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review 2017-08-11 19:19
Book Review: Edenbrooke
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson

Book: Edenbrooke


Author: Julianne Donaldson


Genre: Fiction/Historical Romance


Summary: 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 reign 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. - Shadow Mountain, 2012.

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review 2016-01-04 02:48
Clean romance
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson

A charming romantic story, set in Regency England, this novel has a banner ‘Proper Romance’. I guess it means romance without sex, which is what it was, and the lack of sex scenes actually enhanced the tale for me.

The heroine Marianne is young, naive, and very proper. The hero Philip is charismatic and masculine, a rescuing knight to the heroine’s damsel in distress. Both are vulnerable, while the bad guy is suitably evil. Of course, there is a misunderstanding between our lovebirds, and each is unsure of the other’s affection, but in the end, love triumphs and villainy is punished.

It sounds banal, and it is, in a way, but the banality of the protagonists, both sweet and flawless and utterly lovable, is overset by the high quality of writing. Both Marianne and Philip seem alive. I knew the story was mawkish and still I sympathized with its characters. I wanted them to trust their hearts. I cheered for them. What more does one need for a love story?    

The novel reminded me of Georgette Heyer’s stories. It has similar subtle humor and delightful lightness, although the plotline is much less original than most Heyer’s novels. No serious themes were discussed in the book and no social issues intruded, but sometimes, it feels restful and enjoyable to read without thinking.

Some readers might find this book sentimental, with the level of mushiness higher than good taste dictates, but maybe it is not so bad either. With the density of dark and gritty in modern fiction, a dash of fluffy melodrama is more than welcome.

A couple things bothered me about this book. One – playing fast and loose with historical accuracy. The action takes place in 1816, and the hero, Philip mentions his Grand Tour of Europe once or twice in the narrative. I don’t remember his exact age, but I think he is somewhere in his twenties. The Grand Tours custom stopped during Napoleonic wars, which according to wikipedia started in 1803, but the military actions rocked Europe years before that, and the traveling would’ve been unsafe throughout 1790s. Napoleon was banished to St Helena in 1815, the year of Waterloo. So when did Philip go to his Grand Tour, and how old was he then? Something doesn’t entirely add up there.

The other thing I disliked about this book – I mean disliked so much I feel compelled to mention it in a review – is its cover. It doesn’t invoke the sense of romance at all. When you look at it, you see a dull piece of historical fiction or maybe non-fiction. And the woman on the cover wears a modern dress. There is nothing there to suggest Regency at all. In fact, the cover is so vapid, I had to force myself to open the book. I’m glad I did.

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text 2014-04-28 04:33
Wonderful Historical Romances with Letters
Marrying The Royal Marine - Carla Kelly
Brave in Heart - Emma Barry
Texas Destiny - Lorraine Heath
Letter From a Rake: Destiny Romance - Sasha Cottman
Love in the Afternoon - Lisa Kleypas
Edith and the Mysterious Stranger - Linda Weaver Clarke
Till Next We Meet - Karen Ranney
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson
My Sweet Folly - Laura Kinsale
The Nomad Harp - Laura Matthews

Now for the second part of the love letters in Romance list!


In the Historical Romance, the vellum really flows! Many different paths for the letter, journal, or note to help with cupid's arrow and cause mischief.  


Here are some of my favorites in no particular order!


1. Marrying the Royal Marine by Carla Kelly

2. The Substitute Bridegroom by Charlotte Louise Dolan

3. Texas Destiny by  Lorraine Heath

4. To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn

5. Love In The Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

6. Till Next We Meet by Karen Ranney

7. The Lord Next Door by Gayle Callen

8. My Sweet Folly by Laura Kinsale

9. Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros

10. Scandal by  Amanda Quick


During my research I found a treasure trove of Historical Romances with this theme that I added to my Tumbling To Be Read Pile! 


1. Brave in Heart by Emma Barry

2. Season for Surrender  by Theresa Romain

3. Letter From a Rake by Sasha Cottman 

4. The Lady and the Laird by Nicola Cornick

5. Edith and the Mysterious Stranger by Linda Weaver Clarke

6. Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance by Julianne  Donaldson

7. Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot

8. The Nomad Harp by Laura Matthews 

9. A Deal With the Devil by Liz Carlyle

10. Last Night's Scandal by Lorretta Chase


Let me know if I missed your favorite! 


If you you like to see even more Romances from all the subgernes with written communication as a conduit for love, go to my Pinterest Board: Love Letters: Texts, Notes, Emails, Journals, Letters in Romance. 


If you missed the first list, here it is: Love Letters, Seductive Texts, Sexy Notes, and Romantic Emails in Contemporary Romance. 

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text 2013-10-04 15:34
Day 02 of 30 Day Book Challenge
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson

Day 02 - A book that you've read more than 3 times



I'm the type of person who loves a book, I'll be reading it over and over again and never be sick of it. Ever. So my shelves are litter with books I've read more then 50+ times. 

    That being said I think I'll pick the most recent book I've been re-reading alot of late.

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson became one of those books that just stuck with me long after I read it. In it's simplicity it had such a complex of emotions and depth of character I devour the story very quickly. It also showed what an amazing author Julianne is as the story happen to be in 1 person POV. I'm not big on the view, feeling that I'm missing out on something. Only great author can pull it off and Donaldson does ten-fold. Your able to feel and understand each character and no one better then the dreamy Philip. Through Marianne's eyes you as the reader are able to feel every emotion and fall in love also with Philip.


   The story was one of the sweetest I've ever read by the end of this book I wasn't fooled that it was complete fluff but pure solid gold. 





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review 2013-09-30 00:00
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson Edenbrooke was just what I needed; a quick, light, clean romantic read. It was quite predictable and one of the characters was completely clueless, but it was so much fun.
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