Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Originally Published: 2013 (September 9, 2013)
Format I Read: Ebook (via NetGalley)
Publisher: Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain
I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.
Ah, my first review of Utah Book Month. I’m so pleased that it is this book. As you may recall, I loved Julianne Donaldson’s first book, Edenbrooke. It’s such a lovely read. So I’ve been looking forward to this, her second book, from the moment I finished the first. I was so delighted when I snagged a review copy on NetGalley, I proceeded to read Blackmoore immediately, in one sitting.
Here’s the blurb:
At eighteen, Kate Worthington knows she should be getting serious about marriage, but her restless heart won’t let her settle down. To escape her mother’s meddlesome influence, she dreams of traveling with her spinster aunt to exotic India. But when the opportunity arises, Kate finds herself making a bargain with her mother: she will be allowed to go only if she spends a season at the family’s wealthy estate, Blackmoore, where she must secure and reject three marriage proposals. Enlisting the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield, Kate sets out to collect her proposals so she can be on her way. But Henry’s decision to help threatens to destroy both of their dreams in ways they could never imagine.
This is, indeed, a “proper romance,” in that it is a Regency-style, sex-free (though with a little kissing and some rather shocking chaperon-free scenes) romance. This is an enjoyable story, complete with English manors and misunderstandings and marriage proposals. But it didn’t quite measure up to Edenbrooke for me. Part of that is just that Edenbrooke really worked for me in a way that is rather rare. Part of it is that, for me, Kate and Henry didn’t have that spark that Marianne and Philip had. Apparently, I prefer verbal sparring to emotional turmoil in my book relationships.
However, perhaps the comparisons to Edenbrooke are unfair. Blackmoore on its own merits is a good book. I was compelled by the plot, though it did feel a tad bit contrived at times. The characters were interesting, as were the situations. I really liked Henry in particular and almost wished the story was told from his perspective (spinoff?!). The bottom line is, if you liked Edenbrooke, you should definitely check out Blackmoore. It is an easy, fun, romantic read. And who doesn’t need one of those every once in a while?
Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson [rating:4]