Book: Edenbrooke

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publish Date: March 27, 2012
ISBN: 0373210507
ISBN-13: 9781609089467
Genre: Fiction – General Fiction, Historical
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Synopsis: Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

Julianne Donaldson’s Edenbrooke was perfect. From the moment that I saw the cover, I knew that this would be one of my favorite reads in 2012. I read blurbs that described Edenbrooke as a love story for Jane Austen and Downton Abbey fans. Funny, it’s like the words were speaking to me. Donaldson did not disappoint in this wonderful romance fit for a weekend read.

Separated from her twin after her mother’s death, Marianne Daventry lives a lonely life in Bath. Her father will not return home, and her dear sister lives a different life in London. Marianne is accompanied by her grandmother, who is exactly Marianne’s ideal companion. She is invited, extended through her sister, to spent time in Edenbrooke. Marianne’s grandmother expects her to learn about proper etiquette and her sister expects accompaniment to woo the affection of Edenbrooke’s lord. What Marianne doesn’t expect to learn is something far more valuable than anything she’s ever known.

Marianne Daventry stole my heart when she first appeared on the page. I related to her, regardless of the time that Edenbrooke was set in. Marianne has a kindred spirit, one that I quickly connected with. Marianne twirls! Sure, it gets her in trouble, but what other heroine has enough free spirit and carefree attitude to twirl? None that I’ve read recently. She is extremely loyal and kind, and I hopelessly wished that she was real to become bosom friends with.

Trying not to spoil anything, I need to talk about the romance factor of Edenbrooke. Donaldson wrote this love story with real affection and an open heart. My heart did many, many fluttering motions while reading about Marianne. I felt the slow blush as she did, and all of the other moments that would make a girl swoon. Trust me readers, you do not want to miss this one!

The world within Bath and the grounds at Edenrbooke was described similar to the cover. The subtle and understated beauty of the garden complimented the rich and lush details of the grand estate itself. From the descriptions of the estate, to the details of the surrounding gardens, everything allowed me to place myself in 1800 England. I was transported into this romantic time, and I was sad when I had to go back.

Donaldson’s writing is familiar, comforting me through the words and emotions that she chooses for each page. Marianne’s voice is sweet and innocent, fitting for a young lady from Bath. The dialogue between the characters was reminiscent of words from Austen, but with a distinct and individual character. Donaldson has her own style, and it is very evident throughout Edenbrooke.

My heart felt all the warm moments of a great romance. I could not put Edenbrooke down, and I absolutely loved every minute of it. Like I said earlier today, this is a must have in your library.

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