10 clean, historical romance novels in time for Valentine's Day

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13 2013 9:31 a.m. MST

"Drops of Gold" Next » 1 of 10 « Prev
Covenant Communications
Lady Marion Linwood disguises herself as Miss Mary Wood, forges her own reference letter and finds employment as a governess at Farland Meadows. The alternative wasn’t really an option since the 19-year-old was left penniless after the unexpected deaths of both her widower father, the Marquess of Grenton, and her solider brother, who were all buried the same day. The estate passed to a distant, unknown cousin who lives across the Atlantic, and squabbling attorneys only complicated matters.

At Farland Meadows, she finds a dreary house and that her charge is the 4-year-old Miss Caroline Jonquil, who has seen many nurses come and go in her short life in the gloomy house.

Layton Jonquil is master of Farland Meadows and is the second oldest of the Jonquil brothers we met in Sarah M. Eden’s previous novel, “Friends and Foes,” and the younger brother of Phillip Jonquil. Layton still feels the burden of the lies he told surrounding the death of his wife, Bridget, nearly five years earlier and several months after Caroline's birth — and his possible failure as a husband. He also surprisingly finds himself attracted to the new redheaded and, at times, saucy governess, but realizes the impropriety of his growing feelings for a servant and tries to keep them in check.

Mary tries to keep her identity a secret while trying not to get too hopeful about the growing attraction she feels for Layton, as that will likely only lead to heartbreak. While Layton entrusted her with the secret of Bridget’s death, she enlists the help of Phillip (whom Caroline has re-christened “Flip”) to hopefully find a way to help Layton find peace while not breaking confidences.

This is a love story that is caught in the social entanglements and complexities of the early 1800s, along with sticky legal and church issues around certain types of death (conveniently, the Jonquil family includes a lawyer and a soon-to-be vicar).

With familiar characters from “Kiss of a Stranger” and “Friends and Foes,” Utah author Eden has once again created a clean Regency-era love story in "Drops of Gold" (Covenant Communications, $19.99) that’s enjoyable to read and difficult to put down. And fall leaves may have a different meaning, too.
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North Salt Lake, UT

I'm surprised Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson is not on this list.

Colorado Springs, CO

One of my favorite love stories is one men enjoy too: The Scarlet Pimpernel.

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