few months, I’ve been reading more romance books than ever before. I absolutely love awkward encounters, chemistry filled moments and the eventual realisation that the two protagonists have been in love all along.

I had HIGH hopes for Suitors and Sabotage, Cindy Anstey’s third book because of all the lovely reviews I’d seen trusted bloggers giving it, the GORGEOUS cover, and the premise in general.

Instead, what I found, was a rather silly book with absolutely no character growth that I forced myself to finish over the course of an ENTIRE week and, worst of all, a romance I didn’t even feel. All in all, it was not a book I enjoyed.


1.       My initial problem, and one of the more jarring, was that I felt ABSOLUTELY 0% CHEMISTRY between our two forbidden lovers, Imogene and Ben. It was this Insta-love thing BUT dragged out over 250 pages, with the last 50 being your standard martyr nonsense. I SO BADLY WANTED TO FEEL THE ROMANCE between a headstrong artistic girl and an architect’s apprentice but I got nothing.
2.       Honestly, NONE of the characters in the book were well rounded. We heard nothing of their fears, anecdotes from their childhood or parental interaction and forgiveness or anything at all that made them seem more real. Instead, the only description// personality we got from them through the whole book, was EXACTLY what was in the back. I basically could have read the synopsis, instead of the whole book, because THERE WAS NOTHING BUT PINING AND WHINING ON THE INSIDE.

3.       So many of the plot points intended to harm Ben were so ridiculous, I skimmed through the pages everytime one happened. I especially did not understand the last two because WHAT EVEN? Bees? Muddy Water? Falling Roofs?

4.       Another thing I didn’t like was Emily and Imogene’s friendship. Not only was it THOROUGHLY UNEXPLORED and just there as an additional plot “problem” but also IMOGENE WAS SUCH AN UNSUPPORTIVE FRIEND (and jealous and petty) AND I HATED IT.

5.       Honestly, I wish this book had more SUBSTANCE, CHEMISTRY and PLOT and less ridiculous accidents and unsupportive friends and brothers.

I don’t know if I’ll pick up another Cindy Anstey book in the future, but I can say for sure that I wasn’t a fan of this one. 2.5 stars.
Cindy AnsteyWhenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found--actually, not found--adventuring around the world with her hubby. 

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French. 

Cindy loves history, mystery and... a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.

What are some of your favourite romance novels?
I'm slowly getting into the genre, and I'd absolutely LOVE to get recommendations!
Thanks for reading until here <3

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