Thursday, August 15, 2013
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Shadow Mountain (September 9, 2013) 320 pages
My Rating: 5/5 stars
While Blackmoore is the first book by Julianne Donaldson that I've read, I'm pretty sure I officially have a favorite author on my list! I simply can't wait to read Edenbrooke if there is any comparison at all between the two. From the high praise I've been hearing, I have no doubt I would love it just as much.
Kate is trying hard to remove the name "Kitty" from her past. She's determined to rid herself of her family's embarrassing, flirting ways. The name "Kate" sounds more mature. Her mother's constant, scandalous behavior with men has rubbed off on her older sister, and Kate feels nothing but shame for her family. Her two best friends, Sylvia and Henry are the bright spots of her days growing up. For one month out of the year, Sylvia and Henry go to Blackmoore, and leave Kate behind. Due to unfortunate name her mother has brought to the family, Henry's mother won't allow Kate to go despite her dream to finally see the place that has captured Henry's heart. Kate's dream eventually becomes to travel India with her aunt. Her mother has decided to never allow it, though. A proper young lady is supposed to dream of marriage! When a "deal" is made, Kate realizes she has a chance at making her dreams come true. She simply has to reject 3 proposals when her opportunity finally presents itself to visit Blackmoore.
Blackmoore is the kind of book you close with a blissful sigh! There is such great emotion packed in the pages that you can feel the characters' pain radiating right off the page. I love being transported so deeply into a character's feelings that I cry with them, or laugh with them, or feel my own face burning with their embarrassment. I know at that point I've found an exceptional author. Donaldson succeeds at pulling those emotions out of me as I read Blackmoore.
It was *painful* to read at times. The tension of chemistry is so thick that you know there are secrets being hid. It's made obvious to the reader just how much these two are in love with each other, but they each suffer attempting to hide it from the other. Kate has vowed to never marry, but with a man like Henry at her side, you can't imagine what's going through her mind! And, Henry! When it comes to fictional guys, you just can't get better than Henry. He was sweet, and so in love with Kate you just wanted to give that boy a hug for the pain he was enduring!
It's through the use of flashbacks that Kate's secrets are eventually revealed and then understanding comes to mind. Slowly filling in the details warmed my heart to the story more and more.
In case you couldn't tell, I *adored* this story! It's a wonderfully *clean*, romantic escape to the regency world.
*I was provided a review copy through Netgalley.