Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Title: Edenbrooke
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance

Goodreads rating: 4.38 out of 5.00 (11, 800+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

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 Marianne 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.

Review by Chantelle

Edenbrooke was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It didn't wow me, or leave me pondering the meaning of life, but it did make for an amazing Saturday night in where I was snuggled in bed, caught up in this Jane Austen-like adventure. I'd definitely recommend it.

If you've ever read any Jane Austen, or watched the BBC productions instead (hello Colin Firth), you'll know the plot to this book. Marianne Daventry is a noble, who isn't very wealthy... and who is worryingly very, very single. Unfortunately, she does have the unwanted attentions of Mr. Whittles (Sorry, can we just take a moment to appreciate how hilariously wonderful that name is!) who writes her the most tragically amorous poems. So obviously, when she has the opportunity to escape his affections to join her twin sister, Cecily at Edenbrooke, a country side estate, she takes the chance immediately but on the way, things immediately go wrong. Of course there's an adorable romance as well, cue the arrogant yet chivalrous Sir Philip. *swoons*

The absolute beauty about this book, is that it's like Jane Austen - fluffy romance, English setting, wealthy nobles, the works - but without the difficult language. This book is very easy to read, easily a one-sitter with minimal brain power needed. Just sit back and enjoy the adorable cuteness of horses, and men who still court women. I can't emphasis this enough. I struggled through high school to read classics but here, Julianne Donaldson brings all those beloved 18th century English elements - the dresses, the dances, the polite flirting, the nosy parents, the gossip - into an historical fiction that can be read with the ease of a contemporary. There's something so refreshing and enjoyable nowadays about an innocent romance, where the love interests might eventually hold hands and a prolonged stare would make you gasp and be like, oh yeah, they're totally getting married. It was just so enjoyable! A definite worthwhile read if you're looking for a girly, romantic reprieve from whatever has caught your fancy lately. The very accessible yet still slightly formal language will have you thinking in an English accent, while also giving you major Downton Abbey cravings.

The few problems I had with this book were easily overlooked since I was enjoying myself so much. One of these was the plot, which was terribly predictable at times - mainly because the main character, Marianne, was completely clueless to Philip's attentions which got frustrating because she brings clueless to another level. That girl is thick, but it does give Philip many opportunities to prove his affections (which is a plus).

I enjoyed reading this novel immensely, and will definitely be picking up the sequel, Blackmoore, soon (same style, different characters)! Five stars!

Girly, romantic goodness
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5


  1. This sounds like the perfect book for the mood that I am in. I just watched the movie, The Jane Austen Book Club, and I am in the mood for an Austen-like book.

    1. This would definitely be up your alley! Thanks for dropping by Pamela :)