Title: Friends and Foes by Sarah M. Eden
Published: January 6th, 2012 by Covenant Communications
Group age: Adult
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance (very clean!)
Challenge(s): 2013 eBook Challenge
Grade rate: A+
After five years of tracking and capturing spies on English soil, Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lampton, is in pursuit of his last quarry. But at a traveler’s inn, he encounters an unexpected and far more maddening foe: Sorrel Kendrick, a young lady who is strikingly pretty, shockingly outspoken, and entirely unimpressed with him. Indeed, Sorrel cannot believe the nerve of this gentleman, who rudely accuses her of theft and insults her feminine dignity. Doubly annoyed when they both end up at a party hosted by mutual friends, Philip and Sorrel privately declare war on one another. But Philip’s tactics, which range from flirting to indifference, soon backfire as he finds himself reluctantly enjoying Sorrel’s company; and, much to her dismay, Sorrel finds Philip’s odd manner to be increasingly endearing. In the midst of this waning war and growing attraction, Philip catches wind of the French spy he’s been tracking, and Sorrel inadvertently stumbles upon a crucial piece of the puzzle, making her indispensable to the mission. But can two proud hearts negotiate a ceasefire when cooperation matters most?
Oh wow! I felt that when I opened this book I was given a rare jewel (pardon the corniness). Friends & Foes is, without a doubt, one of my favorite romances of all time.
What makes this book so good? The marvelous characters! They are flawed yet wonderful at the same time. Phillip (I have really good luck with characters with this name!), is an English spy and pretend dandy that cares deeply for his family. He is not fooling everyone with the charade, least of all Sorrel. Phillip is loyal, caring, and good natured. I love Phillip’s war tactics and rules!
Sorrel has a difficult life. Her childhood was not all that happy and her parents leave a lot to wish for. Nonetheless, Sorrel grew up to be fiercely loyal and caring, but forced herself to put on a tough façade to protect her heart. What I liked more about Sorel was that she refused to be a damsel in distress, she is a strong character and she can curse like a sailor to prove it! The banter between Philip and Sorrel is priceless! It is, in fact, a war of words that I enjoyed immensely.
All the characters are so well developed and unique. I love Crispin and Catherine (I have to read their story soon!), and Sorel’s siblings, Fennel and Marjie.
The plot is, all in all, good, but predictable. The writing, however, is an absolute gem. Everything, from the descriptions and especially, the dialogue are so good. The characterization, as you can probably tell from my inarticulate gushing above, is amazing. Ms. Eden managed to create a host of characters that will leave in my memory for a long while. My only objection for Friends & Foes is that I wished for an epilogue or something more at the ending, but maybe we will get to visit with Sorrel and Phillip in the next books of the series.
As you can imagine, I purchased another one of Ms. Eden’s books right away, Seeking Persephone, and I already read it (review coming soon :) If you enjoy historical romance, I highly recommend Friends & Foes.
I can’t wait to read more about the Jonquil brothers and thankfully there are seven of them :)
A quote for you:
“Let me see if I can guess your brother’s name” Phillip assumed a very speculative look. “I’ve got it! Horseradish.”
“Really, my lord.”
"Nutmet? Peppermint? Poppy?"
“Why on earth would my brother me named Poppy?”
About the cover: I have to confess that this is what made me buy this book. The cover is so pretty and delicate, don’t you think?