Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah Ladd is the second book in the “Treasures of Surrey” series, which is published by Thomas Nelson. It was my first novel by this author, and it worked as a stand-alone for me. Seeing as I expected this to be like Jane Austen with a dose of mystery, I am sorry to say that this didn’t measure up to my expectations. Of course, to be fair, who could measure up to Jane Austen?
Isabel Creston has lived at a boarding school since she was seven, which was shortly after her mother died and father left her. Now, she’s twenty, and believes that she doesn’t have any family left, except her half-sister, who is also at the boarding school. Out of the blue, an aunt of Isabel’s pops up and invites Isabel and her sister to come and stay at her house. Upon Isabel’s arrival, she finds that she doesn’t quite fit in socially, plus she has two admirers, which she doesn’t know how to handle. There’s also a supporting plot involving smugglers in a magical forest.
I’m not sure what this story was supposed to be. A romance? A historical novel? A mystery? Suspense? Dawn at Emberwilde seems to try to be a mix of it all, and I’m sorry to that it doesn’t mix together as well as I’d hoped. However, I would still recommend giving it a shot; I loaned it to my friend, and she liked it.
Thank you so much to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.