MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E Ladd

Dawn at Emberwilde (Treasures of Surrey, #2)
ISBN: 9780718011819
Publisher's 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 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.

MrsK's Review:
In 1817, Isabel Creston had come to a place of peace with her living at Fellsworth. She was in line for a permanent teaching position or at the least a governess position. With both of her parents dead, Isabel and her sister, Lizzie, had no living relatives. She hoped to continue her training at Fellsworth, at least until her sister was of age.

Summoned to the Superintendent's office, she was determined to meet the news with calmness. What she wasn't expecting was the news that her mother's sister had sent a Mr. Bradford as a messenger to escort her and her sister home to Emberwilde Hall. She was not pleased that a letter, a summons, would decide her future, yet she wasn't of the mind to let them know her feelings.

"In a matter of minutes she would come face-to-face with the pieces of her life that had for so long been a mystery.
Whatever her father's reasoning for keeping her aunt a secret,
it could not matter now."

Mr. Bradford is the superintendent of the foundling home in Northrop. The home is located on Emberwilde property and is the project of Mrs. Ellison's focus, of which she is quite proud. The school was "a school that would not turn anyone away." A school that would touch Isabel's heart in more ways than the mere needs of the foundling charges. 

Colin Galloway is over seeing the riddance of trespassers for Mr. Ellison, the master of Emberwilde Hall. If they were smugglers, he would need to uphold the lawfulness in which he was responsible as the magistrate of the Northrup area. With the help of his aunt Lydia, not just the lands are under his supervision. Even the youngest are tended to. Once the newest charge is delivered to the Foundling home, Colin realizes that this little one has found a place in his heart.

Miss Constance Ellison is a cousin, musically inclined, and a romantic. Will she remain a loyal confidant to Isabel? Will she be happy with her mother's arranged marriage? Why would Isabel feel trepidation about either Constance's fiance or Mr. Bradford?

"Beautiful places can be deceptive."

Mrs. Margaret Ellison is a "strong and persuasive woman," one who is use to giving orders. A person who over-sees everyone's life and future. Yet, for Isabel, there are many reasons why her niece is in need of her attention. Will her choice of a husband for Isabel bring a unification that will prove prosperous? Will Heddeston Park have a new owner?

"Let's just say, I will not be underestimating you again..."

Within and around the Victorian settings, you will find yourself entwined with Isabel's journey. Her journey is one of courage, betrayal, and hope of a family. Has Isabel really "come home?"
Enjoy a story that will be one you can't wait to share with others,

Perfectly enjoyable... 
A great read it forward... deserving of a warm cup of tea, a quilt, and a fire!

Meet the Author:
Sarah E. Ladd  "Every word has a melody. Every sentence has a rhythm."This truth has intrigued me since my early years. Even before I fully understood the meaning behind many of the words, I devoured literature and consumed poetry.
Austen, Alcott, Wordsworth: I left no piece of literature untouched, left no author unexamined. I continue to see magic in how a word is transformed by the word next to it and how written thoughts can incite emotion and evoke change.
In addition to a lifetime of writing and exploring fiction, I have more than ten years of strategic marketing and brand management experience, including five years of marketing non-fiction books and three years of marketing the musical arts.

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

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