Author: Erica Vetsch
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Serendipity & Secrets #1
Release Date: April 21, 2020
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.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"No French soldier, no cannon fire, no smoke or broken, bleeding bodies. He wasn't on the battlefield . . . He wasn't fighting for his life. He was in the hospital. Still."
Evan Eldridge is suffering from terrible wartime flashbacks, insufferable nightmares and has no recollection of the battle that could have easily ended his life, rather than his career; making him wonder if some will deem him insane. Instead, to his complete astonishment, Evan is recognized by the Prince Regent as a hero, being awarded a title, property and a lovely, young bride. . . . . who is bringing secrets of her own into their union.
"What would it be like to live in a peaceful, happy home, where people were kind and treated one another with respect? Did such a household even exist?"
Diana Seaton has been viewed as a valuable commodity by her father for quite some time, but on the eve of being "sold to the highest bidder", she is suddenly paired with the newly titled Earl of Whitelock. The new earl seems like a kind man, but Diana's only experiences with men have not been pleasant ones, and yet as she is being whisked away to a new life, Diana makes a rash decision; the consequences of which have the potential to dramatically change the course of her new family's future. What has she done?
Allow the magnificence of this story to settle in, for readers will not only develop an instantaneous bond with Evan and Diana as they carefully navigate the dangerous relationship thrust upon them, but they will also appreciate the carefully crafted surrounding cast, several of whom do not have the newlywed's best interests in mind. Conversation by conversation, hurdle by hurdle, one misunderstanding at a time; two solitary hearts cautiously tiptoe toward a union of hearts, and it's a beautiful thing to behold.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
I thought the title of this book was very appropriate. Evan Eldridge felt lost. Evan was the son of a preacher/teacher. Because of a very heroic act during war in Spain, Evan was thrust into a different life as The Earl of Whitelock.
Meanwhile, Diana Seaton's abusive father told her that she would marry a man of his choosing and she had no say in the matter. Diana was raising the son of her deceased sister and Diana's father was threatening to put the baby in an orphanage.
Enter The Prince of Wales. He awards Evan the gift of being an Earl, a wife and a manor house. Evan had rescued The Prince Regent's godson in the war. When all of these gifts were bestowed on Evan, he could not refuse them. Many times in this book the phrase "You don't say no to the Prince Regent" was mentioned. I got a chuckle out of this saying. And, it was true, no one said no to the Prince.
Because of the abuse that Diana received from her father and stepbrother, Diana was very leery about marrying Evan. Evan suffered from what today we call PTSD and memory loss. There was some vital information that Evan needed to know, but could not remember it.
There were three villains in this story. Diana had a very difficult time trusting men due to the treatment she was exposed to.
I thought the story flowed very well. I liked the development of the two main characters - Evan and Diana.
If you like reading stories similar to Downton Abbey and a clean and wonderful love story, then you will truly enjoy this book.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Kregel Publications, through Interviews & Reviews, for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Eva-Joy Schonhaar
The Lost Lieutenant was a fast-paced read that I had little trouble getting into. A lot of Christian fiction can be written in a bland, boring, tedious style, but this book was pretty full of life and action. However, there were several things I didn't love about it. I'll talk about some of those and then get into the nicer part of the review—the things I did like!
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
WHAT I DID LIKE:
If you're a fan of the historical romance genre, I would recommend The Lost Lieutenant. It's not without its faults, but the (mostly) quick pacing and good writing/research make this a somewhat more unique offering in the genre.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Kregel Publications, through Interviews & Reviews, for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
One of the best Regency books I have had the pleasure of reading. Erica Vetsch plus Earls, Dukes, the Prince, and a damsel in distress is a recipe for Regency Gold! This start to a new series is beyond impressive. She even writes her reprehensible villains with panache.
Evan Eldridge and Diana Seaton find themselves in daunting circumstances, which are compounded by an edict to wed from Prinny himself: “You don’t say no to the Prince Regent.”
A grateful Prince bestows a title on Evan along with a holding that is in shambles. He finds he is ill-equipped to be a part of society, much less manage an estate. Evan is still dealing with injuries incurred in battle. “The nightmares stalked him, the sense of impending doom, the panic he tried to lock away, but that swarmed over him like a breach in the line every time he let down his guard.”
Diana is in an untenable position, a veritable pawn in the hands of her father. She has secrets to keep from her new husband.
Ms. Vetsch writes plausible situations and fresh characters. She gives Evan and Diana a background of faith that they draw on and has them struggle to do what is right and what is expected of them. Ms. Vetsch has proved why I come back to the Regency Era time and again. She writes a romantic, compelling tale that has you yearning for more. She includes a good portion of the first chapter of the next book to whet your appetite for the continuing story.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Kregel Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
This is the captivating story of two misfits brought together by chance, held together by circumstance, and bound by love.
Evan is an injured soldier who has found favor with the Prince Regent through actions he can’t remember. Headaches and flashbacks are never far away, and now having the title of Earl of Whitelock he must try to navigate high society, and keep his condition hidden. He’d rather be back in the battle.
Though he may have been seen as a man of low birth to some in the story, he had personal integrity that drew me in from the very beginning. I rooted for him to get the girl from the moment he saved her from unwanted attentions.
Though Diana was the daughter of a duke, she had both insecurities, and a great capacity for love, raising her nephew in less than perfect circumstances. Her inner strength shone through every challenge. She was the perfect match for Evan.
I love how these two brought together by no choice of their own, and both with secrets, compliment each other. They both have strengths that help the other forge a deep respect for each other, and find their way to love despite their many obstacles and different social upbringing.
I recommend this book to readers of Regency romance. You won’t be disappointed.
I was given a copy of this book courtesy of Kregel Communications through Interviews and Reviews and this is my honest review.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
I am always on the lookout for "new to me" authors and I think I have found yet another favourite in Erica Vetsch, with this first book in her Serendipity and Secrets series.
What an intriguing plot! Evan Eldridge, a recovering soldier finds himself suddenly endowed with a title, lands, money and a new bride, all because he saved the Prince Regent's godson off the battlefield. The problem is that Evan doesn't remember any of it. His new wife, Diana, will have to guide him through all the new rules of how to act, dress and what he can or cannot do in public. A restriction that is fun to read as Evan tries to find his way through "polite" society. Which is anything but!
I loved the tension between Evan and his new wife. The secrets between them should have torn them apart. Fortunately, Evan was raised by Christian parents. He is constantly evaluating his reactions and decisions based on his upbringing. I loved this line, "I think he’s finally realized that nobility starts in the heart, not in the pedigree. It’s a matter of action, not standing.” The whole story from start to finish was a delight to read. I look forward to the second book!
I received a copy from Kregel Publications through NetGalley.
Reviewer: Abigail Harris
Who can resist a cover like this one? The stance that the model has is perfect for the hero of the story, Evan, who is much like a modern day wounded warrior.
Which made this story all the more loved by myself since my dad is a wounded warrior, and the struggles that Evan faces are much like many men face even today.
The way the lead characters managed to have so many secrets without really trusting each other at first was painful to read, though the ending? It was sweet, aside from the sad parts … So, it was bittersweet?
Vetch did a wonderful job of making this a need to read historical Christian fiction romance that had action, friendship, coming to trust God more, and a darling romance.
I don't want to give away anything but I loved the hidden mystery that wasn't a full suspense but kept me guessing on what had and would happen.
This soldier turned earl has quite the conundrum and story. Follow along with a stumbling earl, a worried love, and a hidden baby?
Last off, I cannot wait for the next book in the series, The Gentleman Spy coming later this year!
This book was provided courtesy of Kregel Publications, through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Erica Vetsch’s writing shines in this captivating start to her new series. With a gorgeous cover, a unique story line, and colorful, well-drawn, and endearing characters, this story captured my attention and heart from the first.
Though traumatized by war injuries and events, Evan Eldridge is a magnificent hero—caring and tender, but also courageous and protective when needed. Diana Seaton is brave, determined, resourceful, and willing to do what she can to make a safe home for herself and her baby nephew.
Brimming with rich historical detail, suspense, and doses of inspiration and romance, The Lost Lieutenant has earned a place on my keeper shelf and left me anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. In addition, Erica Vetsch is going on my list of favorite authors.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Susan Poll
Oh, this was a swooning fest of regency suspense and coming to find oneself. The twists and turns were not predictable and were written in a way to leave you guessing. It was a wonderfully refreshing read.
The banter is engaging, the romance tickles the fancy. It makes you cheer for Diana and Evan as they discover how strong they really are. The descriptions will make any regency lover swoon. I consider this a bookshelf keeper and one I know I will reread again in the future. Can’t wait for the next!
I received this book from the publisher through Interviews & Reviews. This is my honest opinion.
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