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Edenbrooke Paperback – March 27, 2012
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A heart-pounding love story. I couldn t stop turning the pages until I finished it. A must read for all romantics! --Mary Mull, wife of New York Times bestselling author, Brandon Mull
Edenbrooke is so much more than a page-turning tale of love and intrigue. It s the kind of book you read time and time again and recommend to everyone. --Kodi Wright, wife of New York Times bestselling author, Jason F. Wright
Edenbrooke combines charming characters and a lovely setting for a delightful read. It was hard to put down! --Lynette Dashner, wife of New york Times bestselling author, James Dashner
About the Author
Debut novelist Julianne Donaldson is a hopeless romantic. Her degree in English has only fueled her passion to write. She and her husband live in Salt Lake City, Utah, with their four children, but she takes every opportunity she can to travel the English countryside.
Top customer reviews
The character's twin sister, insensitive, frivolous and self-consumed, does a bit of an about-face at the end, in the name of happy endings. Some of the heroine's details -- the motion sickness, the fainting and crying, the small stature, the silly twirling, the accident-prone behavior -- are a little tiresome. Fortunately, her painting skills are a good talent, and her sense of humor shows up in the clutch.
I loved the romance and getting to know the characters. I loved the voice - it's not mimicking Jane Austen in style, so if you're wanting an Austen spin-off, this isn't really it. It has a more modern voice and writing style, but it's put in an historical setting. With that said, I didn't feel like the modern voice detracted from the story line in any way. It's not *too* modern where you feel like the main character doesn't fit in with the time period. It's just modern enough that you feel like it's easy to read and easy to connect with the characters. It doesn't feel like "work" to read the classic old-fashioned style. (Not that I don't like classics or Austen - I love them too. But each style has its time and place in my heart).
There were instances, especially in the beginning, where I felt like Marianne judged Phillip too harshly (so he hired you a carriage and took care of all your travel arrangements for you... Why is that a bad thing so that you're now calling him insufferable? I think that's nice... But then again, I live in an era where chivalry is mostly dead in the general population). But just as she is quick to judge, she's also quick to forgive, so it didn't really bother me.
I liked the build up with the love story. It's fast, and she's relatively young (17 years old), but you still feel like their love is genuine. After I finished reading my library copy, I immediately went and bought a copy for my Kindle - and I hardly ever do that, so yes, this is one I'd recommend!
Now for the story: AMAZING. I will actually admit that this surpassed my favorites (North & South, Pride & Prejudice) for the story's sake. The heroine is relatable yet admirable. The hero is wonderful, genuine and reading the prequel novelette (Heir to Edenbrooke) from his perspective, he became much more human and darling. Their story is lovely and perfect and I WANT MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The characters were beautifully created. Marianne’s internal conflict between her own desires and her inferiority to her sister were well played without being overdone. Phillip was a perfect gentleman, determined to behave honorably yet frustrated by his love for a woman he could not pursue. Even Cicily, the selfish twin sister, was annoying enough that I didn’t like her but not so much that it took away from the beauty of the book. The interactions between the characters and the effects they had on each other balanced perfectly to create a unifying story of love and friendship.
Edenbrooke’s plot was well developed. The backstory with Cicily was subtly included yet had a powerful effect on Marianne’s life. The conflict between her developing friendship with Phillip and her commitment to her sister created a book-long struggle that Julianne built well. And, of course, the developing romance between Marianne and Phillip was heart-melting. It unfolded slowly as their friendship built and it felt natural, never forced. While the story was simple (as it should be for a book like this), it was filled with delightful twists and turns that kept me turning pages long after I should have gone to bed.
For me, Julianne Donaldson’s greatest talent is her ability to write Regency period books without the style sounding forced. Her words were smooth and did not distract from the story like other Regency authors I’ve read. My favorite part of this book was a scene when Marianne and Phillip sat in the library and talked about travels and books. Marianne got completely caught up in Phillip’s stories and lost herself for hours. The scene was written so well that I, as a reader, got just as caught up in the scene and felt like I was in the room, lost in Phillips words with Marianne. Julianne’s ability to create emotional build-up is masterful.
Edenbrooke makes me happy from page one to the end. If I am ever in need of a deliciously beautiful love story, this is the book I will turn to. There is no better Regency Romance novel than Julianne Donaldson’s Edenbooke. This book is a masterpiece.
-Lindsay Hiller, author of bestselling YA novel REAPER