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Blackmoore (Proper Romance) Paperback – 9 Sep 2013
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"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"
About the Author
Julianne Donaldson is the bestselling author of Edenbrooke and Blackmoore. Her degree in English has fueled her desire to write. She and her husband live in Salt Lake City, Utah, with their four children, but she takes every opportunity she can to travel the English countryside.
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Although that is one of the strengths of this book - it is slowly revealed why Kate is as she is, and she does grow as a character. I even started to like her towards the end!
The setting made me feel even colder than this awful weather should have, so I suppose the descriptions must have been immersing enough. Only I can't remember many of them past the brooding moors.
The end was a little too happily-ever-after for me. I much prefer more uncertain futures for the lives of characters.
Overall this was a moderately pleasant read, fun and romantic.
Blackmoore was a much more serious story with more angst. Of course there was still a lot of humour but in general, it was more serious. I could really relate to the heroine, Kate. Her feelings of being caged and restricted in all she wanted to do. She was a very likeable heroine and even you didn't relate to her, I think you would still pity her.
The hero was also very wonderful! (Why is Ms. Donaldson so good at creating gentleman you are sure to fall completely and utterly in love with?) I most certainly did with Henry Delafield; he was both teasing and funny but heart breakingly romantic!
Henry and Kate's relationship of having known and then fallen in love with each other from when they were both very young was adorable! I particularly enjoyed how important details of the story were revealed to us through flashbacks to their past; it was so easy to see how they would have fallen in love when they were younger - if I was Kate I would fallen for Henry!
Parts of their relationship reminded me a little of Emma and Knightley from Jane Austen's Emma; the ease of conversation and manner they shared with each other because of having grown up together and knowing each other for so long, through the good times and the bad (which you see through flashbacks.)
There are some very dislikable characters and I am sure you will come to hate Kate's family as much as she does and I did!
The main events in the story revolve around these three proposals she must secure to allow her freedom to England. Seeing the relationship between Kate and Henry change and the tension building up each time Henry proposes is heart rendering! Kate knows she must say no, whether she wants to or not and the spoken but at the same time unspoken feelings said between the two as each proposal seems to be more and more realistic and harder as harder for her to say no to this man she has loved for so long but knows she can never have.
At times I was so sure one of them would say what they really wanted say! It even made me angry that one of them wouldn't just say something - if I was Kate I know I would have had to say yes to Henry, probably from the first proposal and definitely by the last!
As you can see this was a wonderful story; there were times to cry with joy and with sadness as well as loveable characters and those you love to despise! The setting for the book is gorgeous (made even better for me given that I went there only this summer just gone!), the storyline was great and I greatly anticipate her next story!
There is so much more I could say about this story but I think you should just read it and find out for yourself!
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.
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