... As it is an Ode.
Let me start with a story. First kisses. They're usually awkward and, well, messy. At least in real life--not so much in fiction. And when it comes to my first kiss with Adam. It was early, early morning on January 1st, 2002. He'd just pulled up in front of my house to drop me off after the New Years Institute dance, at which I'd denied him a midnight kiss owing to the fact that my only recently-made ex was there. Instead, I'd given him a chocolate kiss and told him that would have to do. As we sat there in front of his house, preparing to say goodnight, he leaned toward me. In one expertly smooth motion he slipped the chocolate kiss into my hand and whispered, "Can I trade this for a real one?" Then he laid one on me. It was a mere brush of the lips and the slightest of touches. When I opened the door a minute later, I practically tumbled out. And I'll admit to the cliche. After I closed the door of my house, I leaned against it and grinned my face off. It was a magical moment.
Now. There' been plenty of magical moments since. Like the time when I was 8 months pregnant with our first and came home from work to find that he'd handwashed an enormous stack of dishes (we're talking every dish in our house, almost literally--and although we'd only been married a year, that was not an insignificant amount of dishes ... trust me)--a stack I'd been dreading all day long.
Moral of the story, though? The magic of "firsts" and just discovering love are rarely repeated. So when an author can capture that and make you feel it all over again, I call that a masterpiece. I also call it, "Friends & Foes" by Sarah M. Eden.
Sarah is as brilliantly witty as ever. And Phillip Jonquil is the main character. I've had a slight thing for him since I read "The Kiss of a Stranger." Enough said. And you know how I rant all the time about romance MCs that are kept apart the whole book by silly misunderstandings that are clearly contrived to add 100 pages? That doesn't happen in this book. Sarah let's it happen, instead of prolonging the agony ... *cough, cough* I mean conflict. I love it.
I. Loved. It.
I will read it over and over. And also page 192. I will read that over and over. I read it to my husband last night. Unfortunately he didn't appreciate it like I did. (Or put the book down and sigh with pleasure like I did ... although he has been leaning over and repeating a certain phrase to me in a mocking way that makes me want to slap him and kiss him. I understand how Sorrel feels.)
And that is my ode,er, I mean review.