ARC review, book review, young adult

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker (ARC Review)

Title: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason
Authors: Virginia Boecker
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date published: October 23, 2018

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself.

Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play–it’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play’s leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.

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I knew that I wanted to read this book when it only had a title and didn’t have a cover yet. Assassins, love, and treason? Sign me up! Combine that with the fact that the story takes place in the Elizabethan Era and I knew that this book was written for me! I picked up a lot of literature from this time period while completing English bachelor and master degrees and I absolutely love this period for its culture (and for Shakespeare and Aphra Behn ((a female playwright at the time who was suspected of also being a spy!)). I also don’t think that I’ve read a YA book set in this time period before, so the premise of An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason was very very appealing to me.

And, now that I’ve read it, I can tell you that this book did not disappoint! I somehow missed that the synopsis made mention of Katherine’s cross dressing, and I absolutely loved that part of the story. I’m always down for cross dressing if it works well with the plot, and it worked so so well for An Assassin’s Guide‘s story! You can also tell that Boecker did a lot of research and really knows her stuff, as she wrote Elizabethan England so genuinely that I was able to fully immerse myself in the same way that reading Shakespeare and Behn allows me to. This story was fun and quite intense, and I was literally on the edge of my seat while reading the last bit. I thoroughly enjoyed An Assassin’s Guide and wish that this was actually a series (or that the author writes more books set in this time period and in the same excellent style)!


Virginia Boecker is the author of The Witch Hunter series and An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason. A graduate of the University of Texas, she had a decade-long career in technology before quitting to become a full-time writer. When she isn’t writing, Virginia likes running, reading, traveling, and trying new things (most recently: learning to drive a boat). She has lived all over the world but currently resides in beautiful Lake Oswego, Oregon with her husband, children, a dog called George and a cat named Thomas. You can visit Virginia online at or on Instagram @virgboecker.



2 thoughts on “An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker (ARC Review)

  1. I’ve had this book on my sights for a while now, and I’m so glad that you say it doesn’t disappoint! Now I’m more eager to read it, I have to bump it up on my TBR…

    1. I’m glad that I was able to spread the word about it and how much I liked it 😀 And I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did when you read it! Feel free to message me while you’re reading it or after so we can fangirl! Hehe 😀

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