Book Review: Dawn at Emberwilde

July 19, 2016

Dawn at Emberwilde
Sarah E. Ladd
348 pages
Kindle edition

From the Publisher:

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.


I am a huge Sarah E. Ladd fan! I found her books a few years ago and have since read all of them.  They are the perfect mixture of historical fiction and romance.  The romance isn’t over the top, and it is clean too.

Dawn at Emberwilde is the second book in her “Treasures of Surrey” series, but I read the first book in the series so long ago I honestly don’t remember that much about it. I am sure that some of the characters overlapped, but I think Dawn at Emberwilde did well as a stand alone book too.

I loved the characters, I thought that Isabel was strong and independent and I loved the addition of Lizzie in the story too.  She was a fun character to add.  I felt that there were a couple parts of the plot that seemed a bit predictable in this book, but I still enjoyed them and it wasn’t so overly obvious that it bothered me.

There was a small mystery involved in this book too – which I always enjoy a little bit of too.  I thought it was a great addition to the plot and made it more of a substantial story than just a fun romance.

If you enjoy clean historical fiction and haven’t read Sarah E. Ladd’s books before I highly recommend them.  Other read a likes authors are: Elizabeth Camden, Sarah M. Eden, or Julie Klassen.

Final Score:

5 stars

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