I rarely choose titles by the “fans of ____” recommendations, in fact I usually find those to be distracting and often do not allow for the quality of the author’s work. That being said, my main reason for choosing this title, aside from my obsession with historic romance was to read a story that is set in the Edwardian era, a fairly uncommon setting.
Sherri Browning creates a compelling story that manages to combine emotion, visual imagery and a sense of the excitement of the times in this first installment of her Thornbrook Park series. The story also veers from the norm in that we are predominantly set in Yorkshire: a uniquely rugged farming area away from the bustle of London.
Eve is a cleverly drawn character of obvious strong will and determination. Her marriage caused a rift in her family, and she was disowned and disgraced in their eyes: never to return. When her husband’s death and her reduced circumstances required her return to England to find what is left of their money, she discovers that the substantial investment was made with a crooked man, she has no choice but to find work, or a charitable friend to shelter her.
Marcus is a second son with several wounds of his own. He promised to care for a friend’s family during the height of combat, and he returned to England angry and argumentative, without plans to marry or create burdens for another to share.
Sophia has a plan: as Eve’s last firend, she is offering her shelter and a place to conduct her investigations to find who stole their money. Sophia has a younger sister that she is hoping to dangle in front of her brother-in-law, Marcus, and she is busily managing the situations and events at Thornbrook Park so that love will bloom.
Eve and Marcus are both very broken and jaded: as a widow, Eve has more freedom to speak, move and do as she likes without bringing scandal, and part of her very unique voicing and actions are proceeding with her life as much as possible. Eve’s perspective on events is strongly masculine approach in her estimation of people: she is keenly aware of her limited options as a woman, but is determined to not let that stop her.. Marcus is constantly sniping with his brother, and is not interested in the machinations toward romance from his sister in law. He keenly feels the responsibility laid on him from his friend’s death during the war, but talking with Eve and seeing her determination to ferret out the man who stole her future with a faked investment strikes his chivalrous side, even though he isn’t interested in her as a woman. Not one bit. So he repeatedly tells himself.
The romance is a delicate dance – as both have fairly strong reservations about commitment and trust, not to mention the fact of Eve coming between the romance that Sophia had envisioned for her sister and Marcus. Alone, the romance in such a situation would have provided enough interest and compelled readers to keep on, but adding in the search for the one who absconded with Eve’s money adds a touch of danger and mystery that winds through the story and shows us different sides of the characters of both Eve and Marcus.
I really did enjoy this story, redolent with the feel of the Edwardian era and the stirrings of Suffrage and the belching automobiles. Browning weaves historic details, scenes, strength and vulnerability into the story to give a solid visual image to readers, even as their hearts are being charmed.
Title: Thornbrook Park
Author: Sherri Browning
Series: Thornbrook Park #1
Also in this series: An Affair Downstairs, The Great Estate
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
In a world poised for epic change...
Disowned for marrying beneath her, Eve Kendal has returned to England destitute after her husband's death and the mysterious disappearance of their savings. She's looking for survival, not romance. But from London to the Yorkshire countryside to the elegant estate of Thornbrook Park, Eve's path seems destined to cross that of the dashing but violent Captain Marcus Thorne.
Anything can happen...
For Marcus, a return home means facing the demons that drove him to war in the first place. As he and Eve begin a steamy affair, tensions that had been simmering just beneath the surface threaten to explode and shake the very foundations of Thornbrook Park.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.