Friday, January 31, 2014

Blackmoore (A Proper Romance) by Julianne Donaldson

Publication: September 9, 2013
Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals.

Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, 
Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.

BlackMoore was such a delightful story. I ended up buying the audiobook and it was hard for me to stop listening. The narrator, Cassandra Campbell did a really nice job with the different character voices and the emotions of the story.

I liked Kate a lot. She is a 17 year old young woman who so determined and passionate about going to India with her Aunt and learning to be independent and out from under her ridiculous mothers thumb. The way her mother behaved and flirted in public was completely inappropriate. I thought that Elizabeth Bennett’s mother from Pride and Prejudice was bad…I would take her as a mom over Kate’s any day of the week.

I understood Kate’s longing to be free and to have a better life. And even though I get why she never said anything to Henry or to anyone; I really wished she had.

“It was one thing to set a bird free, but how on earth was I to set myself free?"

There are a few flashbacks into Kate’s past to explain why she made some of the choices she has made. But you won’t find out why Kate is so against marriage until more than halfway through the book. At first I kept thinking, how she cannot know that Henry loves her, but it wasn’t about her finding that out. You’ll just have to read it to find out more.

He drew in a breath and his voice sounded hoarse and vulnerable and soft when he said, “You were the only surprise in my life Kate. And I am afraid, I am very afraid that once you leave, I will never be surprised again."

The author did a nice job with this story. The writing flowed, it had a nice pace, the characters were lively, and I never once felt bored. I loved the friendship…the connection Kate and Henry shared. It was sweet. Blackmoore was a very charming story that made me feel warm and happy once I was finished.

Readers who enjoy classics like Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, or any clean romantic historical novel should take a look at Blackmoore.

RATING: 4½-5 OUT OF 5.

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