The Kiss of a Stranger

I’m a voracious reader and am forever looking for the next great book or series.  In asking others for suggestions and my mom and a couple of others suggested Sarah M Eden.

  I have a love hate relationship with most of the LDS fiction authors so I was reluctant to go down that road again but after months of procrastination I finally decided to give her books a try.  To my great surprise I’m a fan.

  I’ve read one book a day for the last three days and have everything I can get my hands on either sitting at home waiting to be read on hold at the library.  Happy day!

  Sarah writes historical fiction set in the regency period.  My favorite so far has been The Kiss of A Stranger.   The story begins when Lord Crispin Cavratt kisses a young woman he mistakes for serving maid to try to free himself from the attentions of a persistent young woman who is only interested in is fortune and title.

  To his horror Catherine the young woman he kissed is not serving maid but a beleaguered orphan under the care of her uncle.  Upon witnessing the kiss her Uncle forces them to marry.

  Eden then skillfully reveals to us the story of Crispin and Catherine’s lives while showing us the reality of what it meant to be a woman without a dowry or money of her own during that period of history.

  Will the marriage be annulled or can true love come from a kiss between strangers?   If you are a Jane Austen fan try Sarah M Eden, you’ll like her.

Deena Hastings is a pro at the BYU Bookstore's Candy department. She is an avid reader and loves to get lost in a good book.

The Forest at the Edge of the World - Trish Mercer

Like all great books, don't give up in the first few pages. The first time I read Ender's Game I gave up in the first few pages. Same with The Hobbit, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Narnia. (how foolish I was to give up on those gems so easily. But never again!) 

As you read this book, you are pleasantly surprised when you are whisked away into a world you've never been in, with people you've never met, and a story you've never heard. The narration is beautiful, the culture rich, and the characters very much alive.

This book is refreshing because it is not trendy. There are no paranormal romances, legions of elves, or extraordinary children heroes who do impossible tasks. No. This story is believable because it seems so real.

In the dystopian world created by Mercer, the curiosities of her heroes as they try to discover who the grand puppet master is that controls their world is both captivating and intriguing. By the time you think you have it figured out as to who that is, the plot has developed to the point where you, like them, are second guessing yourself.

The plot summary, in the author’s own words:

“Captain Perrin Shin, assigned to village Edge of the World, is out to do more than command the new fort. He’s determined to uncover the mystery of the Guarders: where they live, why they attack, and what they want.
Suspiciously, none of their behavior has ever made sense.
Mahrree Peto, a teacher in Edge, is also growing suspicious. Of the Administrators who promise to eradicate the Guarders, and of the arrogant captain they sent to protect Edge.
It’s hard to know who to trust.
The most powerful man in the world is also fascinated by trust, and precisely what it takes to destroy it. He’s looking for research subjects, and up in Edge a brash captain and a nosy teacher have caught his attention.
Let the experiment begin.”

You and your teens won't go wrong by giving yourself up to the story for a few hours until the book ends. At which time you, like me, will be begging for more.

Personal Bio:
I got my Bachelors at BYU in Archaeology and eight months later started back at BYU, this time working on my Masters in Environmental Science. I work as the Anthropology 101 Head TA, I love to dig in the dirt--such as gardening with my husband or excavating prehistoric ruins, and I love to explore National Parks. 

Madison is a guest blogger for the BYU Bookstore. If you would like to submitt a book review, please contact us at