Friday, July 24, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor ~ Melanie Dobson ~ A Review

Thank you Litfuse for this review copy.
Read this book. 
It's good— really good. 
Melanie Dobson has imbued this story with a mysterious yet beautiful picture of the wavering lines of reality and fantasy, truth and lies, hope and fear. The cover is charming with hints of the beauty and intrigue embodied within. The scrollwork on the cover, at the beginning of the sections and the chapters set the mood for something at once wonderful and mysterious.

"The papers liked to call it "the storm of the century."
It blew into England sixty yars ago, the winter of '54,
but I remember it like it was yesterday. 
The overturned boats.
Wooden shutters smashing glass. 
The collapse of the pavilion on the pier...
I didn't know it that day, 
but the winter storm of '54 was the storm of the century in my life as well. 
Or at least it will be if I live another fifteen years."
Page 1

Who wouldn't want to read the next line? And the next? And the next? In fact, be careful when you open this book. You won't want to close it for quite awhile. One night I fell asleep trying to read the same page over and over, because it was so late. 

I must admit I was a little confused at first with the jump in time from the 1950's to the present and back again. The stories seemed unrelated at first, but I kept reading. As the story came together, it reminded me of several skeins of yarn that were all tangled together. Each story its own, but touching and tangling with the others. Melanie Dobson is the patient storyteller who knits them into a beautiful creation. It was unpredictable, but Mrs. Dobson hinted throughout. Ultimately, the mystery had an unexpected ending. The story was sad and happy at once.

If you like mysteries, especially historical mysteries from the second half of the 20th Century, I think you'll like this one. Watch for it, set aside a few hours, and enjoy!

~About the Book~ 

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents' cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.
Libby, a free spirit who can't be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver's death.
Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family's cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She's mourning her father's passing but can't let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family's belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family's history.
Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.
Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

~About the Author~

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of 14 historical romance, suspense and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010.

Dobson and her husband, Jon, enjoy living in the Pacific Northwest with their two daughters. When she isn't writing or playing with her family, Dobson enjoys exploring ghost towns, line dancing and reading historical fiction.

Find Melanie onlinewebsiteFacebookTwitter  

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


  1. How could I NOT read this after your review Laura! It sounds wonderful! Love, Mimi xxx

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book! I love mysteries!

  3. Thank you so much for the review, my dear. I read another great review on this book and I've added it to my cart at CBD :) Hopefully I can gt it soon.

    Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

  4. Stephanie, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I kept it. I'll read it again someday I expect.


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