Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson (Blog Tour Review)

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
by Melanie Dobson
Christian Suspense, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
June 16th 2015 by Howard Books


When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.


My Review

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor was so heart-wrenching and yet so beautiful. At the end of the story my thoughts were a little jumbled with the sadness of the lives of these characters and all their wrong choices, mixed with the hope and joy of the way they loved and their decisions to push through or make amends where they could. There was tragedy and heartbreak, which made the healing and precious moments that transpired that much sweeter.

This was a tough story to read. There were things that I didn't like or actions I didn't approve of, which made it difficult to endure in parts. The story was shrouded in mystery and there was a question as to what had happened until almost the very end. I just wanted things to work out and for the characters to be protected and loved. I wanted this family to be healed and whole and it was hard to read what they went through. Even though it was tough, it's what made the story so wonderfully good because it showed how these characters struggled, learned, and grew, and how they changed to let love in, to love with all they had, to protect and cherish. There was forgiveness, truth, love, and romance. There was healing and bringing family and friends together to reconcile the past and to make a better future.

These characters were perfectly flawed and I loved them for it. I loved Heather and her heart. She wanted to know what had happened and those around her finally were willing to give her the truth. I also loved Christopher and even though we only see him briefly in the story, it was enough for me to understand who he was. I loved Heather's daughter and the other characters, including Libby, Maggie, and Walter. They each came alive as their stories were told. I loved how the past and the present came together and the hopeful future the characters had in the end. It was a perfect ending.

I'd recommend Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor to those who enjoy women's fiction, romantic suspense, inspirational romance, and stories full of family and relationships that feel real and heartfelt. It was a beautiful story about life's difficulties and of what can be.

Content: Some context in regards to women becoming pregnant out of wedlock, but would definitely consider this clean.

Source: I would like to thank Howard Books for my complimentary ARC through Litfuse, which did not affect my review in any way.

About the Author

Melanie Dobson

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and “Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana” won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

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