Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
March 1, 2012
Shadow Mountain publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction Romance
Source: Audible purchase
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.My Review:
Edenbrooke is a sweet, clean romance set in an Austen-esque setting. Our heroine, Marianne, the second in a set of twin girls, doesn't conform perfectly to high society, and in that she is a fun and interesting character to get to know. She accepts her fate as the second child too easily and is quite oblivious at times, but her fun and carefree spirit is apparent. It's no wonder a boy would fall for her. Phillip was a delight. Though judged too hastily in the beginning by others, I loved getting to know him through Marianne's eyes, but also in spite of Marianne's obliviousness. The bit of mystery surrounding Phillip was intriguing and well timed. And again, I must reiterate, Phillip was a delight. While Phillip and Marianne develop a sweet friendship (which really was adorable), you can't help but root for a sweet romance as well. But there are things going on behind the scenes, and it wouldn't be much of a story without a little well played suspense and obnoxious characters.
Honestly, I enjoyed Edenbrooke quite a lot. But I wish I had not listened to it on audiobook. I hate to be negative, but my initial feelings on the audio narrator were not good. She narrated slowly, over enunciated everything, was excessively breathy, had an disingenuous accent, and a voice for Marianne I would not have chosen. Once I switched listening devices to one I could speed up the narration, I found listening to 1.5 to 2 times speed to be much better and more enjoyable. The voices for the other characters were better. But it was hard to get over my first impression.
Overall, I would recommend Edenbrooke to anyone who likes a clean romance, enchanting characters, and an Austen-esque setting. But I say choose the book, not the audiobook.