Blog Tour: Blackmoore

(A Proper Romance)
by Julianne Donaldson
Regency Romance
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.

Blackmoore is at a discounted price of $7.99 in ebook format this month.


My Review

I felt extremely lucky to have happened to catch Blackmoore while it was available as an eARC for a very short period of time on NetGalley. I love Julianne Donaldson because I loved Edenbrooke, which she wrote last year and which was the first novel in A Proper Romance line of books from Shadow Mountain. Sometimes when you read a second book from an author, after loving her first, you might be disappointed. This was definitely not the case for me with Blackmoore. I loved it and am planning on re-reading my paperback copy several times over. It definitely has earned a prized place on my bookshelf.

I do have to say that Blackmoore was very different from Edenbrooke, which is expected, of course. My point in bringing that up is that in Blackmoore we don't see the happy and close-knit familial relationships that exist in Edenbrooke. Instead you have two individuals who both have certain expectations put upon them by their families and society, and parents who are sometimes actually unkind and even a little ruthless with their children. This is probably very close to how many families were during this time period. They didn't normally marry for love and there were many mothers who would do anything to marry their children off in order to promote them into a higher class or to gain more wealth. You definitely see this side of the Regency era in Blackmoore. It is rather depressing and sad.

I really felt for Kate who just wants to be independent enough to travel and to continue learning. She would definitely be considered a blue stocking. Then you have Henry who is the heir and whose position holds certain demands. His mother just about has him betrothed to someone who is very sophisticated and will be a good match for the family. Henry and Kate were childhood friends, growing up together as their estates neighbored each other. Then as they reached a certain age, things changed a little for them. Kate has never visited Blackmoore, an estate of Henry's that he went to stay at every summer with his family and had house parties and such. It is his inheritance and he loves it: the house and the land. This summer that Kate gets to go to Blackmoore is basically her last summer to spend with Henry before they really grow up and go their separate ways.

I really loved all the characters. Kate and Henry both don't do everything right. They are somewhat slaves to their situations, but they are also willing to fight for what they want and sacrifice for what needs to be done. I related to and loved Kate and Henry the most, but there were also some other great characters, like Henry's intended, the musician, both mothers, Henry's grandfather, the list goes on. . .

I loved the setting. The descriptions were so well done that I could envision the countryside and the house. I loved the writing, the lyrical phrases, the symbolic moments (as with the bird), the classical music references, the hilarious banter, and the romantically tense moments as well. There are so many parts that I liked, but I don't want to spoil anything, so I will just share this short one here:
He knelt in front of me. My face flushed, and my hands trembled, and my hope lifted again and again, like a million wings beating within me.
And then I just had to share this excerpt:
     "Katherine Worthington."
     I raised an eyebrow. "Katherine?"
     "Shush. I am being formal. It's fitting."
     He knelt on one knee before me.
     "Oh, no," I muttered. "Please don't. Get up. Please."
     He glared at me. "No complaining allowed." He took a breath and looked at my hand in his and said, "Katherine, you have stolen my heart."
     A strange urge to laugh took hold of me.
     "I cannot bear the thought of living without you."
     My hand was so sweaty it slipped in his. Another urge to laugh bubbled up. But I should not laugh. My lips twitched; my shoulders started to shake. I clapped my free hand over my mouth to cover my smile.
     "And I beg you to–"
     I choked back a giggle.
     Henry frowned up at me. "Are you laughing?"
     I shook my head, biting back another laugh.
     "Yes, you are." He stood, dropping the hand he had been holding. "Let me see your mouth."
     Another almost-laugh burst from me. I covered my mouth with both hands, shaking my head.
     "Kate," he said in a warning voice, stepping closer. He grasped my wrists and pulled my hands away from my mouth. I bit my lip, but I could not bite back the giggle that erupted. Henry dropped my wrists with a look of disgust and backed away.
     "This was a mistake. You will never grow up, will you, Kitty?"
     I gasped. "Kitty? How could you?"
     "You laughed at me!"
     "You were acting ridiculous!"
     He threw a hand out. "I was trying to be serious!"
     "Well, I wish you wouldn't."
     "And why should I not? It was my first proposal. I wanted it to be good." I stared at him as realization dawned on me. "Your first proposal." I reached out and put a hand on his arm. "Oh, Henry. Are you . . . do you feel . . . compromised?"
Quite hilarious, don't you think? :) It goes on, but I thought I'd better end there.

I really liked that nothing came easy to Kate or Henry. Their plans didn't work out for either one of them how they thought they would. Of course, I did have an idea what would happen in the end, but the journey to get there had quite a few twists and heartbreak, but some sweet and very humorous moments as well. The author did a really great job fitting together the pieces in the end. The last few chapters are some of my favorites of the book.

I highly recommend picking this up if you like romance, historical fiction, or just want a really good read!

Content: Clean.
Source: NetGalley


This is my favorite new line of books. If you would like to know my thoughts on Edenbrooke, go here. To see my review of Longing for Home, go here. Edenbrooke is only $1.99 in ebook format this month. You can purchase it for your Nook or Kindle.

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. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children.

You can find Julianne here:
Blog  - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads 

You can also visit Julianne's blog here to see some Blackmoore extras.


I am so excited to be able to giveaway a paperback copy of Blackmoore to one lucky US winner. Enter via the rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends September 30th. All my usual rules apply.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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