Sunday, June 27, 2010

Courting Miss Lancaster, by Sarah M. Eden

After reading a couple of books that I found lacking, either in grammar and punctuation edits, or had a plot that moved so slow it didn’t feel as though it was going anywhere, or point of views that hopped randomly from character to character, I’d become very dissatisfied and wanted something that I could enjoy reading—a story that would pull me in—and characters that I could enjoy. As a reader, I don’t need or want inside of every character’s head. I want to focus on the main characters and their interesting lives.

Is it too much to ask to have a tale weaved so well that all you want to do is keep reading?

Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden is such a book.

It’s a charming tale told during regency England, and even though this is Sarah’s debut book by Covenant, it is not her first book—or even her second. Sarah is an author who took the publishing world by the horns and self-published until catching the attention of traditional publishers after receiving a Whitney Award nomination for her novel, Seeking Persephone.

Courting Miss Lancaster is better. Those who read Seeking Persephone are already familiar with some of the characters. Persephone came from an impoverished family and through a stroke of extreme good fortune married Adam Boyce, the Duke of Kielder. Athena is Persephone’s younger sister.

Adam has given each of his sisters-in-law a large dowry and, now that she is of age, has agreed to sponsor Athena for her first “Season” in London. Knowing how much the Duke hates socializing, Persephone and Athena have only asked that he sponsor her for the short season, and Athena has high hopes of finding true love within those few months.

Adam, truly unaware that his best friend, Harry, is smitten with Athena, asks him to help find her eligible men for suitors. This is where the fun begins. Harry, although he socializes with the rich and titled, is neither rich nor titled. He has nothing to offer the woman who stole his heart other than himself and a crumbling estate that he can’t afford to maintain. And Adam has insisted on, “no fortune hunters,” which Harry assumes he is.

When Harry discovers that Athena doesn’t have any idea what qualities she’d like in a husband, but only has a romantic notion that she’ll know her true love when their eyes meet and she sees him walking toward her at the ball, Harry develops a strategy to at least help her discover who she doesn’t want. Of course everything goes wrong.

I’ll not give away any more of the plot—just to say that there is one. And, that I enjoyed the book so much that I plan to read it again this summer.


Valerie Ipson said...

You've convinced me! Sarah better bring copies of her book to the retreat!

JAMAL said...

I have enjoyed reading about the Kielder family in Sarah's other books. I too like how she winds the stems of the plots together.

Another fine review, Tina.