Blog Tour Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

30 Mar

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

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Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

Edenbrook is a Proper Romance novel. A Proper Romance is Shadow Mountain Publishing’s brand of clean, smart, engaging, romantic stories that will never embarrass the reader.

So. Historical Romance. Hopefully you’ve been around the blog enough to know that I LOVE IT LIKE BURNING. The history, the fancy, oh-so-proper parties, the flirting, the drama, the dressing up for dinner, and the slow-burning romance–it’s like catnip to me. EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson is just one of these historical romances, friends, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

I suppose, though, that I should start with a quick confession of sorts: Usually, the historical romances I read–and love unashamedly–feature some hot, hardcore sexytimes. I enjoy those parts very much, especially because when the story as a whole is told well and is fleshed out, the sex is really just a part of the bigger picture, as opposed to the story merely being a vehicle for the sex. EDENBROOKE is a different kind of historical romance because the romance and the sexual tension here are not explicitly sex-driven. Truth? I wondered before I started reading Julianne Donaldson’s book if I would MISS the sexytimes. More truth? I DIDN’T MISS IT AT ALL. The romance between Philip and Marianne is plenty tense, hot, romantic, fraught, and delicious. The LONGING is PALPABLE, guys. Like, it’s a real, huge thing throughout the whole book, but ESPECIALLY in this HOT BANANAS scene involving a love letter. I KNOW, RIGHT?! *fans self*

In fact, there isn’t really much about EDENBROOKE that I DIDN’T like. I could hardly put it down long enough to sleep, and of course, the thing that makes this story so endlessly satisfying is the two main characters, Phillip and Marianne. One of my favorite things to see in a solid, well-founded, deep relationship is good conversation. And I’m not just talking about trust and being comfortable talking about things that you usually keep to yourself, although Phillip and Marianne have that for sure. I’m also talking about the BANTER. The flirty, witty back and forth that comes from affection and ease and enjoying someone’s company. The way Julianne Donaldson has drawn the main relationship in EDENBROOKE is really impressive in its complexity, depth, and TINGLY-NESS. It’s LEGIT. 

The rest of the characters are nothing to sneeze at, either. Although I will say that Marianne and her sister, Cecily, have an interesting relationship based on Cecily’s dominance and expectation of always getting her way. In truth, it bothered me that Marianne let her sister’s wants and needs override so many of her own. For a while at least. But one of the great things about the characters in EDENBROOKE is that even though Cecily was a touch unlikable at times, I never disliked her. She was just a very real  character because she wasn’t perfect. All of the other characters were the same–real and well-rounded. 

Guys, Julianne Donaldson has written a jem of a romance. It has all of the qualities that I look for in my favorite historical romances, and I’m not forgetting about the sex because TRUST, EDENBROOKE brings the hotness in other ways, and the characters, the setting, and the relationships all shine through. I wasn’t kidding when I said I couldn’t think of really anything I didn’t like about EDENBROOKE, and I can’t wait to read more from Julianne Donaldson! If you’re a fan of historical romances, you really shouldn’t miss this one, friends. 

Head on over to the NEXT date on this tour over at Radiant Reads!

Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children. Edenbrooke is her first novel.


3 Responses to “Blog Tour Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson”

  1. Heidi March 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Consider this officially ON MY RADAR! See, I’ll admit it, I’m a prude. I’ve recently realized that I love romance very much, but the sexytimes? Yeah I’m one of those people who gets totally embarrassed reading them and totally gets hot and bothered by the furtive glances and stolen kisses and really needs nothing more than that. Consequently, I’m thinking this is pretty much the perfect book for me! I’ll hopefully be reading it soon.

    • trippingbooks March 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Umm, YES. ENTER MY CONTEST!! You’d be the only person entered, lol. This book was STEAMY without being explicit (there’s only one kiss, but it’s a BIGGIE near the end). But the FEELINGS are HOT. Totally your kind of book 🙂


  1. Peace Out, 2012: End of Year Book Survey « - December 28, 2012

    […] Historical Romance: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson […]

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