ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
This is the second book of the "A Treasure of Surry" chronicles and it definitely stands alone as it's own story. You will not be lost if you didn't read the first book.
This story is delightful and focuses on Isobel and her sister, Lizzie. One day they are two orphans living in a home and the next they find that they have living relatives that want them to come and live with them. There is a mixture of excitement, yet dread, as their lives change so drastically. I adored Isobel because of her caring nature toward taking care of Lizzie. She has drive to become a teacher or governess and has been working toward that goal. She has her goals and she has the drive to accomplish them. She is so very likeable!
When she arrives at her aunts and uncles, she realizes soon that she is really there to try and secure a wealthy husband to help her relatives because they are financially destitute and could lose their beautiful home and the wooded acres that are around them. She is introduced to two men and both seem loving and kind, in their own ways, but one is not what he seems to be.
There is also the side story of smuggling going on in the woods around the estate plus there are some mysterious things from the past that are coming to light. All of this makes the story quite intriguing and adds to the main romance story line.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I really enjoyed the characters and the mysterious element to the story. I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it.
*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group
Blessings - Julie