Dawn at Emberwilde


“Dawn at Emberwilde” is yet another example of why I love Sarah Ladd’s books. The mysterious and often threatening forest of Emberwilde is the perfect background setting for the events that take place within the narrative. The strongly depicted characters have differing motives that only come to light at just the right points of the story. At times their motives are fairly obvious and at other times they are not easily discerned. Unexpected twists in the plot lend a certain amount of suspense and the romantic tension is flawless. The story moved along at a good pace with adequate dialogue, action, suspense, and romance to hold my attention – in fact it ended much too quickly as most good books do.

As of late my favorite type book is historical fiction that contains not only a romantic element but also one of mystery and suspense. “Dawn at Emberwilde” absolutely meets those qualifications. It reminds me of the old Gothic type romance novels I used to devour when I was much younger. Apparently my taste in books has not changed very much.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Dawn at Emberwilde” and my only regret is that I will have to wait awhile for Sarah’s next novel. It will definitely be on my must read list.

Copies of this book were provided for review by LitFuse Publicity and The Fiction Guild.


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.

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Sarah LaddSarah 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 family and spunky Golden Retriever.

Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahladd.com.