Today I'm absolutely thrilled to share with you a review of Julianne Donaldson's latest release Blackmoore. You may remember when I reviewed her debut Edenbrooke last year; I am very happy to say that Blackmoore is every bit as amazing. If not better.
Check out my review below, and then click the banner to see what others think!
Shadow Mountain, 2013
Kate Worthington is many things, but she is not like her mother and sisters. The women in her family have an ill-gotten legacy of scandal, and even though their mistakes have cost her everything her heart desires, Kate is determined to break the tradition. She's forsworn marriage - and love - and seeks only to escape to India with her spinster aunt. After a long-desired visit to Blackmoore, of course. Blackmoore is the ancestral home, and future inheritance, of Kate's best friend Henry Delafield. Kate's plans are not her mother's plans however, and Kate quickly discovers just how far her mother is willing to push her to get her own way. Even as she seems to escape easily - agreeing to obtain (and reject) three proposals of marriage while at Blackmoore, thus earning the trip to India - Kate is sucked deeper into a vortex she cannot escape. She is forced to confront her own demons, all her hidden secrets, opening her heart up to searing pain and losing everything precious all over again. Blackmoore was supposed to be a dream come true, but it feels more like a nightmare to Kate.
I loved this book. Loved this book. I love Kate, and her struggles - she's trying so hard to keep herself from hurting, to break the mold of her family. She's fighting so hard that she gets a little lost, and that's a feeling I can relate to myself. But she is a fighter, so she's going to make it - you know she is, one way or another - and you root for her, and cringe and cheer for her by turns. And then there's Henry. Oh stars, but is there Henry. He's the perfect boy-next-door best friend, but he's also ... well, Henry. The heir of Blackmoore. A gentleman. Someone Kate has known and loved her whole life, and so, so much more. He's fighting too, fighting to be true to himself and understand the struggles that are sending Kate into the wild dangers of India. Their individual stories are so closely intertwined ...
Donaldson does a masterful job of weaving in the backstory, as Kate - and Henry - get brave enough to look back into the past, we experience it through their memories. Each "flashback" adds depth to the "present" story, and isn't distracting or confusing the way they can be at times. And the characters, oh the color and breath in the characters. I just ... You've got to read this. It's a Regency story with spunk and flair and surprises that will take your breath away.
ARC provided by publisher for review.
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.
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