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Well my wife likes these Regency period romances. Not the real bodice rippers, the ones with actual romance and maybe a little passionate... romancing. I spend a fair amount of time making the kids giggle as I put on English accents and openly mock my wife's choice in literature and film.
Note: I'm actually just glad she enjoys reading as much as I do.
Then she ends up running into Edenbrooke at the local library.
And reads it twice in a row...
And won't stop talking about it...
And reads me the hilarious first chapter...
And starts calling me SIR Anthony...
Then she insists we go to a local book signing so she can get an autographed copy and meet Julianne Donaldson. It took awhile for my English cockney to die down, but I finally decided to get closer to my wife by reading Edenbrooke.
First, Edenbrooke has an amazing first chapter. It was what encouraged me to continue on with the rest of the book. Pick it up and read it if ONLY for the first chapter. But believe me, the story gets better from there.
Second, I'm a died in the wool thespian, so I love audiobooks. They're even better when you find one with a talented narrator. The Publisher, Shadow Mountain, made a wise choice when they tapped Emily Elizabeth Hamilton. Her narration style adds so much emotion to the already beautiful text, that it was a treat to listen to and pulled me into the characters.
Third, Julianne Donaldson's story is beautifully written. She sets up scenes masterfully and packs them with raw emotion. So much of the Regency period was filled with proper etiquette, that you can imagine their feelings had to be fairly bursting to get out. I laughed and I cried. The story was so engaging that it completely turned off my writer's mind, which try's to guess where the plot is going. After the first third of the book I was completely hooked and immersed in life at Edenbrooke.
Fourth and last, Edenbrooke doesn't work on the premise that sex equals intimacy. Julianne Donaldson understands that the touch of a hand can sometimes mean more than a week long roll in the hay. Sex can be raw emotion too, but building up to it with the romance of a touch or stolen glances pays off more (for me anyway) then some muscle-bound stud pushing over some poor girl's skirt hoops.
Did I mention I cried?
And not just once, but several times.
And I was at work! Any idea how embarrassing that is?! Well... I was forced to duck my head and blink a lot.
So... am I going to read more Victorian romances? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, I like Jane Austen. But I'm happier with sci-fi and fantasy. Sometimes a good thriller is what I need and life is just too short to be stuck in Regency.
But you can bet I'll read anything by Julianne Donaldson. She's just that good.