Title: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Published: March 7th, 2012 by Shadow Mountain
Source: Purchased for Kindle
Grade rate: A+
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.
My Note: this is a completely ‘clean’ romance and it is very appropriate for YA readers.
What a gem this book is! I completely adore the story and I can safely say that is one of my favorites.
I’ve always enjoyed historical romance, but I think that I got bored with the genre for a while because of the repetitive nature of the stories. Some of my favorite writers are Julia Quinn, Amanda Quick, Julie Garwood, Virginia Henley, and Lisa Kleypas. However, I also have a soft spot for the classics, like Jane Eyre and of course the incomparable Jane Austen. Well, Edenbrooke reminded me of Austen’s writing, so it’s no wonder that I fell in love with it.
Marianne is everything her twin sister is not. She’s not as beautiful; she’s clumsy, loves to be outdoors too much and lacks some of the social graces expected of a lady. Yet, Marianne is also spontaneous, caring, loyal, and fun to be with, unconventional, unpretentious, and carefree. I love her personality and the way she seemed to come alive in the country (as opposed to the ‘city’) and I love her interaction with Philip.
Phillip strives to be a true gentleman and is trying to come to terms with his title and power and what it all entails. He so good to Marianne and I don’t understand why everyone can see what she means to him except for her, of course. I just love Phillip, I think he can give Mr. Darcy a run for his money! (that love letter is worthy of a fine swoon :)) Other characters are well develop, although they are clearly minor. Maryanne’s grandmother is hilarious, Cecily is selfish, but not uncaring, and the villains are perfectly horrid.
Of course, by now you should know (if you are an avid a reader as I am) that there are no completely original plots. And yet, I am fascinated by Edenbrook’s storyline. It is straightforward, with some of the expected twists and with some of the insecurities that would place a young lady; I enjoy that there isn’t a love triangle and the characters seem to know what they want. The writing is fluid and flawless, that and the characterization is what I enjoyed the most.
Edenbrooke is a must have for Jane Austen fans and Julianne Donaldson has gained in me a fan for life.
Here are some quotes:
“It must have been at least fourteen months since I had last twirled. Fourteen months since I was taken from my home, fresh from grieving, and deposited on my grandmother’s doorstep in Bath while my father took himself off to France…” – Marianne
“Something had happened – of that I was certain. Where before I had been partially empty, now I felt somehow full inside – complete. It was a feeling as buoyant as sunlight. Examining my heart, I found that there were pieces of me that had gone missing in Bath, that I had found again, today, with Philip. And they were pieces of happiness.” – Marianne
“When I look into your eyes, I lose all sense of time and place. Reason robbed, clear thought erased, I am lost in the paradise I find within your gaze” – Philip
About the cover: A beautiful view of Edenbrooke and Marianne walking outdoors. Gentle and pretty.
Have you read Edenbrook? Do you like historical romance?