Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review & Giveaway: For Love or Honor by Sarah M. Eden

Heidi Reads... For Love or Honor by Sarah M. Eden

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


From the moment they met, Marjie’s heart has belonged to handsome Captain Stanley Jonquil, younger brother of the Earl of Lampton. But six long months ago, when Stanley’s sense of honor required that he do as he had sworn and return to the Continent to fight in defense of King and country, neither Stanley nor Marjie could have dreamed what the cost of his service would be. It has been ages since Stanley last wrote, and Marjie and the Jonquil family are plagued by his unknown fate—until the day he unexpectedly reappears. Marjie’s joy, however, is quickly shadowed by confusion—the aloof, battle-worn soldier before her is not the man he once was. 

In the wake of Stanley’s blatant disinterest in renewing their acquaintance, Marjie’s devastation turns to determination as she vows to help him find peace. But his scars run far deeper than anyone realizes. Despite his feelings for her, Stanley believes Marjie deserves a man whose hands are not stained with the violence of battlefields and whose mind and heart are not haunted by the horrors he has seen. Honor requires Stanley to return once more to the life he has grown to despise, one he knows will destroy him in the end, even as his heart beckons him to stay with Marjie, the only woman he could ever love, and the promise, at last, of redemption.

My Review

Poor Stanley! In this book we learn of the horrors of war Stanley has had to endure, and the effects on his sensitive and compassionate nature. Only four months after his severe injuries, he struggles to keep his emotions at bay so that when the time comes to return to the field, he can soldier up and get it done. Once again we see the brotherly love and camaraderie between the Jonquils, especially Phillip and Layton, and I loved the scene when they meet with Stanley in their equivalent to a secret clubhouse and through their banter, get Stanley to reveal dark secrets that need to be brought to light for him to begin healing mentally.

Marjie is as compassionate as Stanley, with a heart to serve, but feels rejected when her sister refuses her help. It seems like she's a bit lost, not really knowing where her place is or where she is needed. Her previous friendship and beginnings of romance with Stanley give her the perfect opportunity to help him as he recovers, but the emotional distance he tries to maintain is hard on her. I admired her determination and creativity in how she supports him against his will, and loves him even without a guarantee of returned affection. The tone of the book fluctuates between despondency and hopefulness as Stanley and Marjie take two steps forward and one step back in their relationship, and I couldn't help but be touched by the ending. Highly recommend!

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