Orphaned as a child, Arabella Hampton was the unwanted and unloved charge of a cruel aunt and neglectful uncle. The only light in her young life was the kindness of the Jonquil family, and she clung to the childish dream of someday living with them at Lampton Park. Now, years later, that opportunity is presented to Arabella in a most unexpected way: she is to be the lady’s companion to the dowager countess. As she takes up residence at the estate, the young woman soon finds that life at the Park is far more complicated than she imagined. The lines of her position are blurred, and she is neither family nor servant. So when the countess plans a grand house party, Arabella is content to hide in the shadows. But one gentleman sees her there.
Lieutenant Linus Lancaster has retired from the navy and is not looking for love, especially when he finds himself entangled in his sisters’ scheme to trap him into finding a wife at a house party at Lampton Park. Yet amid the festivities, he’s impossibly drawn to the dowager’s quiet companion, Arabella. Their regard for each other is undeniable, but they are haunted by their pasts. Can the two find a way to bridge their worlds?
I was late to the Jonquil party and I'm late to the Lancaster party too, but it's not because I didn't want to join in on all the fun. I wanted to read this one, but knew it was #4 in a series so I was hesitant because I thought I'd be lost. I asked a book loving friend if she thought I'd be too confused jumping in by reading book #4 and she said no, the author does a good job of reminding the reader who the other characters are.
I loved this story even though at first I had a little trouble remembering who was married to whom. I know I said I loved Crispin when I read The Kiss of a Stranger, but now I love Linus too! Who couldn't love this thoughtful, gentle, funny man?
Arabella Hampton, Linus Lancaster, and Charlie Jonquil all feel, to a degree, that they don't fit in with their families but in different ways, and for different reasons. All have experienced the loss of at least one parent at a young age, and they've all recently had changes that they're trying to adjust to. All of them are trying to find their place in the new stage of their lives. As Arabella told Linus "Life is far more difficult when one is forced onto a path not of one's choosing."
Arabella is now Mater's companion, and she's not sure what her place is, as she's not really a servant, but she's also not family, although she's known them since she went to live with her Uncle and Aunt when she was very young. I felt for Arabella so much with her cruel Uncle and Aunt. A lot of Regency/Victorian stories have these poor people who are taken in to be cared for by terrible relatives and these are hers. I never understand why they take in the orphaned children if they're going to treat them so cruelly, AND they're flesh and blood! Thank goodness these people didn't have children of their own.
Linus Lancaster has recently retired from the Navy and isn't quite sure what to do with himself. He doesn't look forward to becoming a landowner and all the responsibility it entails, being the second son he didn't think the duty would ever be his. He also still mourns the loss of his older brother, Evander, even though it's been eleven years since his death, and wants to avoid the memories their estate holds. He goes to Mater's house party to keep Adam, the Dangerous Duke, from killing Lord Lampton (Philip Jonquil), or letting Adam do something to upset his wife, Persephone.
Charlie Jonquil's a little of a side story but it does involve Arabella and Linus. Charlie, the youngest Jonquil, is home from University and doesn't know what he wants to study or where he fits in with the rest of his accomplished brothers. He and Linus strike up a friendship and Linus takes him back to his estate in Shropshire.
This was such a delightful read. These two families together with all their different personalities kept me thoroughly entertained. Adam who can and does say whatever he feels, Philip the outlandish Lord who irritates Adam on purpose, Linus' matchmaking sisters--Athena and Artemis, and of course Mater. No wonder everyone wants to be a part of this family. I loved the humor that's there from the first chapter. There's so much love in this story--Arabella's love for the Jonquil family, Mater and her love for Arabella, Linus showing love and care to Caroline and Oliver, and understanding and a listening ear to Charlie. This is such a heartwarming story and sure to be one of my favorite books.
Oh my heart! I loved this one! Arabella and Linus find something special in each other, but their quick friendship develops into something more so slowly that I was filled with anticipation the entire book. New readers might be a little overwhelmed by all the characters in the Jonquil and Hawthorne families and their connections, but fans of the author will absolutely love seeing more about all their favorites, and it's more than just cameo appearances. There are significant scenes and subplots with Adam and Persephone, Phillip and Sorrel, Mater, Artemis, and especially the youngest Jonquil brother, Charlie. Linus's compassion for Charlie and his genuine friendship with the struggling young man showed his admirable personality and he also benefited with a stronger sense of belonging and purpose. Arabella is also struggling to find her place in new circumstances, and Linus's friendship is like a ray of sunshine in a caring but busy family. Their banter was so natural and full of humor, it was a pleasure to read. I really connected with these characters and highly recommend the book!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
I always love Sarah Eden's books. She's an awesome writer. I was super excited about this book, but it didn't grab me like most of her others have done. The characters in this one are more quiet and subdued, and hence, the story was too. But I didn't feel like I got the emotional pulling and twisting that some of her other romances give me. There were demons for the characters to overcome, but nothing huge enough for me to get involved with them. I felt it was a little anti-climatic at the end, but it still had characters I grew to love and care for, so I won't knock it down too much. It's still a book with excellent writing and a good story. Truthfully, you can't go wrong with a Sarah Eden book.
I always, always look forward to Sarah Eden's books. My heart and mind have come to know exactly how her books feel because Sarah Eden's book definitely do have a certain feel to them. It's so gentle and the words flow effortlessly.
One of the things I love best about Sarah Eden's books is how she makes characters come alive. They are real to me; flawed, hurting and sometimes broken but no matter how they come, I always end up loving them. By the end of the book I feel as though I know these characters intimately and personally. It's my favorite thing.
Linus is the perfect gentleman. He is so perceptive, patient and kind. His generous personality made me love him. And the moments with the children melted my heart. Ugh, I'm swoony just thinking about it. Anyway, Linus is the perfect man for Arabella, who needs that perceptive intuition and gentle kindness. These two! 💙
I loved that I got to see so many old friends from previous books. It lends itself to such a familial feeling.
This is a slow moving, gentle story. It flows beautifully but won't leave your heart racing. I was invested from beginning to end. What a great addition to this series. I cannot wait to read what comes next. Hopefully it will be the youngest Jonquil brother, Charlie, because he was a major player in this book and I'm all kinds of intrigued by him!
Content: a couple instances of mild peril, verbal abuse mentioned, clean romance
As always, I was thrilled to read this new Sarah Eden book. I've really developed an attachment to the Lancaster and Jonquil families and for the two to come together in this book made me really want to read the book. And I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This story revolves around the romance between Linus Lancaster (the brother of Persephone, Athena, and Daphne), recently retired naval officer, and Arabella Hampton, the Dowager Lady Lampton's new companion. Arabella grew up next door to the Jonquils and thought of the Jonquil brothers' father as her own after she was orphaned. The poor treatment she received from her own relatives lead her to want to be part of the Jonquil family. After her father figure died, Arabella's hope for a better life faded a bit, until she's asked to be the companion to the Dowager Lady Lampton. But she's not sure what her position in the family is and so does her best to stay quietly out of the way.
But when Linus arrives with his sister, the Duchess of Kielder and the rest of his relatives for a house party hosted by the current Lord Lampton (Philip Jonquil), he notices Arabella despite her efforts to remain in the background. Linus is struggling himself to discover where he belongs in relation to his family and his newfound role as the male head of the family and the family's Shropshire holdings. He's still grieving the loss of his older brother, Evander and is reluctant to become a landowner.
As Linus and Arabella get to know each other, they find comfort in the other's kindness and understanding. And a growing affection between the two interferes with Linus's sister's matchmaking plans. Additionally, Linus has been asked to help keep the Dangerous Duke of Kielder from injuring their host, Lord Lampton, so Linus has plenty to keep him busy. Especially when sickness invades the household, and Arabella's relatives arrive to torment her.
I enjoyed all the different aspects of the story. Not least of which was getting to know Linus and Arabella. But I was also thrilled to meet up with characters from the past that I love. I found the interactions between Lord Lampton and the Duke of Kielder particularly entertaining (especially since Philip is deliberately going out of his way to annoy the Duke). There are also hints about future stories that I found intriguing. I can't wait to read future stories about both these families.
I would never want to read just one author for the rest of my life. But I think if I had to choose one, it would be Sarah M Eden. I love her books! I love the way she writes. Her books are so fun! I love her characters. I love the settings. Really just everything about her books are amazing! This one is just awesome!
As the Loving Lieutenant Lancaster by Sarah M Eden opens, you have Adam, Duke of Kielder calling a meeting of his brother in laws, Linus and Harry. He has a problem. Persephone is insisting that he go to a house party, for 2 weeks! My thought as I was reading this very opening chapter was, yes Adam! I love Adam. He’s snarky, with a dry wit that I love. He says everything I would ever want to say that is mean to people. And he gets away with it! It was really fun to get to see Adam, and a little different side of him in this book. Adam isn’t a main character, so the reader doesn’t see what he’s thinking. Adam pretty much says whatever he thinks anyway.
The main two characters in this one are Linus and Arabella. But the way this one is written the reader gets to see all of Adam’s family and all of the Jonquils. I love the way the worlds of the two families collide in this one. All of the secrets going on between the two families really make the whole plot work so well.
Linus…I loved Linus! He goes to the house party at the behest of Adam. He goes so that Adam doesn’t kill Lord Lampton, Philip Jonquil. I love the way everyone, Adam and Linus, are afraid of what Persephone will do if Adam messes up and injures or maims anyone. Linus goes out of his way to get to know the girl who seems to want to be left in the shadows at the house party, Arabella. I love his gentlemanly ways. He made me love him when he included young Caroline Jonquil in the activities when he didn’t have to.
Arabella has just been hired to be Mater’s companion. She immediately becomes the one that everyone tells their secrets to. But she’s not quite sure where her place is. She’s known the Jonquils her entire life and feels a bit out of place. I love the way she grows in confidence throughout the book, except where it comes to Linus. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that Arabella hadn’t known or realized. And when all is revealed, I about cried. It was so beautiful!
This whole book is just fabulous! If you’re a fan of Regency Romance at all, make sure to read this one. I would recommend you read all of the books about the Jonquils and Adam’s family first though!
Two of my favorite families come together in this book, The Lancaster's and the Jonquil's. I had a smile on my face through out the entire book. Arabella is a wonderful addition to the characters that I love. Getting to know Linus better was a treat. Seeing how the two struggled to bridge their worlds was delightful. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Once you read it, you'll want to learn more about the other characters that are involved. It's a fantastic addition to the Lancaster family books.