Monday, August 10, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Gentleman Spy (also, The Lost Lieutenant)

 

In this combined series post, I am reviewing The Lost Lieutenant by 
Erica Vetsch as I am hosting the blog tour for The Gentleman Spy.

Author:  Erica Vetsch
Series:  Serendipity & Secrets #1
Publisher:  Kregel Publications
Genre:   Christian Fiction Romance; 
    Historical Romance
Format:  eBook
No. of Pages:   277
Date of Publication:   April 21, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars
DESCRIPTION:

He's doing what he can to save the Prince Regent's life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?

Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero--he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn't think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.

Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn't have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there's something he can't quite remember. It's important, dangerous--and if he doesn't recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone's very life.

Readers who enjoy Julie Klassen, Carolyn Miller, and Kristi Ann Hunter will love diving into this brand-new Regency series filled with suspense, aristocratic struggles, and a firm foundation of faith.


MY THOUGHTS:

Whenever possible, I try and read connected books whenever I have a book review. Well, I have The Gentleman Spy for a blog tour, so I grabbed this book, The Lost Lieutenant, from my library. I am so glad I did! This book is the first of a Christian Fiction Romance for me. In all honesty, I accepted the second book for review based on the blurb, but had not noted the genre. As I was reading the book, I began to notice that God was mentioned often. Right away, that impressed me. However, that is not what made me crazy about this book.

I would consider this book to be a hidden gem. I only found it because it is part of a series, and it has always been my aim to read previous titles whenever possible. Again, I am so glad I did. Why? Well, let's talk about the premise. 

Evan Eldridge is dying to get out of the hospital after being seriously injured in the war. He had a serious leg injury that is improving day-by-day. However, something confusing and very concerning is going on in his head. We know it to be PTSD. However, in Evan's day, if a person could not remain lucid, or dealt with certain issues, such as difficulty with loud noises or confusion, it was pretty much an easy ticket to an asylum. So, while Evan is recuperating, he struggles to hide apparent triggers, headaches and anxiety from his doctors.

Even so, he sees no end to his hospitalization. One day, however, he receives a visit arranged by the Prince Regent. Quite naturally, Evan is shocked, especially when they tell him their purpose. Evan is to appear before the Prince to receive honor for saving the Prince Regent's godson. Evan is very nervous, as one of the things he is coping with is no memory as to how he was injured. What is more is that he does not remember saving anyone.

He stands before the prince, and receives a very high honor. He is given the title the Earl of Whitelock, Viscount Slaugham, with houses, lands and more than a bit of money. He couldn't be more shocked. He is the son of a preacher, and has always been poor. The military was his only way of earning any sort of income, and his injuries might have prevented him from continuing to fulfill his duties. Well, now that he is gentry, his life takes on quite a different turn.

The Prince is not done with him yet. Due to interesting events that happen rapidly, the Prince suggests that Evan become engaged to his goddaughter, Diana Seaton, daughter of a duke. Diana's circumstances are dire. Her father and brother are abusive, and she made a promise to her sister who died in childbirth - to care for her infant son Cian as if he is her own. Diana's father, with strong motive, is in the process of brokering a marriage for Diana. Her father is cruel, violent and controlling. Only the Prince's edict can change the course of Diana's life.

I realize that my comments are long already, but the setup for this book is wonderful, and quite sensitive, especially concerning Diana's situation with her father, Evan's emotional trauma, and the fate of baby Cian.

I strongly encourage the reader of this review to GO get this book! It is that good! 

So, how will Evan and Diana get on? After all, no one says no to the Prince Regent, and a wedding is soon to occur. Meanwhile, the fact that Evan has lost his memory of certain events in the war play a huge role when it comes to other events as this story unfolds. All the while, faith is the backdrop, with discussion of God and his plans gently woven into the story.

This book is definitely one of my favorites for 2020 and I eagerly went on to read the next book in the series, The Gentleman Spy.

**Featured Blog Tour Post**


Author:  Erica Vetsch
Series:  Serendipity & Secrets #2
Publisher:  Kregel Publications
Genre:   Christian Fiction Romance; 
    Historical Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   304
Date of Publication:   July 28, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life
 
When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.
 
But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.
 
Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

MY THOUGHTS:

Marcus reveled in the fact that he was the second son. His father was a Duke and his older brother was in succession. That was perfectly fine for Marcus. Sadly, his father and brother died in a carriage accident eight months previously. His sister-in-law was pregnant at the time and has now just given birth to a daughter. This means that the title of Duke passes on to Marcus. He is none too happy. Not only are the responsibilities magnanimous, Marcus is an agent of the Crown and is one of the best spies there is. No one knows the role Marcus plays. Ducal responsibilities certainly could get in the way of those duties.

Currently, there is an assassination attempt in play for the Prince Regent. The designated killer had been stopped (see The Lost Lieutenant, the first book in this series). However, the mastermind is still at large. While Marcus is searching high and low in order to prevent a murder, he must also contend with his difficult mother. In an attempt to deal with his her grieving, Marcus tells her that he will seek a bride and provide an heir. This plays right along with his superior's suggestion that a wife might balance out his life. Marcus figures that since he has always lived his life in order, a wife shouldn't upset his work in any way whatsoever. Emotion will never play a role.

Meanwhile, Lady Charlotte Tiptree is nearly a spinster. Her parents have been very unhappy with her for not finding a mate prior till now. Also, Charlotte would rather have her nose in a book, and hopes that if she ever finds a marriage mate, that it could be both a meeting of the hearts and the mind. Charlotte's father has no give, and is more than cruel. In short order, she finds herself engaged to Marcus. 

Actually, this could work for the both of them. No emotion, no attachment. Marcus's mother will be happy, and Charlotte can escape her unhappy home. In order to deal with the sadness that held her captive, Charlotte buried herself in books. (Sounds more than familiar.) There is something else. Charlotte has a goal, a purpose that takes a lot of her attention. This brings in an element of danger in this story, as Charlotte will not give up on something she wants to change, including bringing someone into her life.

Can Marcus keep his life compartmentalized? Will emotion ever be a part of the lives of these two?  What about the plot to assassinate the Prince Regent? With a few twists this story incorporates faith, love and happiness, with enough excitement and action that kept me turning pages at a rapid pace. I absolutely loved both books in this series, and am more than eager for the next one,  The Indebted Earl.

Many thanks to Kregel Publications and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.



Giveaway


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate. 

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com
. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)
.

11 comments:

  1. I like the premise of these and entered the contest!

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  2. They both sound like great stories. Such a pity I am unable to enter the giveaway.

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  3. Not my typical genre but you make them sound enticing

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  4. I don't think these would be for me. Glad you enjoyed them. Great reviews.

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  5. Not my type of book but so glad you enjoyed them.

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  6. Love the sound of these. Thanks for sharing

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  7. So glad to see you enjoyed them :) I love Christian fiction and historical romance. Putting the two together definitely has me adding these to my TBR. Thanks!

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  8. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing but The Lost Lieutenant and The Gentleman Spy! I am thrilled that you enjoyed the stories, and I'm so glad you featured them on your blog. I appreciate the work that goes into writing detailed, interesting reviews, and you excel at it! Thank you again!

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  9. So very welcome! Thank you so much for reading the reviews and for commenting on my blog!

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