Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Mysterious Forest - Suspicious Activity...

Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

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.

The book started out kind of slow for me, but as I got to know the characters and the plot began to take place, it picked up speed and I became more interested in what was going on. 

Isabel lost both her parents and after spending years in a girls school, was forced to move to Emberwilde to live with her estranged aunt and uncle, of whom she has no recollection. Emberwilde is dark and mysterious, full of mystery and superstitions, including legends that encompass even Isabel's mother.  Isabel and her half-sister Lizzie have mixed emotions about being thrown into this new situation and even more so when they discover things are not as they seem at the estate. As two men vie for her heart and
attentions, Isabel is exposed to danger and adventure. In a day and age when marriages were arranged based on status, Isabel's ideal of marrying for love, may not happen. With conflicting ideas being thrown at her, discerning the right man for her affections may not prove simple.

I enjoyed the character of Colin, the magistrate, the most. He seemed to be the most honest, true to self person in the story. I also enjoyed the play out of his relationship with Isabel as they got to know each other and began learning to trust despite the opposing forces. The villain was predictable as was most of the plot, but that did not take away from the gratification in reading the story. Several of the characters could grate a bit on the nerves, but of course that compels you to continue reading.

Sarah is a new author for me. I would certainly read her again, given the chance. 

This book was provided to me by Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to review it positively or otherwise compensated for my opinion.

Book Synopsis:
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 role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

The unexpected arrival of a 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 rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. 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.

This book is available for purchase on Amazon

About the Author:

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. Sarah has enjoyed a lifetime of writing and exploring fiction. And loved to read at a young age, even when she did not completely understand what she read. 

She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience including both non-fiction books and musical arts.

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