"His gaze grew into something I had never seen before. More than warm, different than serious-it was intimate, gentle, and significant. Nobody had ever looked at me like that before."
After battling boredom and an unwanted suitor for over a year, Marianne Daventry longs to leave Bath and return to her home in the country. An unexpected invitation to join her twin sister, Cecily, at Edenbrooke brings her the escape she has desperately longed for. Her grandmother approves of the visit, but with a contingency of her own: Marianne must learn how to act like a proper young lady or lose her inheritance.
thoughts & feelings
You know that feeling of comfort that you get from snuggling up in a blanket? That's what Edenbrooke is for me. Each time I open this book a sense of comfort sweeps over me. I fell in love with Marianne's story the first time I read it, back in 2012, and have loved it more each time I have revisited it.
One of the reasons I love Edenbrooke is because I relate to Marianne in many ways. My cousin and I joke that she is my book "spirit animal." If I were swept back in time to England in 1816 I have no doubt that I would act exactly like her. When in the public eye Marianne acts the part of a lady very well. However, she is secretly witty and does not back down from a challenge. I loved seeing her wit come out when speaking with her grandmother and Philip. These conversations still make me smile and giggle. Especially when she sings about milking cows!
I also love the relationship building, specifically the love story. Marianne has been away from her family and home for over a year and longs for someone to talk and laugh with. She is also quite young, has never had a season or been to London, and has never been in love. I love that her love interest (won't spoil it for you) is first a friend and that she slowly falls in love without realizing it. I honestly believe that this is truly how love works. You go from being strangers, to friends, to thinking "maybe??," and before you know it you are head over heels in love. Julianne Donaldson has done a wonderful job creating a genuine love story while throwing in twists and turns. I love the plot surprises and am still discovering new "hints" each time I read it.
Now, a word about the prequel novelette Heir to Edenbrooke. This novelette was originally released as only an e-book in 2015. Since it was written after Edenbrooke I recommend reading it second. Sounds kind of strange I know but hear me out. If you read Heir to Edenbrooke first a MAJOR plot twist is spoiled for you. If that's not enough to convince you, in the Collector's Edition of Edenbrooke the prequel comes after the full story. I feel like that validates my suggestion quite a bit. However you chose to read I have no doubt that you will fall in love with this story and will visit it over and over again.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Trigger Warnings: none
Series: there is a short prequel called Heir of Edenbrooke
Author: Julianne Donaldson