by Julianne Donaldson
Plot Summary: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 she 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.
Expectations:This book was highly recommended by Picture Me Reading (check out her blog for her illustrated book review!) for the romance, and it looked like something in a similar vein to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, so I was looking forward to chivalrous gentlemen and courtly love.
Review:This is a perfect getaway read! A spirited, unconventional heroine and the perfectly swoon-worthy gentleman and a mountain of misunderstandings and restraining etiquette keeping them apart - what is there not to love? It was a joy to read this exuberant and delightful evolving romance all the way to its sigh-inducing and flawless conclusion. It just makes one want to sob at the unattainable, tender sentimentality of a Regency romance. It's all smoldering eyes, and a charged brush of the hands, and words unspoken. This book is a perfect example of everything one could want from Regency romances! Marianne is naive, but strong-willed and intelligent, and determined to marry for love or not marry at all. Her quirks are endearing and her inability to see how much Philip is in love with her maddening! Philip is "too handsome" and "too charming" and flirty and teasing in the approved heart-melting fashion. My new book boyfriend? Yes.
There is a touch of danger and intrigue in the beginning and near the end of the book that adds some suspense and daring scenes and lets Marianne take control in a way that made me want to stand up and applaud. I loved getting lost in the world of this book, and highly recommend it for the romantics at heart!