About the Book
Book: Lily of the Valley
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Genre: Georgian Romance
Release date: April 11, 2022
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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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
esearch 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.
This has been an enjoyable story to read. I loved being introduced to the Gents with all their charm and harmless pranks. It was refreshing to find how open they are to everyone and welcome people with grace and charm. They seem to bring out the best in each other and their laughter is contagious. My oh my did I like Kes. He is very kind yet distant at times. He enjoys company but only to a certain extent. His intelligence is quite impressive and it does add a bit of attractiveness about him. The strong silent type is what I think of when mentioning his name. What he lacks in social settings he makes up by his generous spirit. He is always willing to help others even if it may be uncomfortable to him.
When I was introduced to Violet I could sense she would be a good character. She is gentle, always sees the good in things, intelligent and determined to accomplish an invention that will help her greatly. She hides her prosthetic arm very well, but Kes picks up on it. I loved how they decided to work together to improve Violet’s movement with her prosthetic arm. The author does a good job of describing Violet’s discomfort of her arm and helps readers understand what Violet has endured.
As Violet and Kes decide to work together I wondered if this would help Kes feel more confident and be able to open up to Violet. It seems like they would work well together and I was excited to see where this relationship would go. We learn that Kes has been dealing with grief for awhile and perhaps that has taken a toll on him. He is not one to share his thoughts or feelings so opening up to Violet is a big step for him. When she said, “Finding purpose in the midst of grief can be healing,” helps Kes start to heal. There is a very tender moment in the story about grief that I thought the author did well. Several characters continue to grieve and these words are very meaningful to them. “Having been sad, we can appreciate even more those times when we are happy.” I love how expressive the author is and makes her characters realistic.
I adored The Gents and how willing they were to make Violet feel comfortable at the big event where her family would be introduced to others. I love how they are always there for each other and couldn’t wait to see how the event would turn out. Violet is worried that they will not be accepted and is a little uneasy as she enters. She must now find confidence and realize that she is valued by many. The event was fun to read about and it became apparent that Violet was now part of a special group.
I like how the author slowly developed the relationship between Kes and Violet. It was sweet and carefully written with emotions that spilled across the pages. They both found that they could share anything with each other and finally be free to be theirselves. The ending is nice and illustrates how important it is to share with others when you are hurting. It is not easy to open up to someone but when you do the burden is lighter.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion?
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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.
Thank you for sharing your lovely review of Lily of the Valley, thi sounds like a wonderful story and I am looking forward to reading it myselfReplyDelete
Thank you for your review. This sounds like a great story.ReplyDelete
wonderful review, thanks for sharingReplyDelete
Deana, Thank you for sharing your excellent review! Lily of the Valley sounds like a must read.ReplyDelete
This book sounds like a sweet and interesting story with a well-paced romance.ReplyDelete