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Book Review: 'Friends and Foes' brings love and war to Regency lovers

By Melissa DeMoux

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Jan. 28 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

"FRIENDS AND FOES," by Sarah M. Eden, Covenant Communications, $15.99, 269 pages (f)

“Friends and Foes,” Sarah Eden’s most recent romantic release, is a novel that will rouse the twittering heart of Regency lovers everywhere. This energetic tale of clandestine government infiltration mingled with engaging personal battles wrenches readers into the middle of a delightfully endearing tale.

Originally released under the title “Affectations” in 2008, “Friends and Foes” delves into the life of Philip Jonquil, the Earl of Lampton, who made his debut in Eden’s 2010 novel, “Kiss of a Stranger.” In “Friends and Foes,” Jonquil finds his life in disarray as he seeks to apprehend Le Fontaine, a murderous French spy who has eluded capture for years.

On the heels of this villain, Philip stumbles into a sour encounter with the lovely but severe Sorrel Kendrick. When fate brings them together for a month-long house party, neither Philip nor Sorrel is ready to quietly play nice. Philip’s peacock-like persona ruffles Sorrel’s straightforward and simple views. Declaring war on each other seems the only option.

But as Philip’s unorthodox strategy — which leans heavily on false flirting — leads him into unexpected encounters with his striking adversary, he catches glimpses of the woman underneath the barbed exterior. There is much more to Sorrel than he imagined. Her fettered and ugly past weighs on her heavily as she courageously faces a life that is far from beautiful.

Despite their prickly banter, Philip finds himself drawn to Sorrel’s brave and alluring soul. When Sorrel unexpectedly ends up overhearing a conversation of Le Fontaine's, Philip must face his most dangerous enemy in order to save the woman who has transformed from a sharp-tongued foe into a cherished friend.

Eden’s trademark wit and droll humor wind their way into every page of this book. The characters are delightful, and their playful interactions are captivating. Eden is truly a master of creating personalities for her books that draw readers into the story and make them feel at home. As the tale progresses, readers will find themselves lost in the kind of Regency love story that won’t fail to make the heart grin.

For more information about Eden and her books, her website is at www.sarahmeden.com.

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is at mddemoux@gmail.com and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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