Thursday, June 7, 2018

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Loving Lieutenant Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden


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?


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.


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