18 September 2013

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, Book review

Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 9, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1609074609


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.

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to listen to her heart. With hints of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Blackmoore is a page-turning tale of romance, intrigue, and devotion.

Here are my thoughts:

My first novel by Julianne Donaldson, a promising author! Blackmoore's plot line is as appealing as its cover romantic. 

From the onset you feel drawn in the (almost Gothic) story as you cheer Kate Worthington in her quest for independence. 
Julianne Donaldson's latest Regency Romance novel subtly hints from the beginning at the reason behind Kate's wish for freedom from her restricted surroundings. It is after all the early 1800's and a young lady is not free from Society's stringent etiquette. 

Her dreams of sailing to India with her aunt and her closeness to childhood friend Henri Delafield and his sister Sylvia are the only things that keeps her sane. Her family seems bent on following scandalous paths when the occasion arises and Kate wishes only to be left alone.

For years Blackmoore, Henri's stately coastal home has called to her imagination. She has never been included in the guests' list but Henry promise her someday she will be invited. Until then she must be satisfied with stories of the Delafield manor.

(Phaeton and Icarus painting by Merry-Joseph Blondel 1781-1853 )

In the tradition of such as Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Julianne Donaldson tantalizes her readers with wit and elegance, alluding at so much more than is first anticipated. 
Blackmoore' spirited characters, intriguing plot and congenial dialogues are drawn against the breathtaking English countryside.

What more can a romantic soul aspire to?

A pleasant novel to immerse yourself into whilst sipping  a cuppa!

4 stars!

About the Author:

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.

For more information visit her blog (HERE

Note to Readers: This ARC was a loan for my reading pleasure and the resulting review reflects therefore ONLY my opinion.


  1. I read about this story on another blog and was very interested. I also like the cover so much.

  2. My ARC needed a tad more editing but the overall story was gripping! Reading 'Letters From Skye' presently (epistolary novel about a poet and an american fan prior to WW1), just curious as it did not have the rating expected overseas! More on that later!
    Hoping you have a chance to relax now that the wedding is over?
    All the best,

  3. I'm glad I live in today times where marriage is not so important and we had the freedom to have careers and jobs but I quite like reading about these older times when romance was king.......

    1. I agree with you wholeheartily Merle! At times I roll my eyes at a plotline or character but it is still a great feeling to curl up in a favourite chair and enjoy a good romance!

  4. Hello there!
    I agree the cover is so pretty...And the story inviting and interesting...Although I usually only read true stories...I am interested! thank you for kind visits, Noelle! It's always lovely to hear from you. Hugs Maria x

    1. I too much prefer true stories or at least based on true facts (same for movies) but this one was just ideal for a good relaxing evening or two!
      Covers are rarely spot on but this one hints at such a lovely dress (which I am certain most of us would love to wear at least once in our lifetime!) and combined with the manor in the background atop the cliffs...I am such a dreamer!
      Wishing you a lovely weekend Maria,

  5. This sounds very interesting.

    Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend as well!
      God bless,


I love to share dreams and always enjoy meeting kindred spirits!
Thank you for stopping by!