Another enjoyable release from this author... Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd (Blog Tour Review)

Dawn at Emberwilde (Treasures of Surrey, #2)Dawn at Emberwilde
(Treasures of Surrey #2)
by Sarah E. Ladd
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
May 10th 2016 by Thomas Nelson


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 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 Forest.

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My Review

DAWN AT EMBERWILDE was an enjoyable story with endearing characters, slight suspense, some inspiring moments, and a sweet romance. Ladd's written descriptions and mannerisms of the time period envelops the reader in the setting, while the heroine's story pulls on the reader's heart. A bittersweet, but heartwarming story from beginning to end, with a few twists to keep things interesting. If you've enjoyed Ladd's other books or enjoy reading in this genre, this is worth picking up. 

I loved Isabel's character from the first page. She's a free-spirited, opinionated, hard-working, caring woman who has had to deal with a less-than-fortunate lot in life, but hasn't allowed it to make her bitter or resentful. I loved her curiosity, her open heart, and how she doesn't even realize how beautiful she is. Then there was Mr. Galloway and Mr. Bradford. They are both so different and almost immediately I could tell who was genuine and who was not. I appreciated how the relationships in the story were ever developing and changing, especially due to the circumstances and the various characters' intents. 

I would have liked the ending to have been stretched a little more and for the inspirational elements to be a little stronger (there were a few places that would have been perfect and very natural for a character to have reached out in prayer). I also wold have liked Isabel's uncle to be a little more involved or to have more depth so that the whole situation would have felt stronger. Regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Yes. This author has been consistent in her historical settings, lovable characters, and plots that pull me in. DAWN AT EMBERWILDE was no different.

Content: Clean

Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity, which did not affect my review in any way.

Other Books in the Series

The Curiosity Keeper (Treasures of Surrey, #1)
The Curiosity Keeper
(Treasures of Surrey #1)
by Sarah E. Ladd
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 337 Pages
July 7th 2015 by Thomas Nelson


“It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail’s egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either bless or curse whomever possesses it.”

Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She’s done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop on Blinkett Street. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille has no choice but to accept help from the mysterious stranger who came to her aid.

Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content working as a village apothecary. But when his brother’s death made him heir just as his father’s foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may or may not be the answer to his questions.

Curious circumstance throws them together, and an intricate dance of need and suspicion leads the couple from the seedy backwaters of London to the elite neighborhoods of the wealthy to the lush, green Surrey countryside—all in the pursuit of a blood-red gem that collectors will sacrifice anything to possess.

Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, each will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.

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And coming soon...

A Stranger at Fellsworth (Treasures of Surrey, #3)
A Stranger at Fellsworth
(Treasures of Surrey #3)
by Sarah E. Ladd
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook
May 2017 by Thomas Nelson

About the Author

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

I've really enjoyed the other books I've read from this author, although The Headmistress of Rosemere has been my favorite so far. Have you read any of her other books or this one?

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