Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Edenbrooke

By Julianne Donaldson
Published: June 7, 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 review:

I enjoyed reading Edenbrooke as a Regency romance that doesn't try to ape Jane Austen novels. It is also a "clean" or as the cover states "proper" romance without the usual scenes one finds in other romance novels, making it an appropriate read for young teens who enjoy Jane Austen. For those who prefer their romances with more heat, trust me when I say that in this instance, less is more.

Marianne is sometimes frustrating as a heroine. I liked her because of her intelligence and spark but her low self esteem issues could be annoying at times. She is a twin but she always allows her sister Cecily to overshadow her. She seems to believe it is her role to help her sister shine. Cecily on the other hand is a well-meaning but spoiled brat. Thankfully Marianne does learn to value herself more in the end.

The love interest, Philip, is one of those near-perfect Regency novel heroes like Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. Unlike Mr. Darcy however, Philip shows a good deal of warmth towards Marianne with the exception of their initial meeting. He encourages her to be herself instead of conforming to societal expectations. The relationship between Marianne and Philip develops believably even though a lot of it happens in just one week-it doesn't feel rushed at all. Their interactions were really sweet.

Even though this book has some flaws, I thought it was an enjoyable reading experience because of the romance. I would suggest Edenbrooke to fans of Julia Quinn and other Regency fiction or to those who just want a light, "feel good" story.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that this doesn't try to copy Austen. Although I adore her, it is sometimes frustrating to read a book and be able to point out plot lines that feel lifted directly from her books. I am definitely planning to read this one!

  2. I'm so glad you liked this one! I really want to pick up a copy of this book! I like that you compare Philip to Mr. Darcy--I could use, as you say...a "near perfect Regency novel hero" right about now! :) Great review, Christina!


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