What a very enjoyable and beautiful story this was! I found it interesting to watch as Isabel and her younger sister, Lizzie, were thrust into a lifestyle unlike any they had ever experienced. The author did a good job of showing the benefits, as well as the burdens that this brought for both young women.
I thought that the developing romantic feelings between the main characters was very nicely done, in spite of an interfering aunt and a pushy suitor. The mysterious and dangerous forest added for plenty of tense situations and I enjoyed watching as Colin and his friends tried to determine who was behind the criminal activity in the area.
I loved the way the author tied up the loose ends in the last few chapters of this novel. It left me with a happy feeling. Although this is the second book in the Treasures of Surrey series, it is a stand alone novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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.
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.