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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.
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The characters in this story were pretty unbelievable. First off, I find it hard to believe that a thirty something guy who has a loving relationship with his family decides that he has to run away because his mama has invited a marriageable female to the family home. All he needed to do was smile and be polite and absent himself for the majority of her visit. But this fellow who has acquired plenty of worldly experience, instead, spends lots of time with her and falls in love with a very unsophisticated teenager whose biggest claim to fame is a love of twirling. Twirling? Seriously? The story moved ahead at way too fast a pace for the time period.
I have a bone to pick with the writer over carriage sickness and twirling. How fast would a carriage of that time period travel? Maybe 10 miles an hour? At the most? As a person who suffers from motion sickness, I have to tell you that a person who would throw up while traveling at such a slow pace would never indulge in twirling.
One of the things that I found very jarring was the emotions of the characters. People would be annoye/irritated/angry for no explainable reason.
Another thing that annoys me is when a character says or does something ando our heroine misunderstands/misconstrues/ jumps to a wrong conclusion with no evidence. Why can't they just communicate right on the spot and clear the air? This is the basis of 99 percent of th lousy sitcoms on TV and I hate reading it in a book. One of the minor characters made a reference to something that gentlemen do that is perhaps immoral and our innocent country miss assumes that the gentlemen are absenting themselves to go spend the weekend with loose women. Later on our heroine finds out that it was horse racing. Personally, I think that this bit was included just to make the book longer.
I forced myself to read the whole thing so that I would have plenty of ammunition when I reviewed it.
It's labeled as a "proper romance", because there aren't any graphic love scenes, but the behaviour of the hero and heroine is deeply improper from the moment they first meet. As the heroine is an inexperienced young girl from the country, her ignorance and foolishness might be explained away, but the so-called "gentleman" hero should know better than to encourage the girl to call him by her first name, flirt inappropriately with her in private and in front of his family.
The first half is full of badly done exposition, the author overuses adjectives, and in pretty much every scene, all the characters seem to feel an excess of emotions from joy to anger to despair, if the descriptions of their feelings and facial expressions is to be believed. The book is wildly melodramatic, and might have been better if it was written in 3rd person - but sadly, it's not.
Then there's the plot, highwaymen, falling into rivers, inappropriate flirting and banter, the heroine taking a nap outside on a hill with the hero watching and subsequently saying that she snores like "a big, fat man" (all so very "proper"), dreadfully characterized supporting characters, kidnappings, random duels - it may sound exciting, but most of the time, it's just dull, and there's a limit to how far I can suspend my disbelief.
I fully understand that readers may be looking for clean, chaste Regency romances - but do yourselves a favour and read a Georgette Heyer novel instead. This is simply a very poor excuse for a novel, pretty cover notwithstanding.
The plot is fairly simple. Marianne Daventry's mother died 14 months ago, and she has been living in Bath every since with her grandmother. When her twin sister, Cecily, invites her to a summer at a country estate called Edenbrooke, she jumps at the chance. Marianne becomes fast friends with her host, handsome and dashing Phillip, who is by far the best character in the story. For as the author describes him, he is sure to be every reader's perfect man.
I guess my biggest issue with the novel was the fairly formulaic plot. This novel has several of the most typical Regency era plot devices: there is a free-spirit-type girl trying to learn how to conform to society's expectations of elegant ladies, a chance encounter at an inn, an accidental fall in a river (witnessed by the hero, to the heroine's mortification), a heroine who desires to learn how to fence and finds embroidery dull, and a last-minute rescue by the hero of the story to cap everything off. Thankfully, if you can make it through the first half of the book, most of these cringe-worthy moments disappear. You will still be faced with stiff and unrealistic dialogue ("Did you just stomp your foot?") and a weak and embarrassing 1st person narrative voice (My face grew hot even as his smile grew. He only said that about my supposed beauty to make me blush), but this is still worth the read. It is a light and easy read, but there's nothing wrong with that every once in a while.
Most recent customer reviews
Donaldson is a new author to me, and I was anything but disappointed. She evoked so much emotion from me as I read.Read more