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 fines 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. Summary from Back Cover
I had heard so much good about Edenbrooke from several friends and bloggers that I had to snatch it from the library and discover the story for myself. I’m so glad I did because I absolutely adored this book and now I want it on my own shelf!
Edenbrooke is actually the first book in a very long time that I stayed up past midnight reading. (Too bad I didn’t finish it and too bad I didn’t start it before Friday so I could use it as my Follow Friday answer.) Even though I didn’t finish Edenbrooke before I went to bed, I had to get as far as I could before my eyes wouldn’t allow me to get any farther. And, then when I did go to bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about the story. I was so excited to start reading it again today to find out what would happen.
It reminded me of how much I love romances–the tension between the two characters in love, the chase and anticipation, non-love triangle romances, the gentleman caller, and especially the first kiss. I definitely want to read more books like this in the future.
Many readers will try to compare Edenbrooke to Pride and Prejudice as Pride and Prejudice is the regency era romance that all regency era romances are compared to. While I did enjoy Pride and Prejudice more than Edenbrooke because of its classic nature and more genuine regency feel, these two books aren’t the same story. In fact, Edenbrooke didn’t even try to be the same story. And, one thing I love about Edenbrooke more than Pride and Prejudice is its easy-to-read nature. I’m so glad Donaldson didn’t write Edenbrooke with the language of the time, other than in small amounts in the dialogue. (And, I’m even happier that she allowed kissing.)
The only thing I didn’t like about Edenbrooke was found in the first chapter. Marianne’s unwanted suitor exclaims, “Oh, what a glorious morning, oh, what a glorious day, oh what a glorious lady that I met on my way!” I’m going to let my snobby copyediting tendencies come into light and mention that this bugged me because lines in poetry or verse should be separated by a forward slash (aka a solidus or a virgule) not a comma when written in paragraph layout. But, more importantly, this is too much like the lyrics from a song in Oklahoma: “Oh, what a beautiful Mornin’ / Oh, what a beautiful day. / I’ve got a beautiful feelin’ / Everything’s goin’ my way.” It’s even in the same meter! I just couldn’t (and still can’t) get this song out of my head and it irritates me to no end.
Even with its one flaw, Edenbrooke was a fun read and wormed its way into my heart. I’ll definitely be reading it over and over again. In fact, I loved the last chapter and a half so much, I’ve reread it at least five times!