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.
It is no secret that I am a big fan of a line of books published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and HarperCollins Christian Publishing. They always come with spectacular covers, wonderfully rich storylines, and terrific authors. Although there is always a romantic thread going through each novel, it is only a secondary element. These books have class, enduring plots, and characters that bloom from every page. Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E Ladd is one such book. Although it is the second book in a series, you do not have to read Book One to fully grasp and enjoy this novel.
I loved this novel. It's set in England's Regency period. The story unfolds at a very steady pace, always tantalizing me to read further. Reading was like a discovery of secrets and characters and a very enjoyable experience. There is plenty to laud - a smuggling mystery, a meddling aunto, an enigmatic strong hero, life adversity, and wonderfully evolving secondary characters.