This is the fourth book I've read by Sarah M . Eden and I can say she is one of my favorite writers of clean Regency romance. It had been a while since I'd read Kiss of A Stranger and I had already forgotten many of the characters. I wish I would have re-read it before picking up Friends and Foes. Sarah integrates the people from her last books into each of the new ones so it's fun to have them fresh in your mind. Philip Jonquil is back and is the focus of Friends and Foes instead of a secondary character. This time he's acting as a "Dandy" ,a well-dressed self-assured gentleman who on the side is acting as a spy for the English war effort. He's in the midst of trying to catch a Frenchman when he stumbles upon a woman in his room at the inn who he accuses of stealing his walking stick.
The two start a spew of conversational banter which keeps up through the whole novel. They declare "war" on one another when they learn they have mutual friends and are not just strangers, but rather are forced to spend the entire Christmas holiday with their perspective families at Crispin's estate. Main heroine Sorrel is headstrong and has suffered greatly as a result of a crippling incident so she doesn't feel she is material for romance. Instead she and Phillip jab at each other with cutting and sarcastic insults.
This is such a fun, clean read! Overall I was highly entertained. My only little peeve was the overuse of the word "lud" by Phillip and the fact that the book is very main character driven. The reader doesn't get a deep sense of any of the side characters or resolution of sub plots that are previously explored. The issue of Sorrel's leg, her relationship with her mother and father plus a side romance going on between her sister Margie and Phillip's brother are left up in the air. I'm hoping they are resolved in the next book Sarah puts out.
Friends and Foes is currently number 4 on the Deseret Book bestsellers list- you go Sarah! Readers who liked Josette by Danielle Thorne or Jane Austen's works will enjoy Sarah's latest installment.