Hey all! So, this week’s post is extra fun, because I got to review a book just released this week: Sarah E Ladd’s wonderful Dawn at Emberwilde. This is the second book in the Treasures of Surrey series (you can read my review of the first here), and no less amazing than the first. Before I get into it, though, here’s a little info about the story itself.
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.
Sarah E. Ladd has once again proven that she’s a true talent in the Regency genre. Isabel is an interesting character to read. She’s very much content in life, and has a good heart, but also has a strong personality. She tries hard to fit into her place, but never seems to be able to. Then you have her two love interests, Mr. Bradford and Colin Galloway, both of whom treat her like a true lady with their personal brand of charm. I thoroughly enjoyed the relations between the three characters, especially when Isabel’s aunt and uncle try to get involved. I enjoyed that there are almost three plots interwoven together in this novel: Isabel’s growth as a character, her romance with the gentlemen, and the mysteries surrounding the woods. Although, my favorite part about this book was that it surprised me. As an avid reader I rarely am surprised by stories’ plot twists, but this one certainly came with a few. The book was well written, the settings beautiful, and the suspense and romance so wonderful that I couldn’t put it down. While the second in the series, it’s easily read on its own, and one I would recommend to Regency fans.
In full disclosure, the author was gracious enough to provide me a copy of this book for my honest review. All opinions are my own.