Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

Title:  Dawn at Emberwilde
Series: Treasures of Surrey, Book 2
Author:  Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction
Release Date:  May 10, 2016
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction / Mystery

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.

Regency with a bit of Gothic flare, Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd will satisfy any Bronte fan with sweet romance and a mystery within the walls of an historical home and woods that emits suspense.  Then for the Jane Austen fans, don't despair, because some lovely dialogues are reminiscent of Ms. Austen's works, with disarming directness and elegance (specifically love the words from Colin on page 322 - sorry, can't share it since it's more or less a spoiler)
A plot that’s engaging from the very first page as we meet our orphaned heroine, Isabel. Follow her through the changes in her life in the grounds of Emberwilde, and come across the mystery behind the dangers that lurk in the Black Wood Forest.  As we read through Dawn at Emberwilde, we are faced with the questions of perception. How people and situations are not always who and what they seem? And then, how do you go about your own life, and in what ways can you protect yourself and your love ones against these false personas? 
"...with each dawn seek guidance, and with each night give gratitude. For there is a divine plan for each of our lives, and a journey..." (58)

An intriguing novel that's fun to read, as I'm caught up in Isabel and Colin's lives. Though there are points in the story that was a bit rushed and convoluted, the plot itself and the characters will keep you entertained, and wishing to revisit them right after you turn the last page.  

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity Tours for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

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