This is the second book I’ve read by Sarah E. Ladd and once again I come away amazed at her ability to grip my heart with another captivating story. I could have read the book in one day if it hadn’t gotten so late. I hated putting down the story to go to sleep and eagerly finished it the next day. I don’t usually read books that fast, but this one really gripped me.
I love how Regency novels sweep you away to another place and time. The settings in this book were so vivid and charming – the English countryside, the grand estates, the mysterious Emberwilde forest. I was drawn in to the details and beautiful descriptions, but it was the characters – especially Isabel and one very endearing man – who stole the show (and my heart) completely. 😉
I loved getting to know this heroine and felt like we were friends by the end of the book. I admired her strength of character, her honesty, and her sweet temperament. And what can I say about the hero? I love seeing a man who always comes to his lady’s rescue. And this guy is truly her perfect match.
One of the things I appreciate about this author’s books is that the characters are always very real. They have their flaws and their strengths. Throw in a subtle thread of romance and a wonderful measure of mystery and you’ll soon see why I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. 😉 This is second in a series, but it makes a great stand-alone too.
And can I just say how beautiful the cover is! It fit perfectly with the story. Dawn at Emberwilde is another book for my keeper shelf. It will win many readers’ hearts with its subtle combination of romance and intrigue.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author, NetGalley, and Thomas Nelson & Zondervan’s Fiction Guild for my copy.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.
For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady yet unexciting role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would provide her a steady environment to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.
The unexpected arrival of a striking stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.
At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with mysterious rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. And perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.
At Emberwilde, Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.
Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. She lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever. For more, visit her at http://www.sarahladd.com/.