I've got a lot of fun stuff for you today, as I happily host today's stop for the Edenbrooke blog tour! What kind of fun stuff? How about a guest post, the definition of a new genre, a review and a giveaway! Let's start with a quick introduction, followed by a short guest post from the lovely Julianne Donaldson.
I asked Julianne what it was like to write a dashing hero (and yes, the hero of Edenbrooke is quite dashing!), and here's what she had to say:
Edenbrooke is a proper romance. If you're like me, you're probably wondering what makes a romance "proper" versus "improper" - well, I've got an answer for your question.What is it like to write a dashing male character? Well, in my opinion, it's the most enjoyable part of writing. I have always loved a good romantic hero, but the problem with other books is that there's a limit to how much you can get of that hero. But writing my own hero, Philip, gave me an endless access to him. I could dream up anything I wanted. I could make him as witty, or sexy, or charming as I wanted. I could put him together with my heroine in a hundred different scenarios and discover what he would say or do. It was so much fun, I almost couldn't finish my book because I couldn't stop writing it. Now I’m having just as much fun writing about the dashing hero in my next novel. Writing really is the best job to be had.
A Proper Romance is Shadow Mountain Publishing’s brand of clean, smart, engaging, romantic stories that will never embarrass the reader.I for one, love this proper romance concept - there's a lot more to a good love story than tumbling into bed (or the closet or behind the bushes or wherever else authors stick people) at every turn. And many times, all those "encounters" don't actually add anything to the story. So if an author can write a powerful, moving, flustering love story without resorting to a blush-inducing scene, then I give them cookies! (Virtual, of course, otherwise that'd get expensive. And probably awkward).
Have I got you intrigued yet? Want to know more about the story of Edenbrooke, with it's proper romance and dashing hero? Keep reading - after my review, you'll find the details on how you could win an ARC of Edenbrooke for your very own reading pleasure!
Shadow Mountain, 2012
Marianne Daventry is not a proper, elegant young lady. She'd rather be at home in the country than in London for The Season. She does not sing. She loves the outdoors and riding horses. And she has a penchant for twirling - a habit that often has less-than-fortunate results. So when her grandmother decides to transfer her entire estate to Marianne rather than The Nefarious Nephew, it comes with one condition: Marianne must learn to behave as a proper, elegant, very wealthy young lady. An extended visit at Edenbrooke with her twin sister Cecily, and the Wyndham family seems to be the perfect opportunity for Marianne to learn graceful manners. And escape the confines of Bath. What Marianne does not expect however is to encounter a highwayman, then meet - and insult - an infuriating (and devastatingly handsome) young man named Philip at a roadside inn. This is only the beginning of her adventures in this quest for manners, and what follows is a story that will keep you reading til the end.
Philip is no random gentleman at the inn, he's actually a son of the Wyndhams. A discovery that quite undoes Marianne when she finally arrives at Edenbrooke. She quickly comforts herself with the idea that he's the younger son, and therefor not the Lord that Cecily plans to marry. (The poor Lord does not know this, by the way, it's an idea that Cecily has hatched in her own mind). As Marianne and Philip become friends, Marianne finds herself slowly coming to terms with her past hurts, and beginning to grow and flourish in the healthy, happy environment of Edenbrooke. Things change however when Cecily appears on the scene, and swiftly takes control of Philip's attention and time. Marianne is devastated, but her loyalty to her sister has always been strong - even has it slowly destroys her spirit.
After misadventures, misunderstandings, failed proposals and scandalous behavior (on the part of Cecily!), Marianne's story comes to a dramatic conclusion with the reappearance of the highwayman and his dastardly designs on her fortune (and person). In perfect storybook fashion however, Philip arrives on the scene just in time, with Marianne's father in tow, and suddenly Marianne's faced with a very different reality. One that might not be as devastating as she thought. And when Cecily makes a most unprecedented move -- well, let's just say that Marianne has become an elegant young lady, worthy of her grandmother's fortune.
The story is amazing. Very sweet, very amusing. I loved Marianne as a character, and enjoyed watching her grow as well as her interpretations of Cecily and Louisa's behavior. And Philip. Oh, Philip. He smolders. Seriously! He smolders. Do I need to tell you how awesome that is? Their relationship is beautifully presented (without any blush-inducing "encounters," and develops naturally. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel, and look forward to more from Julianne Donaldson.
ARC provided by publisher for review.