Friday, June 10, 2016
Dawn of Emberwilde
Who hasn't always dreamed that somewhere in our ancestral family tree sits a wealthy family member just waiting to help us with whatever life is handing out at the moment? Isabel Creston had believed when her father died, she was left alone with her half sister Elizabeth to spend her time at Fellsworth School waiting for the opportunity to work as a teacher or governess for some well-to-do family to hire her. She never dreamed that one day all that would change when Mr. Bradford is sent to retrieve her and Elizabeth from the school to live with her Aunt Margaret and Uncle Charles Ellison in Emberwilde.
Excitement and also a sense of loss accompany the girls as they arrive at the provincial estate surrounded by heavy forests. She hopes this will be the beginning of a whole new future for the two until she overhears her Aunt and Uncle arguing over who might be the best suitor for Isabel as they are dealing with financial ruin and hope that a smart match to the right man might alleviate any more strain on their debts. Rumors abound among the household staff that the Emberwilde forests are haunted with ghosts and one that apparently claimed the life of her mother as she will soon discover.
She is interested in two very different and handsome men. Mr. Bradford who was kind enough to make sure that Isabel and Elizabeth were not rushed into packing too soon before arriving at the new home, and is also in charge of running the Foundling House, which cares for orphans in helping them plan for a new future. Colin Galloway is the town's magistrate and has been hired to look into recent attempts at possible smuggling that might be going on in Emberwilde Forest, land that the Ellison family owns. How will she make the right choice when so many are pressuring to make a decision and both her Aunt and Uncle want her to pick very different men?
I received Dawn of Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of the novel in exchange for my personal and unbiased opinion. This is the second novel in the Treasures of Surrey series, and it makes me want to go back and read The Curiosity Keeper again to see where the tie in lies. It has been far too long between novels to remember, but it seems that perhaps they are simply very different stories in the same area involving different families. With that being said, you don't have to read the first novel to get a sense for what is happening here. I really love this one because it feels as if there is a blend of traditional regency mixed with a bit of fairy tale like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. You have Isabel which is removed from what she is used to and envisions a much different life than what she gets. Everything changes for her in one instant when she receives a letter announcing she suddenly has family again. For sure, it would be both exciting and a bit fearful to leave everything you've ever know behind as you hope for a different future for your life. I would rate this one a 4. 5 out of 5 stars and Discussion Questions and a peak at The Curiosity Keeper is included at the conclusion of this novel.
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