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Blackmoore (Proper Romances) Paperback – September 9, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Donaldson's second Regency romance (after Edenbrooke) is riveting and evocative. Beautiful, passionate Kate Worthington, determined to be different from her scandalous mother and sisters, has decided never to marry. She seeks solace in the friendship of Sylvia Delafield and her handsome and intelligent brother, Henry, who will inherit the vast Blackmoore estate. When Henry finally escorts Kate to his ancestral home, where he is expected to propose to the lovely Miss St. Claire, Kate is overcome by the hauntingly beautiful house and its surrounding moors, cliffs, and waters, just as she is by the slow but definite change in her relationship with Henry. As the untamed natural atmosphere unleashes a longing and intensity that both Henry and Kate have suppressed, they must take the risk of making bargains, uncovering secrets, and embracing their truest desires. Readers will be absolutely captivated by the beautiful imagery, sizzling tension (which never manifests explicitly, earning the book its designation of proper), and mesmerizing plot. (Sept.)
"Donaldson's second Regency romance (after Edenbrooke) is riveting and evocative...Readers will be absolutely captivated by the beautiful imagery, sizzling tension (which never manifests explicitly, earning the book its designation of "proper"), and mesmerizing plot."-"Publishers Weekly, " Starred Review
- "Admirers of Austen, Gaskell, and the Bronte sisters will enjoy this light tale of romance set in the early nineteenth century...Donaldson can turn a phrase... "Blackmoore" is light and easy to read, perfect for a day at the beach or over tea and crumpets served in the best china."--"ForeWord Reviews"
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Top customer reviews
SEX: none, passionate kissing
I loved Julianna's first book, Edenbrooke, probably the best historical romance I have ever read. If it could have been put into a painting it would have been displayed in bright colors like a Thomas Kinkade painting. Blackmoore is the exact opposite and would be a grim castle painted in dark strokes and dull hues. While both books capture perfectly the romantic tension between characters one is full of hope and the other of dispair. Even when Blackmoore resolves, adding a ray of sunshine to our bleak landscape, it is not enough to erase the tears streaks from previous chapters.
That said, I would still recommend this book. It's worth reading just to read Kate's three proposals. Oh my goodness! Swoon and die!
The author is incredibly gifted. She cleverly weaves her story with symbolism and unfolding plot lines. She knows her characters intimately and exposes their emotions with a skill I've seen in few authors. It's a pleasure just to sample her talents.
You will not find sex or inappropriate conduct in this book but the restrained passion between characters is enough to keep your interest. Well done.
Clean and beautiful! I laughed out loud just like I did in Edenbrooke!
Enjoy it! So worth it. It is a keeper!
I am giving the book 3 Stars because the book is very well written as far as technique. I enjoyed the way the author went back and forth from the present to the past to explain how Kate's emotions, wrongful thinking and goals for her life were developed. For, indeed, Kate was definitely in an emotional upheaval during most of the book - a sad, sad young lady. Unfortunately, she was victimized by so many people in her life that after reading this book, I have found my own emotions somewhat overset and still feel some turmoil in my chest as I try and write this review.
The only steadfast person in Kate's life was Henry but it was obvious early on that he didn't know how to fully deal with this little mess of a girl who had been his lifelong friend. Is there some sweetness in this book? Absolutely! Henry was always there for Kate and was very kind - the best kind of a friend anyone could have. However, Kate's mother was an animal, her sisters were rotten, her father was an uncaring dolt and her best friend, Sylvia (Henry's sister), didn't have much character either. Then, there was Henry's witch of a mother. This book was just too depressing for me.
The romantic fulfillment came way too late in the story for my enjoyment. I really regret reading this book even though I was rooting for the H/h until the end and believe me - it was the very end of the book that things came together. Ugh!! Lack of romantic sparkle in this book deserves a 1 Star rating.
I can say it has been worth the wait. Blackmoore is a regency novel. It starts in 1820, in England. You won't find traditional regency language here, and this is what appeals to such a wide audience (my 13 y.o. daughter read Edenbrooke last year and loved it). It's part of Julianne's style, and it obviously works as a modern take on a traditional genre.
The setting is very well done and appealing, specially to anglophiles like myself--I want to take a trip to Robin Hood's Bay and Fountains Abbey, and look out to the sea and to the moors, and imagine Kate and Henry, and listen to the birdcalls at sunrise, take a walk at the beach at moonlight, and know that all the problems between them will be somehow solved by the end, even though I can't see how it will be possible.
I found the writing and characterization have grown since Edenbrooke. Kate is a very poignant character--I'm not 17, or British, have a mother that embarrasses me, or in possession of secrets that thwart my love life, and yet I was Kate, and I fell head-over-heels in love with 20 y.o. loyal Henry, and felt their frustrations and their passion, their first-time love and their anguishing sorrow at separation. This is what Julianne Donaldson does so well, that sucked me in so totally and completely to a story that I have so very little in common.
It goes without saying that I loved it.
This tone of this story reminds me of a Jane Eyre or a Withering Heights, at least with this story Kate does get the hero.
If you like this author Edenbooke is a good read-