Forlag Covenant Communications
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Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lambton goes to his friend’s estate for Christmas while at the same time working for the Foreign Office to catch one of Napoleon’s most dangerous spies. On the way there he meets Sorrel Kendrick, the infuriatingly stubborn and opinionated lady who challenges him. They agree to be enemies, only it seems exhausting to keep up the animosity.
Friends & Foes is the first book in The Jonquil Brothers series by Sarah M. Eden published by Covenant Communications. The setting is 1814 when England fears French invasion by Napoleon. We follow Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lambton, as he works for the Foreign Office. Under cover of spending Christmas at his friend’s estate in Suffolk, he is really on a hunt for the dangerous Napoleonic spy Le Fountaine. While on the spy’s trail, he meets stubborn and opinionated Sorrel Kendrick. She dislikes him from the very beginning, while he has his secret reasons for pretending to be the dandy she dislikes so much. They get off to a spectacularly bad start, but unexpectedly she manages to help him with his spy catching operation.
Main character Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lambton does his best to help his younger brothers and I think it speaks volumes of what kind of person he is. He is impressive and my absolute favorite.
Secondary character Sorrel Kendrick has been trampled by a horse and lives in constant pain from the injuries. She tries to hide her vulnerabilities and tries to build armor around herself. I felt so sorry for her, but was pleased to see she managed to respond differently and open up more.
Sarah M. Eden has a signature light hearted, bantering and humorous writing. I love that by following her great writing I learn new expressions in the English language I have not heard in a long time, -or ever. The dialogue feels like the perfect mix between funny, bantering and serious conversations.
I cannot remember having read anything similar to the plot of Friends & Foes as it is dealing with consequences of being trampled by a horse. It felt very hard to read.
My favorite part of the story was the romance developing between Sorrel and Philip. There was mutual animosity from the start. As they got to know each other better, trust and closeness increased and the romance got room to develop. I thoroughly enjoy the way Sarah M. Eden writes these scenes and I don’t know of any other author who creates romance quite like this.
Research of the devastating consequences of being trampled by a horse I found both impressive and very, very sad. Great research of how spies operated in England during the Napoleonic wars shone through.
Friends & Foes was superb entertainment owing to the combination of an interesting plot, great character building, great dialogue, and vivid writing. Drops of Gold (The Jonquil Brothers #2) is already on my Kindle and I so much look forward to starting it.
Fans of Sarah M. Eden will love Friends & Foes; as will readers of historical romance fiction.
If you want to explore similar books, you might like to check out the works of Julianne Donaldson or Josi S. Kilpack.
All opinions in this review are completely my own.
My rating: 5 stars / 5
Main reasons: interesting plot, great character building, super dialogue, and vivid writing
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