If you were to ask me what my absolute favorite genre to read is I’d tell you historical fiction in a heartbeat. I love being given the opportunity to read about a period of time I’ll never experience. I also enjoy being given the opportunity to learn what the culture of the period was. When I learned that Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson offered me these chances and more, I instantly sent in a request to review it.
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.
I am completely and utterly in love with this book. There is no simpler way to put it. The characters, the setting, THE WRITING – it’s all exquisite. Donaldson’s writing drew me in from page one. I became completely mesmerized by Kate’s struggle as a woman in the early 1800’s. Her struggle for freedom, independence, and love was written in an entirely realistic manner. The anxiety and anger she feels over her lack of independence was clearly laid out before me. As a reader, I felt the cage she was trapped in just as much as she did. Kate’s struggle of trying to hide her true feelings for Henry nearly killed me.
Kate and Henry are just fascinating characters. Henry is this beautiful old-fashioned gentleman with a (in my opinion) modern way of thinking. He wants Kate to have her freedom and go to India, even at great cost to himself. Their story is equal parts tragic and romantic. Heart-warming and heart-breaking. The journey Donaldson takes us on in Blackmoore is filled with twists and turns, humor, romance, intrigue, and above all, personality.
I highly recommend checking out Blackmoore, especially if you’re a fan of Austen, Bronte, or Gaskell. I’m so impressed (and in love) with this book that I’m heading out this weekend to get myself a copy of Donaldson’s debut novel Edenbrooke.
5 out of 5 Stars
This is my twentieth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
This is my sixth completed review for the Color Coded Challenge
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Shadow Mountain Publishing (2013)
Paperback: 320 pages
Special thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing for the review copy I received via Netgalley!