From the moment I began this story I couldn’t bear to put it down for long! Being a great fan of regency novels I was eager to begin Dawn at Emberwilde and to see what author Sarah E. Ladd had to offer- I’ve been looking at her books for a while now and I wanted to know if the insides were as lovely as all the covers! I was not disappointed!
This book follows Isobel Creston, an aspiring schoolteacher who has some up through the ranks in the small girl’s school she and her half-sister Lizzy have found home for many years. Orphaned, Isobel’s main hope and dream is to make a safe and comfortable life for herself and her sister. But their entire lives are turned upside down when relatives magically appear to claim them and invite them to live in their family estate.
Everything is not as it seems at Emberwilde however, the great forest that surrounds the estate is said to be haunted, her cousin is cordial but hiding something and her aunt clearly has her reasons for bringing them there but Isobel can’t figure out why- or get her aunt to answer questions about Isobel’s mother and why she left the family. To complicate matters two gentleman of the county seem to have a growing interest in her- and as Isobel faces the pressures of her aunt to marry and marry quickly- when all she really wants to do is protect her sister from the trappings of the lavish lifestyle that she is quickly becoming used to- and figure out why God has brought them to this place!
All throughout the book I found Isobel a sensible and likeable character that in a gentle way put God and her morals at the forefront of her life. Isobel was not in any way stuffy or un-relatable, she is pictured from the first as someone with a great whimsy and love of nature, someone who was kind and sought the best for those around her.
Lest anyone think that this book is all romance and naught else- never fear! There is a great mystery lurking under the cover of darkness in Emberwilde Forest and Collin Ellison, the local magistrate is keen to get to the bottom of it- his only problem is he keeps running into a certain attractive young lady that has recently arrived on the estate! I liked Collin a great deal and really took a shine to his manner and thinking, and his presence was a welcome addition to any scene!
Overall I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it! I made a great read in between work over the course of a week and I looked forward to that time I could pick it up and enjoy it. I will look forward to enjoying more of Sarah Ladd’s work in the future too!
Final Rating: 4
I have been given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.