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'Edenbrooke': a romance novel with more than a 'happily ever after'

staff writer

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014 00:01

Yep, it’s another romance. Are you surprised? It’s me, the hopeless romantic, but this has to be one of the best romance novels yet: “Edenbrooke” by Julianne Donaldson. Remember it.


Donaldson is a brand-new Utah author. “Edenbrooke” is her well-done first novel that came out in March 2012. She integrates everything you could possibly want from a Regency romance: an unwanted suitor, matchmaking, danger, a misunderstanding, a young girl struggling with trials, a very handsome main character, a large inheritance and a beautiful estate. On top of that, Donaldson integrates some great wit and humor.


Did I mention a very handsome love interest?


The best part, though, is how she wraps everything up at the end. Most Regency romance novels I read end with the declaration of love. As soon as the miscommunication or the misunderstanding is cleared, the man or the woman finally realizes they love the other, or each other, and everything ends — usually with me sighing or squealing. But not Donaldson.


To be honest, I was expecting to turn the page and see the acknowledgements. Authors are so cruel when they get you into their story and all of a sudden, you turn the page and it’s over. You’re sure your copy is defective and there is a copy out there with the rest of the story; so you can imagine my surprise when, after Philip read Marianne’s confession of love and “thoroughly kissed” her, I turned the page to discover another chapter of delicious story.


Yes, I just said delicious story. Moving on.


Donaldson reserves her last chapter to discuss wedding plans and to reveal what life is like after such a declaration of love. The book ends with our heroine and hero finally off to have that game of chess they’ve meaning to play throughout the whole book.




A high school classmate and teacher referred me to the book. That classmate told me it was all she could think about after reading it. Working at Great Harvest Bread Company was hard for her because her mind was on the book. Now, I can relate. All I can think about is how different it is. Finally, the main character isn’t in some faraway place like London. Finally, she’s relatable to me. She does some embarrassing things, and of course, she finds someone who thought her embarrassing acts were endearing.


The main character Marianne could, in fact, be relatable to everyone. She struggles with the death of her mother, the absence of her father and comparing herself to her outgoing, beautiful twin sister. She struggles with not having the accomplishments society expects of her. Her weakness of believing rumors is something not unheard of today. She jumps to conclusions.

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