Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Genre: Regency Romance
Dates Read: August 11-13, 2020
Format: Paperback ARC provided by publisher
A Foreign Crown
“Following a devastating series of misfortunes, Lady Aribella Bardsley has bravely shouldered the responsibilities of her household. But just as the bleakness of her situation threatens to overwhelm her, a summons arrives from the Queen with a providential offer: Aribella’s presence is requested as a lady-in-waiting at the palace.
Prince Layton Wilhelm’s family has clung to their neutrality in the war for far too long. As the youngest of the King of Oldenburg’s eight sons, Layton is determined to prove his worth and is unwilling to turn a blind eye to Napoleon’s encroaching privateers. When Layton embarks on a journey to England, it is for one purpose: to petition the British navy for aid. But when he becomes acquainted with the lovely Lady Aribella, he cannot deny their powerful connection. Amid the intrigues and schemes within the walls of the palace, Layton and Aribella know a future together is impossible—but torn between loyalty and love, will they risk everything to follow their hearts?”
A Foreign Crown is another stunning Historical/Regency Romance from author Jen Geigle Johnson. This story, set in England, flawlessly combines a beautiful work of fiction, combined with real historical characters and events. Not only do we get to see King George III, Queen Charlotte, the Princesses and the Prince Regent, but this story is also taking place alongside the Napoleonic Wars. This is something that I always love and admire about Mrs. Johnson’s books–she can always transport me to another time, and I always learn things I didn’t know before.
In this story, our main character Lady Aribella, who has had a very devastating year, is summoned by the Queen to be a lady-in-waiting for a brief time. This is a high honor that has been passed down through her family for generations, and because her mother, the Duchess of Sumter has passed away, the duty now falls upon Aribella’s shoulders.
Aribella carries the weight of much duty in this novel–from duty to the Queen, to duty to her father and his failing estate. While traveling to the Palace, Aribella’s carriage has a bit of trouble in the rain, and they are helped by another traveler in a nearby carriage– Prince Layton Wilhelm of Oldenburg. Layton and Aribella find an instant connection to one another, but both are bound by loyalty, and not looking at securing a love match. Both must make the hard choice between their duties and loyalties or the pull of their hearts.
What I liked:
The Characters- I truly loved Aribella’s character. She is such a strong female lead that does what needs to be done, even if it means getting her hands dirty, but she is also a very kind and genuine. Prince Layton was such an honorable and kind character as well, and their romance was phenomenal.
The Romance- They have such a sweet and genuine connection, and their relationship is truly was captivates you and jumps off of the page. The romance was very well written and flushed out, and it is truly what kept me reading until the very end.
The Setting- The setting was really great! I loved the time period, and being able to see so many real historical figures as supporting characters, because it is almost unheard of to have that. Queen Charlotte was an especially prominent character, and I loved seeing King George’s madness and the rise of Prince George and the intrigue there during a time of war. It has made me very interested to do more research into that time period.
What I didn’t like AS MUCH:
The Pacing and the Plot- The pacing seemed quite slow to me, and I have a feeling it was because of the plot. While the premise is good, the plot just didn’t move along as quickly as I would have liked, and it felt like the only thing moving the book forward was the romance. This isn’t a terrible thing though! I love a good romance, and this one was no exception, I just wish we would have seen a little bit more of the setting, the intrigue and the war than what we did, and because of this it seemed slightly slow to me.
Overall though, this is a beautiful and sweet story and I highly recommend this one if you love romance, royal romance, historical fiction, or regency stories. This book is the first in a new series, and I honestly cannot wait to see Prince Layton’s brothers and their love stories, and get to see more glimpses into this specific setting and time period.
Special thanks to Covenant Communications for gifting me with an advanced review copy. All thoughts, honest opinions and review are my own.
About the Author:
Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her love for British history while kayaking the Thames as a young teenager. Now an award-winning author–including the Praiseworthy Award for romance and the Foreword Indies Gold in romance–and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. She has become a prolific author with more stories in her heart than can possibly be told.
Visit the author at https://jengeiglejohnson.com
Visit https://www.subscribepage.com/y8p6z9 to receive Jen’s newsletter for free books and new-release notifications, and to follow her on social media.
Praise for Jen Geigle Johnson
“Ms. Johnson has given readers a swoon-worthy romance (or two!) AND historical details in one beautiful story. The historical details felt well-researched and carefully placed within the story. The women (and men) who fought for women’s rights are nothing short of amazing, and I’m so glad Jen Johnson has brought them to life!.”
–Tiffany Odekirk, Love Sidelined -Praise for ‘His Lady in Hiding’
“I loved this retelling of the Scarlet Pimpernel, and the fresh perspective that author Jen Geigle Johnson brings into her historical novel Scarlet. As heart-wrenching as the French Revolution was, Johnson creates a vivid journey back in time, with all the triumphs and tragedies. Scarlet and Matteo’s adventures and growing love story captures the reader’s heart and mind through the last page.”
–Heather B. Moore, USA Today best-selling author -Praise for ‘Scarlet’