Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blog Tour: Blackmoore: A Proper Romance by Julianne Donaldson

Like Regency romance? Then we have a tour for you on this Wednesday. We are today's stop on the Blackmoore Blog Tour. We are posting our review for our stop. Thanks for spending time with us.

Blackmoore: A Proper Romance by Julianne Donaldson 
Regency Romance
Paperback/eBook, 320 pages
Published September 9th 2013 by Shadow Mountain 

Kate Worthington knows she can never have her heart’s desire and so believes she will never marry. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore on the cliffs above the seashore, where she must face the truth and the man that has kept her heart captive.

Set in northern England, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn to follow her heart. With hints of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Blackmoore is a page-turning tale of romance, intrigue and devotion.

About Julianne Donaldson
Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children.

In Blackmoore, Kate, not Kitty, Worthington is eighteen and when many girls her age are thinking about boys and a suitable marriage, she is most definitely not. Though the reader doesn't know why Kate is so opposed to marrying, she surely keeps us entertained. Strong-willed, feisty, and determined, Kate knows what she does want--to go to India to visit her spinster aunt and to see Blackmoore, her best friend Henry's family estate.

Before I go on, I have to express how quickly I became enamored of these two. When Kate shares a scene with Henry (two years older), we know there is more than friendship between them, but then there wouldn't be a plot or drama if things were so easy. I loved their comfortable rapport, how well he knew her, and how attentive he was. Kate kept her admiration and true feelings for him inside. The archery scene in the woods was so easily visualized and I pictured seeing their story on the movie screen (or TV screen would do as well). 

Of course, there are mothers equally determined to see their children marry 'correctly,' or in Regency romance speak, to marry whomever the mom has picked out. Mrs. Worthington is certainly a gem with her mean ways, devious manner, and open flirtatious ways. I cringed when she so openly flirted with Henry about being invited to dinner. I only wished her character was fleshed out a bit more instead of coming across as a mean caricature (as was his mother).

Ultimately, Blackmoore is Kate and Henry's story and what a sweet, lovely story it is! When Kate learns she is not to visit Blackmoore (shown through a flashback when she was younger), Henry can see her pain. When he returns, he brings back a model of the beloved estate for Kate and he melted my heart along with hers. I rather liked the use of flashback to show past incidences in Kate's life and thought the scenes were properly placed and executed well. I also enjoyed the scenery, especially at Blackmore and India. 

The author did an exemplary job bringing a gorgeous love story to life on the pages of Blackmoore. I forgot there was a book in front of me, I became so completely absorbed into the story waiting to see what would conspire between Kate and Henry net. Both characters were fully realized. From her grim determination and selfless way to make things right to Henry's admirable and determination to claim his closest friend as his wife, Blackmoore transported me back in time to regency England and then to India as a love story stretched out, gathering more fans along the way. I laughed at their antics (Kate climbing out her window, her cat Cora clutching to her back), cried at their heartbreak (Henry had so many great lines), and sighed at the end. I am such a sucker for well-written, emotional romance.

Sweet, but not fake, believable, featuring a clean romance, we don't always need heaving bosoms and rogues to tell a good love story, we let the characters do it. Author Julianne Donaldson successfully creates a timeless love story readers of all ages can fall into, letting their imaginations fill in the rest. I suspect I won't easily forget Kate and Henry's story for a long time.

Rating: 4.5

Cover comment:
I like this cover, it reflects the essence of this tale.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review during a blog tour.

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