I have a confession, I have favorites. My favorite ice-cream is Kroger’s Peanut Butter Cookie, if you haven’t ever had any, stop what you’re doing right now and go to your closest Kroger affiliate and buy some! Wait, finish reading this, and then go get some :). I even have a favorite daughter (okay, so out of my three kids only one is a girl, but she’s still my favorite girl!)
One of my favorite author’s is Sarah M. Eden. I not only love her writing, I also admire her as a person. She’s pretty awesome. And now I’m gushing, how embarrassing. What I’m trying to say is, she creates in her writing this balanced dance between well-developed characters and creative plots while addressing heavier topics without making the book feel heavy.
Most of her books fall into three series, The Jonquil Brothers, The Lancaster Family, and Longing for Home.
The Last Jonquil Brothers’ book was A Fine Gentleman, 4th out of 5 (there’s a .5) in the series: “London barrister Jason Jonquil has spent his entire life working to establish his identity as a gentleman, a man of refinement like his father and brothers. But when fiery Spanish beauty Mariposa Thornton walks into his office, he finds himself losing his grasp on his dignified character. Once a well-born lady, Mariposa fought to survive the brutalities of Napoleon’s war on. As Jason and Mariposa are drawn together by her case, they come to know the people beneath the masks they both wear.”
I’ll confess this wasn’t my favorite of the Jonquil series, and I’m anxiously awaiting Stanley’s story. For Love or Honor will be released October 2nd (Happy Birthday to me!). I enjoyed the plot and found myself chuckling at how hard they both tried to maintain the façade they had erected to protect themselves. I however, didn’t personally connect with the characters and consequently wasn’t pulled in or as invested as I’ve been with her other books. That had absolutely nothing to do with the writing quality or the creativity of the plot, just me. I did appreciate her portrayal of Jason, I feel like there are times in all our lives when we put on masks and sometimes it just takes the love of a family member, friend or quirky significant other to help us be comfortable being who we truly are. Admittedly I don’t know that I could pick a favorite in the Jonquil series. I loved the sweet teasing in The Kiss of a Stranger. I loved the witty banter in Friends and Foes. I loved the healing beauty of Drops of Gold. I loved the hilarious situations created in As You Are as Corbin take’s his brother’s courting advice. So maybe I’ll just favorite the whole series.
The latest in the Lancaster Family series was Romancing Daphne, the third in the series. “As her first London Season looms before her, the thought of the impending social whirl fills Daphne Lancaster’s timid heart with dread. She hasn’t her sisters’ beauty nor their talent for conversing easily. But Daphne’s misery turns to surprised delight when the first event of her Season brings an unexpected visitor to her door—when James Tilburn expresses his desire to court her, Daphne is elated. Yet nothing is as it seems. The couple finds themselves caught in a tangled web of greed and deceit.”
Daphne is timid and feels over looked in comparison to her other sisters. Having grown up shy with three beautiful and talented sisters, there’s no surprise that Daphne’s character resonated with me. It’s hard not to play the comparison game. Especially women do it all too often. I loved watching Daphne come to life with James, and his efforts to help her see that he truly knew and loved her, for her. I also appreciated James’ desire to be morale in a rather corrupt situation. I love a good morale hero, probably why Captain American is my favorite Avenger.
The Latest in the Longing for Home series was just barely released! Love Remains came out September 5th and I have a confession. I haven’t read it yet. For three reasons. 1- It is still on order at my local library hasn’t come in yet! 2- I’m not buying any books until I see what I get for my birthday which is coming up in a few weeks 😉 3- This series is the least of my favorite of her books, which is ironic considering it is the series that’s gotten the most awards.
The first two books in the series center on Katie Macauley who “has left Ireland for America and the promise of earning money enough to return home again and plead for her family’s forgiveness. She arrives in Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home.”
These books felt a little heavier to me. The racism was an all too familiar mirror to the angst surrounding our nation right now, that maybe it was just a little too close to home for my heart.
I also confess I’m not a huge fan of love triangles. I came to respect both characters and kept fluctuating between team Tavish and team Joseph and just wanted to her to pick already! Heads up, if you haven’t read them and you look at the plot for Love Remains it will spoil it for you. Every time I see that title I start singing a song that was a favorite of mine in college, by the same title, sung by one of my favorite artist, Collin Raye. I feel regardless of which series of Sarah Eden’s I’m reading, that is her message: “In spite of what’s been lost or what’s been gained. We are living proof that love remains. Hope lives on, And Love Remains.” –N.C.
The ratings for all her books are pretty much the same…