#BookReview: The Lost Love of a Soldier by Jane Lark

Historical Romance
War Era Historical

Marlow Intrigues #1

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The stunning prequel to Kindle bestseller The Illicit Love of a Courtesan!
Life is for grasping and living...

Naïve and innocent, Lady Ellen Pembroke falls for a dashing young army officer. Captain Paul Harding has such an easy, enchanting smile and his blue eyes glow; vibrancy and warmth emanating from him. She is in love.

In turn, the Captain finds his attention captured by the beautiful young daughter of the Duke of Pembroke at a house party in the summer. Finding Ellen is like finding treasure on the battle field. His sanity clings to her - something beautiful to remind him that not all in the world is ugly.

Ellen is someone to fight for and someone to survive for when he is inevitably called to arms in the battle of Waterloo...

My ARC of The Lost Love of a Soldier has been on my kindle since 2014 which is why I’d like to start my review with an apology to both Jane Lark and Harper Impulse. For those keeping track, this makes me both a penny pincher and a procrastinator, both of which are descriptors I chose to own. Add single-mom who is gainfully employed full-time while going to school and you probably understand my reasons, but that’s neither here nor there.

I read the description of The Illicit Love of a Courtesan before realizing Amazon ordered the books by the date of publication. This meant that chronologically the series began with The Lost Love of a Soldier which was great as it was the only novel I had access to. That said, having understood the premise of what was effectively book two, destroyed any and all hope for an HEA in book one. I may be starting at the beginning, but this story was going to get dark.

Other readers might have been upset by this, but I was actually intrigued. I’d adored Lark’s disregard for genre tropes in both Capturing the Earl’s Love and The Desperate Love of a Lord. If anything, my inadvertent discovery proved my enthusiasm was well-placed so I jumped in with every expectation that Lark would deliver something extraordinary.

I came up for air two-hundred and sixty-three pages later, emotionally crippled, but thoroughly satisfied by the story. The plot is at moments predictable and I will cop to vividly flashing on the performances of Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers during my reading, but I thoroughly enjoyed this narrative and how Lark used the Battle of Waterloo to bring context and drama to the experiences of her cast.

I think it goes without saying that I’ll be seeking out the rest of the Marlow Intrigues as soon as possible. Highly recommended.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: March 14, 2018

"Finding Ellen had been like finding treasure on the battle torn fields in his head. His sanity clung to her, something beautiful to remind him that everything was not ugly. She was someone to fight for. Someone to survive for..."