Monday, July 23, 2012
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 Rating: *****
Yes really. I went into this with low expectations. I figured it would be cheesy and kitschy and fluffy. And you know, it was. But I loved every minute!
What a lovely story. It just flew, too. I loved the quick pacing and because of that pacing I read this in one sitting. It didn't take long either. I was so excited to find out what happened next, I just couldn't stop. So I didn't.
Marianne is a wonderful character. Sweet, but with some serious inner strength. She's not your typical Regency era 17 year-old. She knows what she wants out of life, and it isn't balls and town and an advantageous marriage. She wants adventure and riding horses and travelling the world. She doesn't think she'll find anyone who wants to share that with her, but she's determined to enjoy life anyway. I really felt for her. Her life was torn apart in a very real way when her mother died and she's suffered for it. I shed a couple tears at times; the emotions in this book were achingly written.
And Phillip. Sa-woon! I think I'll just leave it at that and encourage you to find out for yourself. ;)
I adored Edenbrooke itself (named estates? one of my favorite things) and all of Phillip's family. This book had everything I love in a period romance: walks in the grounds, entertaining banter over dinner, tete-a-tetes in the of course drool-worthy library, a ball, and even unexpected things like brushes of mystery and danger. Hooray!
Julianne Donaldson is clearly a kindred spirit. I hope she writes dozens of novels because I want to read them all. The writing was fabulous, even if I could tell at times that she (kind of like me) has always wanted to write phrases like, "What a fair prospect" in a novel. I loved the way she made the story feel true to the period, while still managing to update the pacing and the feel of the story. Very well done!
Highly recommend for Jane Austen fans and anyone who loves a good period romance story or movie.