Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sarah E. Ladd: Dawn at Emberwilde

By Kelly Bridgewater

Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.

For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.

At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.

At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.

Dawn at Emberwilde
From Barnes and Nobles
My Thoughts:

I'm really not a huge fan of Regency novels,  but I really enjoy Sarah E. Ladd's stories. I downloaded her first book, The Heiress of Winterwood when Amazon offered it free for Kindle. Boy, am I glad that I did. I enjoy finding new writers who write in different genres then I typically read it who captive me with their story telling abilities. Ladd is one of them. With her newest release Dawn at Emberwilde, I enjoyed this one too.

The characters of Isabel and Colin gripped my heart from the first page and didn't let go. I sympathize with the character's struggles and pray they seek the resolution they are hunting for. The romance started out as a love triangle, and I, even, had a hard time deciding which guy should Isabel pick, but Ladd made the right choice for her heroine.

As for the plot, I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the aunt's sudden interest in poor Isabel and the rumors surrounding Emberwilde and the dark forest surrounding the home. It captured my attention and kept me spellbound to the story.

Ladd's novel is completely original and the romance was predictable, but the mystery element is unique. Ladd's writing style reminds me a lot of the Charlotte Bronte who wrote stories that feature strong heroines who saved the day with a hint of mystery. I enjoyed reading Jane Eyre in college.

The setting jumps off the page. While the story takes place in a big manor next to a vast forest, Ladd does a good job at describing and placing me into the setting. I wanted to travel through the forest and down the dark road with Isabel, not knowing what was to become of me. I felt the chills as the mystery deepened and Isabel placed herself in harm's way.

A thrilling Regency romance, Sarah E. Ladd's newest story Dawn at Emberwilde invited me to share the journey with Isabel and Colin at a manor and a forest with a sweet romance with a touch of mystery. Ladd reminded me to be careful with who I trust, but always keep my faith in Jesus. He will never let me down.

I hope Sarah keeps writing more novels for me to enjoy. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Julie Klassen or Dawn Crandall. A great read!

I received a complimentary copy of Dawn at Emberwilde from Thomas Nelson publishing and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Dawn at Emberwilde

If you enjoy regency novels, do you like them with a hint of mystery or do you want them completely focused on the romance? Justify your answer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment