Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson | Book Review

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Format: ebook
Genre: Historical Fiction, Regency Romance (clean)
Publication Date: 12 March, 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 heart would obey me, I was certain. I simply needed to be strict with it.
-Marianne, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Knocked this one out in under 8 hours! Yeah, it's that good...also a little predictable, maybe a bit cheesy, but very fun and worthwhile. I honestly had fun reading Edenbrooke.

It's a hard book to put down, mainly because it's such a sweet, sweet romance. It's the kind that makes you sigh wistfully--multiple times. Donaldson gives us a lovely picture of the Regency time period (handsome gentlemen included), and keeps hearts racing with her perfectly paced romance. And if that weren't enough, there's the added drama of a mysterious man who threatens to tear it all apart...which would be devastating, because these are characters you will root for! They are bright and funny, have noble ambitions, and frequently carry on conversations that are uniquely entertaining.

I really like that Donaldson focuses on the relationships between the characters. Marianne is struggling to renew her relationship with her sister and father after their mother's death, but doesn't know where they all stand. Their subtle change in perspectives throughout the book is compelling. Philip is also struggling to find his place in a world that has suddenly changed for him. He and Marianne both begin to help each other out, and now I'm audibly sighing because Philip *le sigh* and Marianne together just melts. my. heart! It's is just a very solid and clean romance.

The inevitable comparison:
I know you're curious, so yes, It does compare to Pride & Prejudice (or any Jane Austen novel, really)...in the sense that you get those same happy, feel-good, twirling feelings from this story. It's one that makes you feel in love with...love. It's one of the good ones! And yet it doesn't try to be P&P at all. It has a very different story to tell. I think people who both love and hate P&P will enjoy this book for that very reason. For one thing, it's a little more daring--according to the standards of the time period. It's also more adventurous, I think; less social commentary.

But enough P&P comparisons. This book stands on its own! It's not perfect. But it is very much worth reading, and I can't recommend it enough.

Temp. Guide
Read this if:
...you like love stories and want to be swept off your feet by a gentleman good book.

Content Warning
Clean read!

Purchase Edenbrooke:
Julianne Donaldson:
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  1. I love that everyone is reading this book now. :) I liked it a lot, too. I really liked Philip and Marianne and all their bantering. They were very cute. And I agree about the Pride & Prejudice comparisons, too. They're in the same period, but not really the same style. This was much easier for me to read than Jane Austen. :)

    1. It does seem like everyone is reading it now. I had three people recommend it to me, so I figured it was time to pick it up. And you're right about it being easier than Jane Austen. The language is there, but it's not something you have to decipher. :D

  2. I think it's nice to read a feel good romance every now and then. Thanks for the book review, I'm adding it to my list. :)

  3. You and Jenni Elyse reviewed the same book today! Was that planned?

    1. We did? We must have finished around the same time, then. And nope, it wasn't planned, but I've got to see her review now!

  4. Ha ha! I didn't realize we both reviewed it yesterday! I haven't had much of a chance to go blog floating, reading reviews and commenting.

    I'm so glad you liked it! And, yes, like you said it is a bit cheesy and it's not perfect, but it's so sweet and it melts my heart too. I loved it! :D And, I love all your subtle nuances in your review to not give anything away. They just make me smile because I know what you're trying to say and hide at the same time.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad the subtle nuances make sense. There was so much I wanted to say, but didn't want to spoil. :)

  5. Ok if you and Jenni love it, then I definitely need to read it :)

    1. YES! Do it, and report back. ;) Just kidding. But I'll be watching for a review, just in case you take the plunge. Enjoy!

  6. Heck yes! This sounds like my kind of book! I seriously love books that are a little predictable and cheesy. Of course I don't want to read those all the time, but when I do they are so relaxing to read. The romance sounds amazing!

    Clean Teen Fiction

    1. Right? I love them too, especially when they're as awesome as this. :) Hope you love it!

  7. Oh this sounds fab! I'm glad to hear that it's so good. I can do cheesy.

    1. Yay! Hope you read it and love it. I enjoyed it so much! :)


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