Series: The Jonquil Brothers #1
Published by Covenant Communications on September 25, 2003
After five years of tracking and capturing spies on English soil, Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lampton, is in pursuit of his last quarry. But at a traveler’s inn, he encounters an unexpected and far more maddening foe: Sorrel Kendrick, a young lady who is strikingly pretty, shockingly outspoken, and entirely unimpressed with him. Indeed, Sorrel cannot believe the nerve of this gentleman, who rudely accuses her of theft and insults her feminine dignity. Doubly annoyed when they both end up at a party hosted by mutual friends, Philip and Sorrel privately declare war on one another. But Philip’s tactics, which range from flirting to indifference, soon backfire as he finds himself reluctantly enjoying Sorrel’s company; and, much to her dismay, Sorrel finds Philip’s odd manner to be increasingly endearing. In the midst of this waning war and growing attraction, Philip catches wind of the French spy he’s been tracking, and Sorrel inadvertently stumbles upon a crucial piece of the puzzle, making her indispensable to the mission. But can two proud hearts negotiate a ceasefire when cooperation matters most?
There’s a bit of spiritual content in Friends and Foes, but nothing preachy. Philip thinks that perhaps Crispin’s wife “should be sainted, though Philip knew he had very little influence On High.” Sorrel recalls her dad “birching” her “to beat the devil out,” and tells Dr. Darrow that her father “felt accidents and illnesses were judgments from God and that suffering would purge one of sin.” Aside from a few passing remarks like Sorrel “offering up a desperate prayer” or Philip “giving the Almighty ultimatums,” there are only five other religious references, all of which are brief remarks regarding Philip’s brother, Harold, who “has his sights set on the Church.”
The violence in Friends and Foes is non-graphic and results from Philip and Garner’s work as spies for the Foreign Office. On two separate occasions, Philip hits some “would-be thieves” who attack him (the second time, Garner joins the fight too). Shortly after the first incident, he recalls that “the British agent they were to have met with had disappeared, leaving behind significant signs of foul play.” (Later, Philip heard from the Foreign Office that he “had been found. Dead.”) Near the end, Sorrel is held hostage and cut with a knife, and three men are shot, two fatally.
Drug And Alcohol Content
Garner mentions wanting brandy at an inn and asks Philip to tell the Foreign Office that Garner is “a coward or a drunkard.” (Shortly after, he drinks “another glass of amber-colored numbness.”) Mater mentions that “the gentlemen certainly didn’t linger over their port this evening.” (Later, Philip agrees to sing “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” lest he “risk Mater spilling my claret.”) Sorrel looks into the taproom of the Dove and Crow and, while eavesdropping on two men leaning over glasses of ale, sees that “men of obvious means drank beside the lowliest of stable hands.” (And, unbeknownst to Sorrel, two were Philip and Garner.)
Sorrel mentions that Philip was given laudanum, but that’s the only drug-related content in Friends and Foes.
There are 18 kisses between Philip and Sorrel: nine descriptive and nine non-descriptive.
Swearing Or Foul Language
My Take On Friends and Foes by Sarah M. Eden
Overall, Friends and Foes was an enjoyable read, though I was hoping that — given the significant role spying played throughout the story — there’d be a lot more action and intrigue. Still, the romance was on point, and the ending was everything I hoped for.