And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, #1)
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And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  7,571 ratings  ·  1,111 reviews

From gifted new writer Tasha Alexander comes a stunning novel of historical suspense set in Victorian England, meticulously researched and with a twisty plot that involves stolen antiquities, betrayal, and murder

And Only to Deceive

For Emily, accepting the proposal of Philip, the Viscount Ashton, was an easy way to escape her overbearing mother, who was set on a grand soci

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published (first published October 1st 2005)
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Lisa Kay
★★★★✩ I enjoyed this historical mystery very much and will definitely continue with the series. I’m glad I did this as a “buddy read,” as we were able to “dig” for clues together – making it all that more enjoyable. It connects with the Iliad and Greek artifacts in an engaging way, turning this novel into sophisticated fun for the mystery or suspense fan, with a touch of romance that is strictly “one foot on the floor.” Pictures pertaining to the book, that I found helpful, are below.

Some of the...more
This book started out very promising. As historical fiction, the author gets it right - enough detail for interest but not so much to bog down the story. She does not take too many liberties with the time period or setting. As a "novel of suspense" it is an engaging story... not really a page turner but enough suspense to keep me anxious to read on.

Where this book suffers most is with its heroine, Lady Emily Ashton. She is a young widow, a social station which makes her believe herself to be mor...more
I must confess. I feel a little bad about my relationship with Lady Emily Ashton. I came across her adventures in the wake of Lady Julia Grey's escapades and I fear I won't be able to do Emily justice, that she will always be overshadowed by Julia. And, um, Brisbane. Do not mistake me. I like Colin Hargreaves very much. He is a delight and I hope Emily never throws him over. But he's not....well. He's not Brisbane. There. I've said it. We can move on. If you haven't guessed by now, AND ONLY TO D...more
Jul 02, 2007 Emily rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like historical fiction, particularly Victorian-set mysteries
While in Borders, I picked up Tasha Alexander's And Only to Deceive. I quickly was drawn into the opening chapters: Alexander's given her heroine, Emily Ashton, a wry, crisp tone that is enchanting. In that sitting, I could see the mystery part of the book approaching, but was much more interested in Ashton's intellectual awakening as she found herself suddenly in a position of increased social power and financial independence. At home that evening, I kept regretting not buying it and wanting to...more
As the novel opens, Lady Emily Ashton is horrified. She's a recent (and young) widow, and her period of half-mourning is not yet over. She's entered the stage where it's acceptable to participate in limited social events, and her mother plans to use these occasions to relaunch Emily into the marriage market. Emily had chosen to marry her husband to get away from her mother's matchmaking; apparently, even her status as a widow is not enough to protect her from her mother, now.

Her husband died whe...more
This book? It was not my thing.

It was certainly readable enough -- nice and popcorny and fun -- but the thing about popcorn reading is that suspension of disbelief with regard to anachronisms kind of relies on a certain kind of lightheartedness, at least for me.

So when the narrator started going on and on about how she was now Free From The Bounds Of Society, my disbelief went crashing to the ground. Sure, I wouldn't want to have lived back then, but I feel like there's a way to do this kind of...more
An engaging historical romance, with an interesting plot and a diverse number of well constructed characters.

I loved the first page of the book,(as well, as the following's of course...)but that one did an amazing job at catching my interest, presenting a character, with a very dry sense of humour...

When Lady Emily finds herself widowed, she cannot in thruth, consider herself saddened by her husband's demise.

In fact, her husband's death, will give Emily, something she has longed for a long tim...more
Ana T.
When I read the back cover of this book I was immediately interested. There's something very appealing and romantic about getting to know someone by his letters and personal papers. Unfortunately for Lady Ashton her husband is already dead when she starts to get to know him that way.

For Emily, accepting the proposal of Philip, the Viscount Ashton, was an easy way to escape her overbearing mother, who was set on a grand society match. So when Emily's dashing husband died on safari soon after thei...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2007 Lynn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elizabeth Peters fans
This one was a complete impulse buy. I picked it up because the jacket copy promised "a cauldron of intrigue, scandal, and danger" set in the British Museum and said it would be the result "had Jane Austen written The Da Vinci Code."

What hyperbole. It was none of those things. But it was a delightful, little, romantic Victorian cozy mystery. If anything, it reminded me of the Amelia Peabody mysteries - except instead of tracking down Egyptian artifacts in the field, the heroine of this novel tr...more
Twiggy Strauss
Was looking to add on to my love of Ann Perry/Elizabeth Peters Victorian mysteries. This, by first time author Tasha Alexander, was like a romance novel without the good romance parts. The "mystery" was lacking, solved within a few chapters. Characters were inconsistent, and our heroine was very flat for me.
AND ONLY TO DECEIVE (Suspense-England/France-1887) - Ex
Alexander, Tasha – 1st book
Morrow, 2005- Hardcover
Emily had only known her husband a very short time when he died during a hunt in Africa. But over a year later, she discovered his journal and found he had loved her and learned of his passion for antiquities. In her efforts to learn more, she learns about stolen and forged artifacts and fear her husband may have been involved in a fraud on the British Museum.
*** I started this one evening...more
Maybe more like 3.5 stars, depends on my mood. Overall I liked the book. It was a fairly quick and easy read. All the talk over Hector and Achilles characters kind of made me want to read at least the cliftnotes version of the Illiad. I must admit it's been years since I read it and I barely remember the story. So I am fairly certain that I missed several references or character allusions and what not because of that.

The characters were entertaining and the plot was interesting, if a bit predic...more
This book disappointed me, but fingers crossed for the series. I'm persevering and will read the next in the series hoping it will get better.

I felt that the characters were not fully developed and frankly almost unlikeable. Even by the end of the book I did not have a clear vision of the characters in either appearance or personality. The heroine even became mildly annoying by the end and her romantic counterpart appeared in and out randomly throughout the story and suddenly they're in love?!

I really enjoyed this read! It combines many of my favorite elements: history, mystery, a strong female protagonist and a splash of romance for fun. I feel as though Emily is a new friend of mine, and cannot wait to see what she does next. There are so many lovely characters in this book, I enjoyed them all very much, except for Emily's mother, who is a bit of a shrew. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the Victorian era, or is interested in antiquities as well as romance and mystery fans. Ha...more
Jan 07, 2008 Craig rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: desperate romantics
Recommended to Craig by: my mother in law
This book is kind of embarrassing. It's totally fluffy and an obvious Jane Austen rip off, specifically the same characters and situations from Pride and Prejudice. If you've read all of Austen, this might be worth your time as you wish desperately that Jane could rise from the dead and write again. This book is only a very brief, and totally guilty, pleasure.

I did like it though. But I took my kids to see Alvin and the Chipmunks the other day, and I liked that too. So that's where I'm coming f...more
I didn't enjoy this book as much as Deanna Raybourn's "Silent" series, but it was entertaining. I couldn't help but compare the two as the protagonists have very similar setup: Rich, widowed, Victorian era, mystery about husband's death. This book seemed to dance around the story quite a bit, went off on tangents and had frequent periods of stalling in the middle. I enjoyed it, and will read the next though, as the setting is very interesting.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Actually 2.5 stars. Ambitious but with serious problems.

For a further review: .
I almost want to rate this higher based on the last third alone, but there's no getting around the fact that parts of this are less than amazing. Still, I quite enjoyed a lot of it, in particular the last third.

(view spoiler)...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
This is the first book of the Lady Emily series, which is a favorite of mine. Emily is a very strong female character who learns to think and study for herself after her husband's death. When mysterious circumstances are unearthed about her husband's death, Emily has to decide who to trust: Andrew, the man who seems to be in love with her, or her husband's best friend Colin.

The Greek antiquities her husband collected become fascinating to Emily, and she starts studying them as well as Homer, the...more
It was a new book and as such, pleasant to read. Also, I heard good things about it, so started out enjoying it. Then it turned out to be one of those smug stories where the hero/ine is so snarky, he/she can't keep from snarking even in his/her sleep. Tiresome to say the least. And the snark is not that good either. And the book is a historical only because the heroine gets to wear nice clothes, I suppose.

Lady Emily married a guy just to save herself from her horrible meddling mother. The guy di...more
The Book Maven
Wheeeeeee! I loves me some Victorian mysteries!

Emily, Lady Ashton, finds herself in the enviable position of being widowed scarcely after she was marries an almost complete stranger. Fortunately for her, her now-deceased husband left her a huge fortune, and so now the world is an oyster for her.

As the months of "mourning" pass, Emily finds herself daydreaming about the time when she is no longer required to sequester herself away. What will she do with her freedom and her money? Her daydreaming...more
I wanted to try this series since it seemed very similar to the 'Lady Julia Grey' novels I've become addicted to. 'And Only to Deceive' is set in Victorian England and begins with a young woman who is married and shortly afterwards becomes a young widow. In the course of the novel the young widow learns about her deceased husband through found letters and journals and realizes how little she knew about him. Also she uncovers a scheme involving forgeries at the British Museum that somehow is conn...more
I have a soft spot for historical novels like these, pseudo-romance, pseudo-suspense, not wholly one, but also not wholly the other. I'm in a generous mood with the rating because I enjoyed the unique premise of the heroine falling for her late husband through his letters and scholarly pursuits. I'm also a sucker for women who buck the established social conventions in order to live an independent life--unrealistic or not.

The mystery was a bit lame, and this supposedly insightful woman certainl...more
An entertaining new author of historical romance, despite some anachronistic language. It is somewhat similar in tone and style to Anne Perry's Charlotte Pitts series, and while I found the actual mystery somewhat dull I enjoyed the characters, setting, and writing. The heroine was annoying for the first half of the book when she seemed wooden and unfeeling. Later it became clear that the main point of the book was that her conventional and restricted upbringing had prevented her from any sort o...more
Christy B
A very enjoyable book. It was a refreshing book about the late Victorian era; not too stuffy. I did predict a bit of it, such as the bad guy and all that, but it took a bit of a twist I wasn't expecting. I do hope the character of Lady Ashton gets more likable for me in A Poisoned Season because she was frustrating me a bit in this book. I very much loved the character of Colin Hargreaves; I look forward to seeing more of him.
Julia Spencer-Fleming
I was once asked to quote this series. And have followed it avidly ever since. If you enjoy romance, you will love this series. If you enjoy early Victorian period pieces, you'll love this series. If you enjoy crime fiction you'll love this series. If you enjoy historical novels, you'll love this series. And why? Because Tasha Alexander is one helluva writer. And growing stronger with every book!
I was really disappointed with this book. I thought I would enjoy it but the author's style did not agree with my personal taste. I skipped ahead and skimmed through most of the book hoping it would get better but it never did. In the end I gave up and returned it to the library. Reading this made me feel like I was watching a movie with really bad acting.
I really loved this book! It was a great period piece and I enjoyed learning more about the life style of the period. On its own it was a very exciting and interesting story full of mystery and betrayel. Kept me guessing for a good part of the book. I found the main characters interesting and likeable. I am excited to read more from this author!
Wonderful book (1st in a series of 3) about a Victorian era woman who is independent, intelligent and free thinking. The story was full of mystery, intrigue, romance and the awakening of a young woman's spirt.
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Tasha Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Emily series and the novel ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she studied English and Medieval History. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago an...more
More about Tasha Alexander...
A Poisoned Season (Lady Emily, #2) A Fatal Waltz (Lady Emily, #3) Dangerous to Know (Lady Emily, #5) Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily, #4) A Crimson Warning (Lady Emily, #6)

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“At least as a single woman, I had time to pursue my own interests, read voraciously, and travel when opportunity presented.” 43 likes
“Beastly of him to die before you realized he might be fascinating.” 11 likes
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