Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 9, 2013)
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!
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.