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Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson (a negative-ish review of the book everyone else adores)

by Kellyn Roth |
March 28, 2016

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

A Proper Romance

12820360Marianne 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.

{Summary thanks to Goodreads}

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson is a sweet, engaging romance. I got it from the library at about 4 one afternoon, began reading it about an hour after that, and finished it at 10 the next morning. I couldn’t put it down.

I loved it … but it had quite a few faults … quite a few loose-ends never tied up. As always, good books are gone to waste because they seemed to be published before their time, when the writer has yet to give it the completeness it deserves.


There were horses! How could I not love it?
And we got it from the point of view of a completely clueless heroine. If I wasn’t so amused (or rather, bemused) by her, her lack of understanding would have ruined the book for me.
Why can’t they all be Abigail Foster from The Secret of Pembrooke Park? *sighs*
But … well … there’s nothing wrong with a predictable book … and I loved this plot. 🙂
And then I didn’t predict the last plot twist, as always. So Edenbrooke redeemed itself. 😉



Ok, Julianne Donaldson … you didn’t need her to be named Marianne. We knew that she was a Marianne from page one on! 😉
A silly, innocent, naïve, ridiculous, a little bit crazy young girl who is totally clueless about everything around her.
A few things:
What is the deal with Marianne’s twirling? Why does she want to twirl so badly? I suppose it’s just a cute way of expressing happiness … but still … twirling? Ok … *is puzzled*
And WHY can’t Marianne sing? Simply because she’s a bad singer? But it was never made clear if she was or wasn’t. Or is she just shy? There is an allusion to an embarrassing incident involving her singing that happened a couple years ago … that was never explained.
For a girl who’s trying to conceal her emotions, Marianne is a mess! I never saw one instance where she was actually controlling her gushy feelings!
And Marianne can’t seem to see how awesome Philip is for the longest time, and even when she does realize his perfection, she keeps doubting his friendship. And she’s clueless about his love for her! Everyone can see it BUT Marianne. Even her fellow book characters can see it! Sure, she was sheltered, but does that excuse this level of cluelessness? So blind!
So silly and clueless!
But I liked her anyway. I like silly people in books. They amuse me. And we all need someone to scream at now and then … you know, affectionately.

Affectionate screaming???

*swoons to the floor* Ah, Philip! Thou hast achieved perfection!
Seriously. This is the perfect man!
Sweet, romantic, but witty and intelligent and, as if that weren’t enough, he loves horses. *dies* I would marry Philip in a flash!
Unlike Marianne, who just can’t seem to see his awesomeness! :”(
Anyway, he was one of the best characters ever!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The other characters were either rakes, flirts, queer, or manipulative. Except Rachel, who got way too little screen (er, page) time. And maybe Lady Caroline. Lady Caroline was nice.


I really want to go to Edenbrooke. It sounds like a wonderful place! 😀
I’ve been reading a lot of regency romance recently, so I was kind of already in that world before I started reading … but there weren’t too many historical details, and there were a couple faults.



Clean. I can’t remember any sexual comment or swearing. There was a little violence (a swordfight, I believe), but nothing gory or even bloody. I think it’s a safe read for teens. 🙂



3/5 stars

I enjoyed it. It was a lovely book. But there were too many problems for it to make four stars, let alone five. 🙂
~Kellyn Roth

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 five children.
Her Website // Her Goodreads

p.s. I just realized that this is my 100th post on Reveries! Yay!!! 😀

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13 Responses

  1. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I think I’ve told you that already, though.
    The thing that makes me love it so much is the level of emotion that it brought me. I remember laughing out loud at one point, and I cried once. And that may seem like much, but out of all the novels I’ve read, only two or three tops have made me cry. This was one of them, and so…I love it.
    So, maybe it’s just looking back through rose-colored glasses because of that, but I ended up loving the plot, and loving Marianne despite her naivety. She was funny, and…twirling is actually a lot of fun. 🙂
    Anyway, long rambly comment is over now, hehe.

      1. Whoa…that first smiley face looks really big on my notifications thing…
        Anyway, yes, some characters need to be lovingly screamed at. Actually, I lovingly glare at my characters a lot…

          1. Hehe, my characters mostly ignore my glaring too, but they still seem a bit guilty when I do it, so that’s something at least.

  2. Man, I think I would like Marianne! She kinda sounds like me–silly, clueless, lill crazy, ridiculous….sounds like u too! Lol jk! 😉

  3. Maybe…of course, I don’t get your awsomeness and people tell me that’s pretty obvious…so maybe I wouldn’t have😏😁 (jk jk jk!!;)
    Your prolly right,I’m quick to acknowledge awesomeness in guys lol!😁

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