Oh, you have no idea how good it feels to write a title like that again. I am horribly offended at myself for having to take so long to finish a book that I have read before–a book that isn’t even that long. Well, I’m not too offended at myself. I was also trying to watch the 6 hr BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice and write my novel (I finished the first chapter! Yay!) and I have just been… busy. I have family gatherings, and the fourth of July, and so many other things to do… it’s been hectic. (I can hear your impatience now. Come on, you’re saying. Just write about the book already! Well, fine. I will.) :)
So, enough of that. On to the fun stuff! The Kiss of a Stranger, by Sarah M. Eden. mmm… Where to start, I wonder… Oh, I get tingles and giggles just thinking about it! (yes, I am a member of that female race, who continues to giggle and squeal over little happilightfulnesses in life. And yes, I know happilightfulnesses may more may not be an actual word. I don’t care.)
This was the first book of Sarah M. Eden’s that I ever read, probably some two or three years ago. I picked it up in at the library, when I was reading all sorts of Christian romances and things. And I was deliciously surprised to find that this was not a preachy, overly cheesy written book at all. It didn’t have anything to do with church at all (except when he gets mad at a creepy guy for using her Christian name without permission). It was a Regency romance, in the truest sense of the term. I know you can get racy, sketchy faux regency romance books, and I know that not all of them are too bad (but a lot of them are, so just stay away from them). So I guess that was another reason why I liked her book so much. It seemed to have just a bit more class than other regency romances I’ve seen and read. Many of them are like modern sketchy romances set in the 1800s. Meh.
But her book wasn’t like that–it was really true to the times. Even more so than I realized the first time I read it, because while I read it this time I have been researching the regency era, and she has all the details right. How to address a Peer of the realm, how a Peer would sign his correspondence, what being a Peer involves, the manners of society… everything. But she isn’t completely like Jane Austen, where they never ever actually even kiss, like in the book Pride and Prejudice (I kept waiting for them to kiss in that, and they never did. I was only slightly heartbroken.) And that is just one of the reasons I liked this book so much.
Sarah M. Eden is really good at writing. She makes the Regency come alive for me (hence the capital R for her Regency novels, and a lowercase for the less worthy ones…) She uses phrases and language that would only be used in those times, and does it well. Especially when she uses about three or four (five? I don’re recall exactly) different expressions that refer to being drunk. It made me laugh. And another thing–this book isn’t racy, not in the slightest. It gives a new meaning to the word ‘love’ when you realize how deep the emotional attachment the characters have to each other, and not just a lustful one.
All of the above being said, it’s not as if they don’t like t kiss each other. There are a few kisses throughout the book, they just aren’t described in detail. Which is nice, I have to say. And the teasingly flirtatious scenes. My goodness, they made me happy. It wasn’t awkward or stilted dialogue, which I appreciated, and it was actually funny.
There are a few more mature themes in this book–the heroine has an abusive uncle, and this is shown several times (he hits her, splits her lip, it’s not fun) and altogether the uncle (her guardian) is a miserable cad of a man. (even those words are too kind for such a degenerate as he is.) But I was enraptured by her writing, both the first time I read it and every time since then. Now I’m going to read and review the next book in what I consider to be a ‘sequence’ of her of sorts, Friends and Foes. Happy Reading!