Sarah Eden knocks this one out of the park (Lanfield Park, that is) again! I've read several regency romance novels and yet this one sucked me right in! I read the entire thing (almost) in one sitting. It was a bit different from the novels I've read previously but I still loved it nonetheless!
This author writes such wonderful characters, beautiful love stories, and the best happy endings. I enjoyed reading this story and love every continuation of the Jonquil story. I also really appreciate how every book you read that brings in her previous book characters gives you another glimpse, a different view into their well written characters. The story is deep and sweet, it’s clean and thoroughly enjoyable! I loved it and highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own and are expressed voluntarily.
The Heart of a Vicar is classic Eden Regency. It has her hallmarks of the period, humor, and endearing characters created with exactingly realistic detail. At times the inner workings of these people were drawn with such heartbreaking accuracy I had to set the book aside to catch my breath and let my heart heal a bit before I could read on. The challenges of life roll forward and the characters march along doing their best to work though them. But, Eden always gives us hope. . .and a story to savor.
"Holy Harry" finally gets his story told, and what a story it is. Harold Jonquil is a vicar like everyone knew he would be, but he's not THE vicar he imagined he be or wants to be. He doesn't think he can be himself and a vicar at the same time--what would the parishioners think if they knew of his "unvicarly" hobbies of rock climbing and knowing Irish drinking songs?
Thank goodness Sarah Sarvol comes back into Harry's life. Being an American she isn't as formal, and upon her first visit to church she tells Harry she had expected more. "More of the vicar you ought to be", and challenges him to see who is better at vicaring. Sarah also explains that the quote Harry often says to himself, "Act well your part; there all the honor lies.", doesn't mean 'Act well a part or 'a part as defined by others.'
I loved seeing Harry change from the stiff, almost aloof vicar to one his parishioners would know truly cared about them. I was upset with Phillip and Layton's endless teasing of him and was so happy when Mater came back to Lampton Park. It was wonderful to get updates on all of the Jonquil brothers and their families. Is it a "stubbornness of Jonquils" or a "horde of Jonquils"? Whatever it is I'll gladly take more.
I loved Sarah and felt for her, and her brother who had to live with their mean-spirited and spiteful uncle. She's such a sweet and caring person and the perfect person to help Harry find himself. She had great advice for Harry A vicar can do a lot of good simply by allowing himself to be human.
Sarah M. Eden makes these characters so real to the reader, sometimes we forget they're not real people. We laugh at their silliness and cry for them when they're going through difficulties. This is a wonderful addition to the Jonquil series.
Thank you to Covenant Communications and NetGalley for my copy to read. My review is voluntarily given and all thoughts expressed are my own.
“Act well your part; there all the honor lies.”
From the captivating cover to the setting in Regency England and on to the riveting story of “Holy Harry”, The Heart of a Vicar had me turning pages far into the night. I love Sarah M. Eden’s writing, and the Jonquil family has wormed its way into my heart. Each of the seven brothers has his own personality and quirks, and I enjoy the way they interact with each other—the way they joke and tease one another but also rally as a family when needed. Eden is a master at creating realistic, endearing, and colorful characters. She also excels at witty banter and humorous situations. I loved Harold and Sarah’s connection and their rapport with each other.
“Did we decide on ‘a horde of Jonquils,’ then?”
“I cannot believe I get to be part of it,” Sarah could not hide her amazement. “I cannot believe you want to be.” His grin brought out her laugh.
“I did challenge our good vicar to a competition of saintliness.”
Beautiful themes of the importance of family, overcoming fear and doubt, and the power of love are woven through the story and add depth and dimension to it. This book can be read as a standalone, but to get the full effect of this fun family you might want to start with the others. They are all fantastic books and so enjoyable. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Sarah Eden is one amazing author. Every book of hers is a treasure. I absolutely love the Jonquil series of books. Each brother is unique and special in their own way and the author does a fantastic job of expressing that. I loved the different side of Harry that we saw. Sarah was wonderful too. Everything about this book was enjoyable and superbly written.
5 out of 5 stars. Another wonderful offering from one of my favorite authors.
I’ve been a big fan of Sarah M. Eden’s books since day one. There hasn’t been a book I have not enjoyed, so it was a given that I would love her newest book, The Heart of a Vicar. What I did not expect though was was how much I came to love Harold, a.k.a Holy Harry. I thought him kind of dull when you see glimpses of him in other Jonquil books, but I should’ve known that I would’ve seen more of him in his own book. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t mind a life of poverty with him by my side.
This book brought me to the edge of my seat. Not about weather or not the hero and heroine gets together in the end, because we all know that is a given, but I had to see what would happen to some of the other characters in the book, characters that I have gotten to know and love through previous books in the series. Which if you haven’t read any of them, then I encourage you to start at the beginning as they do continue to tie into other books, but it is not essential. You can read this book without reading the previous ones.
I highly recommend this book to all romance lovers.
I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons. The characters were fantastic, and I found myself desperately wanting to join the Jonquil brothers and their families. I was attached to each and every character by the end of the book. Many of them went on a very deep and soul searching journey, which isn't as deep as I would like to see. Truly an amazing story all around. I have already recommended it to my friends!
Another beautiful experience with the Jonquil's. I love the depth of these characters and the inclusions of previous characters that I have grown to love. There is definitely more to Harold than meets the eye and this book is almost the sequel that Drops of Gold needed with pieces of that story continued here. I loved to see the continuation of Philip and Sorrel's story here as well. I laughed, I cried. I am definitely going to have to read this story and the rest again and again.
So glad I got this book! Sarah Eden steps away from the crowd with her touching writing! Thank You Sarah!!
In true Sarah M. Eden fashion, we have complex characters that we really care about (how could we not love the Jonquils!) and beautiful moments as well as funny ones. This book has everything you could ask for.
Sarah Sarvol has left America and returned with her brother Scott to England. Having spent time in the area as a child, she is returning to her uncle’s house so her brother can learn his duties as the heir. Her uncle has no use for females and considers her a poor relation. She is forced to live in the governess quarters and not socialize with others. Even through her trials, Sarah believes you make your own happiness and is a very outgoing and optimistic person.
Harold Jonquil has spent his life knowing that he would be a vicar, and he has been ridiculed by his brothers for it. They love calling him “Holy Harry” and using the term pious as an insult.
Harold has always looked up to his father and considered him exemplary. His goal is to emulate him and follow his advice. “Act well your part; there all the honor lies.” He believes that this means he must always be serious and hide all of his “strange” tendencies like climbing things like a monkey and singing songs about drinking.
Harold and Sarah were once sweet on each other until something happened that left them both heartbroken; and Harold soaking wet. Years later they are reunited and drawn together by a challenge.
I have been looking forward to reading Harold’s story. I knew there had to be a reason for him being so serious and proper all the time. This was not the story I expected. While the reasons behind Harold’s mask were similar to what I anticipated, I never expected the real Harold hiding underneath! He has some unusual and really fun quirks, and I loved seeing his relationship with Sarah. There is such a sweet tenderness with those two that is like calm in all the chaos.
Harold is so lonely and vulnerable. He is an introvert and has problems socializing with others. His belief of how the perfect vicar is to behave causes him to be even further separated from people, and he keeps his true self hidden. He is such a fun person when he is in personal settings and allowed to be himself. I loved his relationship with his housekeeper.
None of the Jonquil relationships are easy. They deeply love each other and grow closer together as they go through emotional and even heartbreaking times.
The Heart of a Vicar is the sixth book in the The Jonquil Brothers Series. So many beloved characters from previous books come back and even play large roles in the story. Philip and Sorrel have been such a special couple to me since the first book, and it is heartbreaking to see what they have to go through. Layton, another one of my favorite characters from a previous book, is still going through a lot of emotional turmoil as is his daughter. Just as in real life, things do not always wrap up easily. While this book can be read as a standalone, I love how many story-lines continue with previous characters. This book makes me want to binge read this entire series again.
This is a great coming into your own story! It's also a sweet story about finding the person that will help you become the best you possible. Throughout the series I haven't really thought much about Harry, except when his brothers teased him. I only really got interested in his side of the story when Layton, Philip, Stanley and Harry were showing each other their scars. Such a great scene! I still laugh over that one.
I loved how we got to know the real Harry during his interactions with his housekeeper. She's a great woman. It saddened me to see the impact Harry's family had on him because I love this family and you want them to be better than they are. And they figure it out eventually, along with Harry. Good thing they have Mater. Philip and Sorrel make another appearance (as do all the brothers, but Philips role is bigger) and it's heart-rending. Whew, there were a lot of emotions in this book.
I also enjoyed Sarah's character. Her role in coming back was interesting and it was heartbreaking to see her stifled by her uncle when she just wanted to help people.
I will definitely be reading this one again and again, but it makes me sad that only Charlie has a story left now. I'm already mourning the end of the series and it isn't even over yet.
*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have waited for this since... Well it seems like forever, but it's actually been since I read Stanley's and about the scar Harry gets by getting pushed into the river Trent.
It did not disappoint
This book is breathe taking. It speaks about more than just Harold but all of his Brothers. I cried so much while reading this book. Both tears of joy and sadness. I had not realized how attached I had become to the Jonquil brother, until now. This book is an absolute must read! I feel it changed my life forever. I could not stop reading it.
Another fabulous Jonquil book always excites me. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about each of the Jonquil brothers as they find romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this one just as much as all the others. It was refreshing to get to know Harold as I've gotten to know the other Jonquil brothers. Harold is rather different than his brothers, and not just because he's a vicar. He's always been more reserved and serious than his brothers, but he became even more so after Sarah Sarvol, the girl he loved, returned to America.
When Sarah returns, she finds Harold stiff and cold, a result of his brother's incessant teasing and his own uncertainties. She challenges him by telling him she could be a better vicar. This leaves Harold wondering if he's a complete failure. But as he starts to warm up in the face of Sarah's warmth and caring, he is faced with deciding where his future lies and if he can make Sarah a part of it.
Once again, Sarah Eden has written an engaging story full of heart and humor. She makes her characters feel so real that I wish I could really know the Jonquils. The period details are spot on, often frustratingly so, especially in this book as Sarah suffers very poor treatment at the hands of her uncle, despite her brother's efforts to protect her. I always appreciate the care Eden takes in making her characters real. I especially enjoy reading about characters I met in other books. It's great to find out what's happened to them. All in all, another delightful book in what is probably my all time favorite regency series ever.
THE HEART OF THE VICAR is a story highly anticipated from fans of the series, but can be read on its own as well. It's a story of second chances with a hero who is still trying to fit the role life has given him while also following his heart, and the woman who won his heart and is trying to find her own place. Their story is sweet, full of family and heart, and romantic to the end.
How I adore these characters from the Jonquil family, and Harold and Sarah specifically who are the main focus of this story. Harold is very reserved and full of self-doubt that stems from his childhood, but is such a good man with his own quirks and dreams. Sarah comes back at the perfect time to prod and push him to be better. She's forward, lovely, and full of sunshine even amidst difficult circumstances. I loved seeing how they both bloomed and came into their own, as well as how their friendship is renewed and romance grows between them. There are some emotional parts, especially in regards to Sarah when she pours her heart out to Mater and with Sorrel. I have a soft spot for Sorrel and Philip as their story is still one of my favorites from the series. I love seeing these brothers together with all their banter, and I particularly loved the part when they do some rescuing together during one part of the story. The ending was beautiful.
In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story! Sweet romance readers will find favorite characters and a sweet romance full of heart. Definitely recommended! I'm eagerly anticipating the next book in the series with Charlie.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect my review in any way.
Oh my heart! I have a new favorite Jonquil brother! Harry has been portrayed as rather sanctimonious in the previous books in the series, so it was a revelation to see his true character, why he had acted that way (it was just an act) and what his hidden vulnerabilities and struggles are. The author made him so likeable and brought him to life with the fun and supportive relationship he has with his housekeeper, his need for his mother's affection, and his secret pastime that keeps him in better shape than most of his brothers. I absolutely loved reading about his transformation thanks to Sarah's reappearance in his life and her challenge that has him examining what the role of a vicar really is. Sarah is American (though she considers England home) and has an informality about her that is endearing and brings out the best in Harry. I appreciated that she didn't hold on to the bitterness of rejection, but rather rekindled the genuine friendship that brought her and Harry together in the first place. The Jonquils face their share of trials and it was a joy to experience more with Phillip, Sorrel, Layton, Stanley, and the others. The author skillfully wove their lives together with the plot of Harry finding his footing as a brother and compassionate spiritual leader in the family and community. Highly recommend!!!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
This is another Jonquil brothers tales. It features Harold Jonquil, the vicar (hence, the title—hee hee). Harold has been the standoffish, stern, boring brother in other books that his older brothers take delight in constantly teasing and calling Holy Harry. But in this book, we get a look into his heart (ah, Sara Eden, what a perfectly wonder title you came up with). Sarah Sarvol was a 16-year-old girl when she and Harold formed a romance right before she left for America. Harold gave her her first kiss, and she upended him in the creek and left, her heart shattered. Years later, when Sarah moves back to England with her brother and sees Harold again, she is shocked by his transformation from kind, fun-loving boy to stern, uncaring vicar. What happened? I won’t tell you, but it was a slow-burn romance to get to the heart of the matter—pun intended.
Sarah is a sweetheart. I loved her character right away. It takes a while to get a peek inside Harold’s soul, because he guards it so carefully. But this book made me smile the whole way through. Seeing the characters grow and heal is beautifully satisfying. It has the wit I’ve come to expect from all the Jonquil brothers’ stories. That family is amazing and you can’t help but love them and want to be part of their flock or herd or stubbornness. 😊 This book gives you peeks into some of the other couples’ marriages from other books, especially Phillip and Sorrel. I was moved to tears as my heart ached, feeling like it might split apart. Eden writes heart-tugging romances that always tie me up inside but leave me with an emotional giftwrapped bow at the end that makes up for the tugging, splicing, and rending she puts my heart through during the story. I highly recommend this one, and all the Jonquil brothers stories in this series.
I LOVE Sarah M Eden’s books. She’s created a world and a family of characters that many readers have learned to love and care about. This might be my favorite of the Jonquil books ever!
Harold has kind of been mocked by his brothers in the other books. They love to call him “Holy Harry.” And that’s kind of the thought I went into reading this book with. But Harold has so much more to him. I loved the way this book showed that. It shows how he cares for those around him, especially his brothers. Also how he feels as though he never measures up to his family’s expectations of him. I loved how he was able to grow and change during the course of this book.
A lot of his change was due to Sarah. It was so fun how Harold and Sarah had a backstory. And how their backstory plays into this particular novel. Sarah’s character was awesome! I loved the way she was stubborn and pushed for what she wanted, even when things were hard. She pushes Harold to see that he hasn’t turned into the man he wanted to. And she shows him how to do it.
I loved seeing so many of the other Jonquil brothers and their families. There was one particular scene that was so touching that it made me cry.
I LOVED this book! You need to go grab your copy today. And make sure to read the rest of her books about the Jonquil brothers too!
I love Sarah M. Eden's books and was so excited for the opportunity to read the story about "Holy Harry". Right away the reader is able to see so much more about Harold than we've ever seen in the other Jonquil books. I couldn't help but feel a bit upset with his brothers for all the teasing they'd done and how hurtful it was. No one really seemed to know Harold. A lot of that was due to him holding back, but he felt like being a vicar was his calling, and his father (whom he loved and respected) had made it seem like that's what he thought he should do with his life. He was trying so hard to live up to what he felt was the way a vicar should be, and it was slowly stifling him.
I was surprised his Harold's hidden interests. Who would have thought he was into climbing and that he knew many tavern songs? His relationship with his housekeeper was a breath of fresh air, as she was the one person he could be himself around. It was sad that he didn't feel that way around his family, and I was happy that that situation improved throughout the story.
Sarah had heartache of her own, but in spite of that, she still worked hard to improve the lives of those around her (especially helping Harold see the good he could do).
The Heart of a Vicar is a winner, and one that I will read again (and again).