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.
Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of a blog review tour, the words and opinions below are my own.
The Prince Regent was not exactly a man with whom I’d want to be friends. He was a womanizer, a glutton, a drunk, and a spendthrift. Had his marriage to a twice-widowed, Roman Catholic woman named Maria Fitzherbert been recognized, he would’ve been removed from the line of succession to the throne and the Regency era might’ve been vastly different. But I digress. What I’m trying to say is that the future George IV was not a popular person, and I wondered how he might be portrayed when I learned that he would be featured in the new novel by Erica Vetsch.
But even the worst of men has his friends. Enter the ghastly Seaton family; a father, his pathetic son, and a daughter whose only use is her inheritance. But the Prince Regent interrupts Seaton’s scheme when he strongly suggests the new Earl of Whitelock marries Diana Seaton, and everyone knows you don’t say no to the Prince Regent!
Let’s look at the negatives first. Vetsch’s first foray into Regency romance uses a couple of characters I’ve seen in other novels set in the same era. There’s the motherless daughter, the uncaring father, the scandal-causing rake who believes he can get away with anything, and the loyal employees. And the Prince of Wales, but that’s not Vetsch’s fault. The only portrayal of him I’ve liked was comedically played by Hugh Laurie back in 1987.
And the good stuff in The Lost Lieutenant? How about the sidekick, Marcus Haverly, who takes Evan under his wing and guides him through a social minefield? Given the timing of his first appearance, I did initially wonder if he was to play the “bad guy” role, but he stayed true to his character throughout. I had a couple of suspects for that role, but the real “bad guy” wasn’t on my radar. Even when he was revealed to readers, there was still suspense to be had in terms of what he might do and how he would be discovered. Also, I enjoyed reading about the renovations to the house Evan is given. I would’ve loved seeing the before and after pictures of White Haven!
Do I want to read future titles in the Serendipity and Secrets series? While I’m not sure I can put up with more of the obnoxious Prince Regent, the answer is yes. Besides, the next book in the series features my favorite character; the aforementioned Marcus Haverly. The Gentleman Spy is scheduled for release at the end of July and is available for pre-order.
(psst! Want to win a copy of The Lost Lieutenant? Scroll down the page and click on the prize pack graphic.)
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.
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 21 April 2020