Another 5-star read in this series... Lily of the Valley by Sarah M. Eden (Review & #Giveaway) #5stars #mustread #romancebooks #historicalromance #TheGents @covenant_comm @celebrate_lit

Welcome! I am so loving this series! This is the second book and it's another 5-star
read for me. Find more info below as well as my review and the tour giveaway...

Lily of the Valley
(The Gents #2)
By Sarah M. Eden
Adult Historical Romance, Georgian
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 256 Pages
April 11, 2022 by Covenant Communications


Cumberland, 1786

Amateur inventor Kester Barrington prefers the peace and quiet of his estate to the bustle of Society. But when his tightknit group of friends, the Gents, descends on Livingsley Hall for their annual gathering, he stoically joins in their activities. It all seems exhausting—until an unexpected addition to the party catches his eye: his new neighbor, the lovely Violet.

Violet Ridley longs to make friends in this new corner of the country, but her family’s fortune was made through investments rather than inheritance, and Society can be fickle. So when tragedy forces her family to shelter at neighboring Livingsley Hall, Violet is delighted to receive a warm welcome from the Gents. In particular, Violet finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kester. The pair is a study in contrasts: Violet, with her sunny disposition, and Kester, with his prickly facade. Their connection is impossible to deny, but both Kester and Violet harbor heavy constraints. As their association becomes increasingly tangled and confused, their only hope of pursuing a life together is to trust one another with the very truths that could tear them apart.

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My Review

LILY OF THE VALLEY is a story about grief, friendship, and being seen. Eden's characters are easy to fall in love with while they navigate falling in love themselves. The story takes place during a house party amidst a group of friends full of comradery and additional houseguests of the family next door who need temporary housing. It makes for a lively group with plenty of laughter but also intimate moments between family members and friends. Another wonderful read in this series!

I absolutely adored the first book in this series and didn't know how Eden would top it off. I didn't have need to worry. Though these characters and story are different and might connect with readers in a different way than the first book, it is equally as superb! This book focuses on another "Gent" namely Kester and the groups' shared grief over losing one of their own to the war. Kester is an introvert but loves being with his group of friends and doesn't want to regret missing any time with them. He's not sure how to balance his needs and those of his friends and is still dealing with his grief. Violet, the young woman who comes with her family from the estate next door after a house fire, starts to form a friendship with Kester and his group of friends as they all stay at Kester's house. The group dynamics along with Violet and her family's were quite entertaining. I also loved the quiet moments between Kester and his friends as well as Violet. There was heartache, friendship and healing that all take place as love blooms.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This story brought all the feels as well as delightful characters and a story that is engaging from beginning to end. Highly recommended!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2020’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, Forget Me Not, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.

More from Sarah

Research is one of my favorite aspects of writing. Lily of the Valley offered ample opportunities for researching incredibly interesting topics. One main character is an amateur inventor, which tossed me deep into the realm of innovations of the 1780s and 1790s. The other main character has an interest in engineering and mechanics, allowing me to delve into what was known and understood in these fields at the end of the 18th Century. Amongst the supporting cast are a variety of interests, strengths, and passions, all of which saw me pouring over everything I could find from this era on those topics.

A particularly fun area of research I tossed myself into was parlor games played in late 18th Century England. Among my favorites I learned about:
  • The Three Kingdoms, a game very much like modern-day “Twenty Questions.” The guesser has up to six questions to gain clues about what the others in the group have decided among themselves is the thing the guesser is trying to discover. One twist: the first question is always “To which Kingdom does the item thought of belong? (meaning animal, vegetable, or mineral)
  • Short Answers, a game of wits and creativity. The group sits in a circle and one at a time, ask the person to their right a question which that person has to answer in only one word. However, the word cannot be repeated during that round. Once someone has answered a question “Yes” no one else can answer with that word until the round is over. A round ends when someone cannot think of a one-word answer to the question they have been asked and is, subsequently, eliminated.
  • A centuries-old version of musical chairs
  • A game that involved determining which fabricated crime the various players would pretend to have committed.
  • Plenty of games involving forfeits of kisses or handkerchiefs or other shows of affection that the very staid rules of Society would have otherwise looked down on.

Discovering more about the historical context of this book was intriguing and delightful. I hope readers will enjoy learning more of this bit of the past, lose themselves in romance, enjoy the delightful friendship between the characters, and perhaps even find a few new games to try.

-Sarah Eden

Tour Schedule

Miriam Jacob, June 19

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, print copy of book, and Exclusive Sarah Eden vinyl stickers!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Have you read any other books where the leading man is an introvert? Are you a fan of this author?

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