Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Blackmoore

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, September 9, 2013. 286 pages. Published by Shadow Mountain. Source: Library.
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?
First Sentence:
A woodlark sings of heartache.

You know how I usually avoid romance books, like the plague, because I usually see a lack of actual honest to goodness love within them, plus they tend to be too indecent for my reading taste. So, while I generally do not read romances Julianne Donaldson's previous proper romance, Edenbrooke, was so good that I had to read Blackmoore when my older sister checked it out from the library (I'm the one who introduced her to the author, so, I thought it fair).

I actually enjoyed Blackmoore more than Edenbrooke because it felt like the author, Julianne Donaldson, had truly hit her stride with the style of writing. Also, it felt like the story, characters and writing in general were much tighter than in the previous book. That's not to say that the last one was poorly written, just that you can see how much her writing has progressed from one to the other.
    So, while I now really a fan of romance, I really enjoyed watching the story unfold between Kate and a certain character because it felt so true in that it was a struggle because they had to work pass many things from both of their pasts to get to that moment of possible happiness. While I am not the type to swoon, I found it rather silly, watching the romantic bits unfold to give the reader the full scope of what the characters felt and went through made for some great reading. I loved the challenges that both of the characters went though when it came to themselves and their families because it made the ending all the better.

If there were more books like Julianne Donaldson's proper romances I might actually be tempting to read more of them, but since there isn't I'll just satisfy my need for a clean well written story-with a love story that speaks of compromise and letting the other find happiness even if it's elsewhere- to her writing.
   As you can probably tell, there is much I enjoyed about the characters in this one and how their stories were told and played out. While I will not go into details on how the book ends, just know this, it left me happy (think what you will because there have been books where only I was happy with the way things ended [you are warned])
     Again, I would like to say how much I enjoyed reading Ms. Donaldson's writing and the way she captured the period in which she set the book. The amount of research that went into crating this book definitely shows as one is pulled into the setting that it takes place in. Which made it even more of an interesting read.

In the end, what I enjoyed most about Blackmoore would have to be the writing and the way the past of the characters, and why Kate refused to ever marry, so interesting. I loved seeing glimpses of the past occurrences and how it shaped the story of each of the characters and the paths they would take. It definitely gave the book a more rounded feel as you got to know the history of their interactions as Kate was reminded of when/how things went down.

Really, my only annoyance with the book is that, other than Jane Austen, it will probably be quite sometimes before I find another story featuring love that I'll enjoy reading as much as Blackmoore. Truly, I am most excited to (hopefully) read more proper romances by this author and potentially others.

Final Verdict: Blackmoore- A beautiful tale of love and loss and misunderstandings that'll just pull you in.

Blackmoore earns

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