Edenbrooke is the first book in the Proper Romance Line, and I'm re-reading it right now (for the fourth or fifth time). Here is my original review from just over five years ago:
What a fabulous book! Julianne Donaldson is definitely an author to keep your eye on. Her debut novel was so entertaining. I literally laughed out loud and cried. My heart even raced a time or two! It was such an enjoyable story.
I love novels with a strong female character who doesn't quite fit in with the time. Marianne longs for the opposite of everything proper ladies desire. She wants to run free in the countryside and twirl if the desire arises, not spend hours visiting stuffy ladies over tea. But, when her grandmother tells her she must become a proper lady in order to receive her inheritance, she decides she will make an effort (since she's certain no man would ever want to marry her).
Phillip was also wonderful. Yes, I doubted him a time or two, but when all was said and done, he was perfect.
The romance is excellent without crossing any lines. I loved Marianne's naivete-it made the small gestures (brushing of hands or a look) mean so much more. There was even some action (duel anyone?).
Donaldson really painted a picture with words. You see this right from the first page when you meet Mr. Whittle. The description of Mr. Whittle's "repulsive" mouth was so detailed it gave me the willies.
Your life probably won't be changed by reading this book. But, it will probably make you smile. And sometimes, don't we just need to smile?
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