Review: Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

SandPSPIES AND PREJUDICE
Talia Vance
Egmont
Publication Date: June 11, 2013

From the back cover:

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

SPIES AND PREJUDICE, Talia Vance’s debut, is charming, sarcastic and a whole lot of fun. I loved the title and the nod to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Even though I’ve never been a big Austen fan–okay, how about not a fan at all (Gasp! Terrible, I know.)–the play on words was clever and was actually the thing that initially drew my attention to the book.

Berry is a likeable character, one who carries deep emotional scars from her mother’s death. She hides it well, burying herself in her work as an assistant to her private investigator dad, but she can’t escape all the unanswered questions surrounding her mother’s so-called accident/suicide. So when her best friend’s father is seen with a document bearing Berry’s mother’s name, she can’t help but dig deeper. But things are seldom what they seen in espionage stories, and Berry is caught in a web of lies that threaten everything she holds dear. And one arrogant, mysterious newcomer threatens the one thing she guards above all else: her heart.

I loved the fact that the closer Berry gets to the truth about her mother, the more she has to examine her own self and what she wants out of her life. This theme/life lesson was probably the highlight of the book for me, especially since Talia Vance presents it in such an engaging way. While the plot doesn’t hang completely together and some of the spy stuff is entirely far-fetched, Talia Vance manages to create a character that I cared about, one I was willing to suspend belief for in order to see if she got her answers and her happy-ever-after.

If you’re looking for a unique book that will keep you turning the pages and provide some much needed laughter, SPIES AND PREJUDICE will fit the bill quite nicely.

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