Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Review -- Edenbrooke

Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
My enjoyment rating: 3 of 5 stars
Book source:  Library
Genre: Fiction, Regency Romance
Objectionable material:  None

Summary from book: 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.

This was a predictable regency romance: girl meets boy, boy is a jerk, girl forms bad opinion of boy, boy and girl meet up again on a luxurious estate, verbal repartee begins, feelings for one another take shape, girl and boy have misunderstanding, girl thinks all is lost, boy comes to the rescue, concludes with smoldering kisses, breathlessness, and promises of unyielding love and lots of money on previously mentioned luxurious estate.

There was nothing particularly new in this book. It was cute. It was fun. But nothing special. One thing I missed while reading this book – the writing. Author Julianne Donaldson chose to write this in a very 21 century-type dialogue. There is something to be said for the rich, formal, fussy, even complicated language of traditional regency romances (like Georgette Heyer). It just didn’t “feel” like the 19th century. Could have been any romance, with the exception of carriages and corsets.

A quick, simple, weekend read.


Joanne said...

Totally agree....was expecting more as it looked promising. On the bright side, one of the loveliest covers I've seen recently; too bad the story didn't live up to the artwork!

Corinne said...

Thanks so much for this honest review - I keep hearing such raving things about it but I was hesitant. I may still give it a try but I won't have crazy high expectations :)

Amused said...

The writing can definitely transport you to a certain place in time. Too bad this one didn't do it for you.

Amy said...

While I had a different take-away feeling from this book (I loved of my favorite reads this year), I did have the same thoughts about the missing Regency language. I wondered why Donaldson chose to write it in such a simple, modern style. I know a lot of people who steer clear of the Regency genre because they get bogged down in the language, so perhaps Donaldson was trying to make this time period more accessible to those readers. Too bad for those of us who actually like the witty, long-winded style of Heyer and Austen! (And if that was her intention, was it worth the sacrifice since this type of book probably wouldn't appeal to that type of reader? Maybe not...)

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

What a lovely cover, and the story sounds like it might have potential for me.