Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: “Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd

“Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Two in The Treasures of Surrey Series

Source: Litfuse

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


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.


My Thoughts:

I was expecting to love this book. I’ve read two of Miss Ladd’s previous books (the first two books of the Whispers on the Moors Series), and enjoyed them both, so I figured it would be likewise with this one. And while I didn’t hate this book, I didn’t fully enjoy it either, unfortunately.
The setting was good, and the writing well-done, but I couldn’t connect with the characters and it was very predictable.
But what disappointed me the most was the lack of faith in this book. I remember reading Ladd’s first book and the faith-strand was great; the second book had it too though not as strongly, but this book was almost completely void of it. There were many, many places where it could have been accomplished in a beautiful manner, but there was only one or two mentions of God. That really saddened me. This story really could’ve used God’s hope and truth. It kind of just fell flat for me without it.
The love-triangle was a bit much too…I don’t really care for those types of things. It was the typical “I don’t know which man to choose”, yet it’s overly obvious to the reader who is the “hero” of the book. It was just frustrating to me.
But yes, I liked the England setting, and I enjoyed the character Lizzie quite well, and Colin on occasion. But sometimes the characters did things that just didn’t make sense.
They put a pretty heavy point on physical appearance too, as well as not wanting to have to rely on anyone else – that we are sufficient by our own strength. I don’t agree with this – we should be sufficient by God’s power alone. It was just really lacking in God’s glory and that really reflects in a book, I think.
It wasn’t a terrible book (it was clean, and I have no doubt that many will enjoy it – I myself enjoyed aspects of it, just not all), but it  wasn’t really a hit for me.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from Litfuse/the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.


Posted in Book reviews, Books, Litfuse, Reviews

Litfuse Review: “The Headmistress of Rosemere” by Sarah E. Ladd

Title: “The Headmistress of Rosemere”
Author:Sarah E. Ladd
Number of Pages:312
Source of copy: Litfuse review copy
My Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk.

Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.

Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property — including the land where Rosemere School is located — but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.

When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience’s brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William’s past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God’s plans for their lives-and their hearts.

My Review:

This is the second book in Sarah Ladd’s “Whispers on the Moors” series, but I think it could stand alone. It does relate to the first by characters and place, but you won’t be confused if you read this one without having read “Heiress of Winterwood”.

This book was very good. The story line was rich, and it all flowed pretty well. I really enjoyed the reading of it. I don’t read a lot of romances, and very few have me ‘happy and giddy and sighing’, but this one made one of the few. :)
I really liked the main character, Patience, and had an easy time relating to her. All the characters were pretty well constructed.
The plot was exciting, but not to the point where you’re frustrated – I don’t much care for those kind of books. :D I did have a hard time putting this one down though, as I did with the first in this series.
They’re just light Christian romances that are good. I appreciated the aspect of God being involved, though this second book didn’t deal with the relationship with God as much as the first.
I think this book is well-written and handled well with being in the Regency era.
The only thing I did not care for was the ending. It just did not jump out at me, and like the first, I didn’t care for the intimacy displayed. I think it was unrealistic and unnecessary.
I do warn that, with all romances, there is the need to be cautious, because it is oh-so easy to fall into day-dreaming and such about ones own ‘romantic dreams’.
I suppose that is my own opinion though. :)
Overall I did enjoy this book, and would probably read it again sometime! The rating I give it is 4.5 stars because of the ending not being as ‘innocent and correct’ as I should have liked.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Learn more about Sarah at:

Note: I received “The Headmistress of Rosemere” free from Litfuse in return for my honest and unbiased review.

Posted in Book reviews, Books

Just a quick review. “The Heiress of Winterwood” by Sarah E. Ladd

As I mentioned in previous post, I was hoping to post my review of the first book in the “Whispers on the Moors” series by Sarah E. Ladd, and now I am. This review is just of my own choice – I requested this book from the library and did not receive it from a publisher to review.

Title: “The Heiress of Winterwood”
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
My rating (from 0-5 stars): 4.5 stars

Description of the book:

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.

My Review:

I really liked this book. I was impressed by the writing, as well as the story itself.
The characters were all excellent – so “warm” if that makes sense.
The book was just the right length, and for it being Mrs. Ladd’s first book, very well written. It made you admire the characters, then fall in love with them, then it gripped you as the plot got going, and then calmed you again in the end.
I really did love this book; all except for the ending. And by ending, I simply refer to the last two pages. I had really hoped it wouldn’t end like so many other romances. Alas, though, ’twas not the case. I guess I just wished it could’ve ended on a more ‘innocent’ or ‘pure’ way. It would’ve been just as good – better in my opinion.
But that aside, I really enjoyed it, and it might just end up on my ‘favourites list’. :) I really appreciated how God was obviously kept in it and involved.

Note: The ending isn’t inappropriate or anything; I just didn’t care for it.

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Give-aways, Litfuse

“School” Your Desk Kindle Giveaway | The Headmistress of Rosemere

Hey there :)
I am so sorry I have not been posting more. I really was planning to, but then we’ve been on a real roller coaster. It’ll get smoother soon, I’m sure. For now, I’ve just got another give-away to share with you. My review of “The Headmistress of Rosemere” will be posted on the 26th. I am hoping to post my review of the first book in the “Whispers on the Moors” series soon, but we’ll see.
I’ve been reading a lot lately. Which has been nice. :) But besides the reviews I’ll post, I do hope to get regular posts in here and there!

Don’t miss Sarah Ladd’s latest Regency novel, The Headmistress of Rosemere. She is celebrating the release of book two in her Whispers on the Moors series with a fun “School” Your Desk Kindle Fire Giveaway and an Author Chat Facebook Party!


Between January 17–28, visit Sarah Ladd’s Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day and be entered to win a Kindle Fire grand prize. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on January 28th! (Don’t have a Facebook account? Enter here.)

RSVP today for Sarah’s The Headmistress of Rosemere Author Chat Party on Facebook. During the party Sarah will be hosting a book chat, testing your Regency trivia skills, announcing the winner of the “School” Your Desk Giveaway, and giving away books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she’ll also be giving partygoers an exclusive look at the next book in the Whispers on the Moors series!

So grab your copy of The Headmistress of Rosemere and hope to see you on the evening of January 28th! (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Enter Today – 1/17 – 1/28!
Sarah Ladd The Headmistress of Rosemere