Blackmoore (Paperback)

A Proper Romance

by Julianne Donaldson

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Product Description

Winner of Best Novel and Best Romance Novel - 2013 Whitney Awards

Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead — if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured — and rejected — three marriage proposals.

 Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain sooner rather than later and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart.

“Readers will be absolutely captivated by the beautiful imagery, sizzling tension, and mesmerizing plot.” — Publisher's Weekly

Blackmoore is light and easy to read, perfect for a day at the beach or over tea and crumpets served in the best china.” — Foreward Reviews

Product Details

  • Size:  6" x 9"
  • Pages:  320
  • Year Published:  2013
  • Book on CD:  Unabridged, 8 discs

About the Author

Debut novelist Julianne Donaldson is a hopeless romantic. Her degree in English has only fueled her passion to write. She and her husband live in Salt Lake City, Utah, with their four children, but she takes every opportunity she can to travel the English countryside.

Chapter 1

Lancashire, England, July 1820

A woodlark sings of heartache. A swallow calls in the two-tone rhythm of a race. And a blackbird’s song is the whistle of homecoming.

Today it was the woodlark that called me to my window. I stopped pacing and rested my hands on the sill, leaning out to hear him better. For just a moment, my restlessness eased as I listened to this woodlark’s tale of heartache, of sorrow; his falling notes never ended happily, no matter how many times I heard him sing.

I usually loved the woodlark’s song better than any other. But today his sorrow made me nervous. I backed away from the window and turned compulsively to check the clock on the mantel again. It read only three. I cursed the slow crawl of time on this nothing-to-do-but-wait day. Several hours remained before night would fall and I could sleep and then wake and leave for Blackmoore. The waiting should have been comfortable for me—I had been waiting to visit Blackmoore all my life, after all. But on this last day, the waiting felt more than I could bear.

Opening my traveling trunk, I removed the Mozart piece I had packed away earlier that morning and left my bedchamber. The sound of crying reached me as soon as I opened my door. I hurried down the hall and took the stairs two at a time, stopping on the step above the one on which Maria lay sprawled.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” I bent over her prostrate form, imagining all sorts of calamities that might have befallen my younger sister while I was pacing in my room.

She rolled over, her face toward the ceiling, her dark, wavy hair clinging to her damp cheeks, her chest heaving with the force of her sobs. I grasped her arm, shaking her lightly, and said, “Tell me, Maria! What has happened?”

“M-Mr. Wilkes has gone away and m-may n-never return!”

I leaned back and looked at her doubtfully. “Really? You are crying over Mr. Wilkes?”

She answered with a fresh sob.

Pulling my handkerchief from my pocket, I thrust it toward her. “Come, Maria. No man is worth this amount of grief.”

“Mr. W-Wilkes is!”

I seriously doubted that. I tried to wipe her face with the handkerchief, but she pushed my hand away. I sighed. “You know, there are more comfortable places to cry than the stairway.”

She clenched her hands into fists and yelled, “Mama! Kitty is being unkind again!”

“Kate,” I reminded her. “And I am not being unkind. Only practical. And speaking of practical …” I reached toward her face with the handkerchief again. “How can you breathe with all that fluid on your face?”

She waved my handkerchief away with a sob. “Take your practicality elsewhere. I don’t want it.”

“Of course you don’t,” I said, my patience snapping. “You want to cry on the stairs for a man you have seen only five times.”

She glared at me while screaming, “Mama! Kitty is being unbearable again!”

“Kate,” I said, my own anger flaring. “My name is Kate. And Mama is not even here. She is out on calls. And if you refuse to see reason, then I refuse to comfort you. Now, please excuse me. I have a Mozart concerto to practice.”

She locked her gaze with mine and refused to move so much as an inch, forcing me to hold onto the banister and jump over her to reach the bottom of the staircase. Shaking my head in disgust, I entered the drawing room and shut the door firmly behind me. A moment later another one of Maria’s wails rose high and loud, and my cat, who sat perched on the pianoforte, arched her back and yowled in time. I shot her a look of disgust. “Oh, not you too.”

There are many wrong ways to play Mozart and only one right way. Mozart was meant to be played as precisely as one would work a mathematical equation. The music was meant to be marched out in regular fashion, each note a little obedient soldier, taking up only its allotted space in time. There was no room in Mozart for the disturbing influence of passion. There was no room in Mozart for a cat named Cora that clawed at my shoulder while attempting to climb away from the noise. And there was certainly no room in Mozart for sisters who wailed outside the door of the drawing room at the precise moment that I was trying to practice.

After several minutes of trying to play over the noise of Maria’s wailing, I was definitely playing Mozart the wrong way, pounding the keys with so much passion that I broke a fingernail. “Drat!” I muttered, and another sobbing wail came from the hall. I tipped my head back and yelled out over the noise, “Mozart is not meant to be played this way! It is an insult to his musical genius!”

I heard quick footsteps outside the door, and Maria’s sobbing turned to nearly incomprehensible speech. “Kitty was so unbearable, Mama, and she has no compassion for my heartache and told me to cry elsewhere when anyone could see that I did not choose a place to cry, I simply had to cry and happened to be near the stairs when the impulse struck—”

had

“Oh, not now, Maria!”

At the sound of my mother’s voice, Cora leapt from my shoulders to the floor. In a streak of grey fur, she dashed across the room and hid herself under a chair.

The next moment the door flew open, and Mama marched into the room. She had not stopped even to take off her bonnet, and her chest heaved in an almost violent fashion from her quickened breathing.

“Is it true?” She placed a hand on her heaving bosom. “Can it possibly be true, Kitty?”

“Kate,” I reminded her, playing on. Mozart required concentration, and now that Maria’s wails had quieted to whimpers, I intended to make good use of the comparative quiet.

In an instant, Mama stalked over to the pianoforte, her shoes making hard clicks on the wood floor, and snatched my music off the instrument.

“Mama!” I stood, reaching for my music, but she backed away and held it above her head. Only then did I manage a really good look at her face, and my heart quickened with dread.

“Is it true?” she asked again, her voice low and trembling. “Did you receive an offer of marriage from Mr. Cooper and reject him? Without even consulting me?”

I swallowed my nervousness and lifted one shoulder in a casual shrug. “What was there to consult about? I have told you how I feel about marriage.” I reached for my music, but she held it higher, outstretching me with the two inches she had on me in height. “Besides, it was Mr. Cooper! He has one foot in the grave! He will probably not live to see another year, if that.”

“All the better! Would that all of my daughters were so fortunate! How could you have thrown away this opportunity, Kitty?”

My upper lip curled in distaste. “I have told you over and over again, Mama. I have no intention of marrying anyone. Now please give me my music. Surely you want me to perform well at Blackmoore.”

Her lips pinched together, her face turned red, and she threw my music onto the floor. It landed badly, with pages scattering, bent, like the wings of wounded birds. “Mama! Mozart!” I crouched down, hurrying to retrieve the pages.

“Oh, Mama!” Her voice was high and mocking. “Mozart!” She fluttered her hands around her face. “Mama, I do not want to do anything sensible like marry well. Mama, I want only to go to Blackmoore and play Mozart and waste every hard-earned opportunity.”

I stood, my music gripped to my chest, my face hot. “I do not think my goals, although they may be different from yours, can qualify as a waste—”

“Your goals! Oh, my, that is rich.” She paced in front of me, her shoes clicking hard with every step, as if she would stamp out my will and my voice too if she could. “What exactly are your goals?”

“You know my goals,” I muttered.

She stopped in front of me, her hands on her hips. “What goals? To disappoint? To waste precious resources? To turn into an old spinster like your aunt Charlotte?” Her dark eyebrows flattened above her eyes. “Is this why I have invested in you? To gain nothing in return but a silly girl who cares only for Blackmoore and Mozart?”

nothing

I lifted my chin, willing it not to quiver. “That is not true. I care about more than that. I care about India, and I care about Oliver, and I—”

“Oh, do not mention India to me, girl. Not again!” She threw up her arms. I flinched involuntarily. “I cannot believe Charlotte would dare to invite you against my wishes. India! As if you already were not enough of a burden on me, with your stubbornness and your—” She whirled around and stalked back toward me. I told myself not to shrink. I hugged Mozart to my chest and commanded my chin to stay raised. I held her gaze.

“This is the end, Kitty,” she said, raising a finger and shaking it in my face. “I have had enough of your willfulness. I will show you that I know what is best for you, and I will do it starting now. You will not go to India. I will write to your aunt Charlotte myself and tell her I have finally made a decision. And—” She grabbed my chin, forcing it up to close my mouth, which had opened in automatic protest. Leaning close, so close I could smell the stale tea on her breath, she whispered, “—and you will not go to Blackmoore. You will stay here and learn your proper place, and do not bother speaking to your father about it, or you will be in even worse trouble than you are right now.”

She released me with a flourish, a triumphant light blazing in her dark eyes.

I shook my head, my heart pounding. “No, Mama. Please. Not Blackmoore. Please don’t take Blackmoore from me—”

“No? No?” She held up one finger, silencing me with the hard stare of her eyes, and said in a low voice. “Go to your room and unpack, Kitty.”

I stared at her eyes. They were the same color as an old, rusted trap I had found in the woods when I was seven. A rabbit had been gripped in its iron teeth. The little thing was no longer struggling when I found it, but it still breathed, and it saw me. Its eyes moved when I bent over it. I tried frantically to free the animal, but the rusted old metal would not yield to my prying fingers.

In desperation, I had finally run to Delafield Manor and dragged Henry back through the woods. He looked at the rabbit. He shook his head. He picked up a large rock and told me to turn away and cover my ears. I cried, but I did as he said.

A few moments later, his hand was on my shoulder, and I opened my eyes and lowered my hands. He said that the rabbit was no longer suffering. He said that was the best we could do for the poor thing. I supposed Henry got rid of the trap later. I never saw it again, even though I spent nearly every day in the woods. But I could not forget the look of it. I could not forget the large teeth and the rusted color and the tenacity of its grip.

In this moment, I saw the same cold tenacity in my mother’s eyes. She would take Blackmoore from me and the hope of India, and there was nothing I could do to stop her. There was no prying at her, no freeing myself from her will. Despair beat at me with barnacled fists.

“My name,” I said in a low voice, “is not Kitty. It is Kate!” I marched past her, reached under the chair for my cat, and left the room without crying. I tripped over Maria, forgetting that she was sprawled across the stairs, and fell hard on both elbows as I held on to Cora and Mozart.

I did not cry, even though pain shot up both arms and Cora scratched my cheek in an effort to wriggle away. I did not cry as I scrambled to my feet amid the yells of Maria to watch where I was stepping, and I did not cry as I ran up the remainder of the steps, down the hall, to the last bedroom on the right, and locked the door behind me.

I set Cora down and threw my music onto the bed. Pain throbbed in my elbows and shins, but the twisted, impotent pain of my helplessness screamed louder than any physical pain. I clutched my hair with both hands and paced the floor, fighting back the urge to cry. I should have anticipated something like this. It was so typical of Mama to swoop in and ruin everything, just when I thought I would finally have my heart’s desire. But even more infuriating than Mama’s interference was the fact that I was wholly powerless. At seventeen I was caged in this house of stone and glass and hardened feelings and expectations I would never meet.

A stifled scream rattled in my throat. An overwhelming urge to destroy something possessed me, shocking me and stilling my steps. The last time I had given in to such an urge, I had lived to regret it. My gaze dropped to the loose board under the window. I looked at the wooden chest at the end of my bed. It had been locked for so long. But I had nothing to lose by looking inside it now.

My hands shook as I pried at the loose board under the window until, with a protesting creak, it came free of its constraints. I plunged my hand into the hole, scraping my fingertips on the old, splintered wood, until my fingers closed around the smooth metal of the key. I knelt in front of the wooden chest and stared at the lock I had not turned in ages. Finally I took a deep breath, inserted the key, turned it, and raised the lid.

The scent of cedar wafted up. It smelled like my childhood, like secrets. I held my breath as I lifted the model from inside the chest. It was always heavier than I remembered it being. I set it down on the floor, then lowered the lid, and set the model gingerly on top of the chest.

Sitting back on my heels, I gazed with a mixture of admiration and regret at the wooden model. It was always thus. I loved it and regretted it at the same time. I loved it for what it was. I regretted what I had done to it. With one finger, I carefully traced the outline of the roof, stopping when I reached the spot where the roof was destroyed, the remains of the careful workmanship a splintered wreck. I lifted my finger, skirting the wreck, and set it down again where the model was whole. “This is Blackmoore,” I whispered to myself. “It has thirty-five rooms, twelve chimneys, three stories, two wings …”

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Loved This Book!

by  Vicki  -   reviewed on  September 03, 2013

This is a great love story. I loved how the author writes about flashbacks to explain what Kate and Henry have shared and to bring the reader up to date on their lives. As Kate deals with her trials, we learn about her heart and Henry's. It was interesting, heart wrenching, sad, and happy ending. I loved the description of Blackmoore and would love to visit there.

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Lovely, Beautiful, Haunting!

by  Marianne  -   reviewed on  August 12, 2013

Blackmoore is a story of heartache and loss, fear and faith, love, trust, and courage, and finally ... happiness. In Kate (Kitty) and Henry, Julianne Donaldson has beautifully created complex and endearing characters who struggle to make sense of and live in their world and circumstances. It is full of vivid imagery and haunting emotions from beginning to end. Nowhere is this more evident than in the heart wrenching scene where Henry tries desperately to talk with his ailing grandfather who barely recognizes him. What a masterful piece of writing!

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Another amazing story!

by  Debbie  -   reviewed on  August 14, 2013

Innocent love, symbolism, scandalous, dreams, betrayal, family, friends, trust - all these words describe this hard-to-put-down Regency story. I loved the flashback sections which added deep meaning and understanding to Kate's conflicts and decisions. Oh how I wanted Kate to be happy! Donaldson masterfully weaves lives together from beginning to end. Besides being a great story, her writing gave me deeper ideas to think about. I'm ready for her next book!

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Swoon-worthy Regency romance!

by  Stephanie  -   reviewed on  September 11, 2013

Kate "Kitty" Worthington is determined to never marry. She bides her time waiting to go on a promised and long desired trip to Blackmoore, the estate of her dear friends Henry and Sylvia, Kate knows that once she escapes the confines of her home and the weight of her oppressive mother she can at last be free. Free from marriage to a wretched old man, free from her tedious life and free to go to India with her aunt Charlotte. Kate's sly mother has other plans for her though, telling Kate that she will be free to go to India only if she receives 3 proposals of marriage and declines them during her visit to Blackmoore. Kate thinks that her mother's bargain shouldn't be too hard...until she arrives at Blackmoore. Upon arrival she discovers that she wasn't really invited and Henry's intended bride is there as well bringing long suppressed emotions to both Kate and Henrys friendship. Afraid that her plans to travel with her aunt are in jeopardy, Kate asks Henry, her friend, confidante, and the man who has secretly held her heart since childhood to help her...with unexpected results. A true Regency romance, Blackmoore is an addictive read that will have you laughing, crying and romantically sighing...

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Beautifully written!

by  Lisa  -   reviewed on  September 19, 2013

I believe that Julianne Donaldson has become one of my favorite author's. I will be looking for anything and everything she writes. Blackmoore is a beautifully written story. Kate Worthington comes from a dysfunctional home. She lives a life of privilege. But the price is high for her comforts. Her mother is more concerned with wealth and making pushing her daughters into marriages of convenience and profit than of their emotional stability or well being. Kate's goal is to be a very different person than her mother. She doesn't want to flirt with anyone and everyone or have a marriage of disdain. She wants to be free, to live a life of adventure, to make her own decisions. Henry is her closest friend. He is also the one that she loves. There are circumstances that are keeping them apart. She wants to travel to India with her aunt to keep herself and Henry free. I really enjoyed that Julianne used chapters revisiting Kate's life. It helped me to understand her and the reasoning behind her decisions. It also showed how much compassion Kate has for others. It made me feel sorry for the young girl who endured many things. This is a book that I would love to revisit again. It is a clean romance that reconfirms my faith in the power of love and the possibility of a happily ever after.

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Very Romantic

by  Carol  -   reviewed on  September 08, 2013

Kate had some very similar character/thought processing traits to Marianne in 'Edenbrook'. It was almost annoying. BUT the storyline was worth the read and I hope that Julianne keeps writing!

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Loved it!

by  Rachael  -   reviewed on  September 03, 2013

**Warning: Contains Spoilers** Nothing renders me more useless than a great book and "Blackmoore" rendered me truly useless! I couldn't put it down! I loved the strong, female lead and the male lead was charming. This book is chick lit so the ending was a little predictable but the how-would-they-get-there kept me turning pages. Kate, in the beginning, stated that she would never marry and I wondered what her motivations were. Julianne Donaldson did a fantastic job at keeping me wondering until I was completely engaged in the story but she didn't make me wait so long for answers that I was annoyed by the not knowing. Delightful book! I recommend it!

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Enchanting

by  Melissa  -   reviewed on  September 30, 2013

A book that is hard to put down. I absolutely loved reading Blackmore.

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Fabulous End

by  Jennifer  -   reviewed on  September 04, 2013

I loved the last third of this book! The complaint I have is that I had to wait until the end for the happy ending these two so deserved. Julianne Donaldson created a world that made me smile, cringe (because of unfeeling parents), put the book away because I just couldn't read another heartbreaking moment, then celebrate because of true love winning in the end. Creating characters that I could see, feel, and had a genuine hope for...that is a good book! I re-read my favorite moments, and found myself sighing, with a small smile even the second (and third) time around. Thanks!

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Wonderful romance

by  Joyce  -   reviewed on  September 09, 2013

Julianne has done it again. I loved Edenbrooke and I love Blackmoore. I appreciate the way she makes each character come alive and you either love them or dislike them. I was glad she included the past encounters between Katy and Henry to help us understand their relationship. Very well written. There was just one thing; it left me wanting more at the end, like what happened to certain people. (mom, sister, friend, etc)

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Loved it!

by  Heidi  -   reviewed on  September 17, 2013

I love Julianne Donaldson's books! They are some of my favorite books ever. Even though there is only two so far, I hope there will be many more. I truly loved this one just as I did Edenbrooke. This one though touched my heart in unique ways. Maybe it's because I really felt for Kate and her desire to determine her own future. Maybe it's the way she struggled to figure out what her heart really wanted and what the right thing to do was. In any case, I loved Kate and Henry and their love story. I did have a hard time reading about their mother's however, both of whom were selfish jerks who cared much more for appearances and position, and society than about the happiness of their children. The way they tried to manipulate and use their own children made me want to seriously punch them in their respective noses, and I am not a normally violent person. The story reminded me that sometimes choices have to be made between what we want and what we want most. Kate and Henry must both face some difficult choices. Choices of the heart and choices of the mind. Kate desperately wants to escape what she calls her 'cage' and experience the world and her aunt's invitation to accompany her to India seems like the perfect opportunity, if only her mother would agree. After making an agreement with her mother, she sets off for Blackmoore, soon to be Henry's home, determined to avoid marriage, but Henry has other plans. I loved the scenes with Kate and Henry, they made me smile. And nobody writes heart-wrenching kissing scenes like Julianne Donaldson. Another book for the favorites shelf.

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My favorite new author

by  Customer  -   reviewed on  August 19, 2013

I have been anxiously awaiting this book since i read Edenbrooke last summer. I preordered Blackmoore from Deseret book a few weeks ago expecting it to arrive sometime after the september release date and somehow it arrived on my doorstep three days ago. Best surprise ever! Needless to say, I've already finished and I loved every delicious minute of it. Awesome, awesome, awesome! Her writing is engaging and exciting without anything that might make the reader uncomfortable. True romance. Love her writing and can't wait for more!

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Loved it!

by  Customer  -   reviewed on  September 12, 2013

I have Edenbrooke but have to admit, I haven't read it yet. Busy, busy, busy, I guess. I got Blackmoore as an ebook and it was easy to carry with me so I started it and just couldn't put it down. I don't read a lot of fiction, but when I do, I want it to be light, uplifting, heartfelt, and sweet. This was all of those things --- the perfect "something" to lift me out of the (sometimes) drudgery of the world. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am on to Edenbrooke now!

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Absolutely Stunning

by  Heather  -   reviewed on  September 10, 2013

An absolutely stunning second novel by Julianne Donaldson. This book is a treasure that will remain forever on my shelves and be shared through generations. Julianne has taken Jane Austen's style and period and crafted a novel that is poetic, deep, haunting and classically romantic. I re-read Blackmoore in preparation for my post, and those who know me well will know that I have only read a handful of books twice through. I think I can honestly say it was better the second time than the first. There is just so much to be discovered and unfurled. There are so many levels of symbolism, sentiment and character development that one could safely read and re read Blackmooore over and over again. Kate Worthington is a voice we can all relate to, a women on a quest to discover who she really is and how to escape her cultural traps. She feels misunderstood and misplaced within her family of ill behaved women. When a series of revelations about her mother and her childhood friend Henry lead her on a path of change, she decides it is time to lock up her heart for good. Her deepest desire is to visit Blackmoore, the summer estate of Henry's family and to make a trip to India with her Aunt Charlotte. Her dreams are almost dashed when she rejects the unwelcome arrangements of her mother, but Kate has a plan...one that just might break the heart of her admirer and break the chains of her entrapment. The Gothic tone and mysterious setting of the moors next to the sea make this a wonderful Fall or rainy day read. Written in Kate's first person point of view with flashbacks from the past, the story line moves swiftly and I admit I read it all in one day. It is amazingly well written and I will recommend it to all my friends.

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A wonderful love story!!

by  Kami  -   reviewed on  August 10, 2013

I love love love this book and I love Julianne Donaldson. I couldn't put the book down. She is such an amazing writer I love how she keeps me so captivated through the whole story. A must read for anyone wanting a good love story!

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Love the complex characters in this book!

by  Cathy  -   reviewed on  September 12, 2013

This book is awesome! I love Kate, I love how her family calls her Kitty, but she's stubbornly trying to reinvent herself as Kate. I love the idea of a large estate on the ocean with tons of secret passages to hide in. I really loved all of the characters in this story, they are all so complex, at first you think that their motivation is something other than it ends up being. Julianne Donaldson is a master of making you think you are where the story takes place, I could imagine the setting of the house Blackmoore on the moors of England with the ocean behind. The plot is complex, and engaging. The story didn't end at all how I thought it would. And, of course, I love the cover too! I can't wait to read the next book by Julianne Donaldson!

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Couldn't put it down!!

by  Krista  -   reviewed on  August 26, 2013

As with Julianne's first novel "Edenbrooke", I was swept away by all ranges of emotions when reading "Blackmoore". It was so descriptive, I felt as if I were actually with all the characters, seeing and feeling what they were at that moment. Although I had a hunch it would end as it did, I still cried for joy in the last few pages. It has left me craving for more clean, yet thoroughly enticing books from the excellent author!!

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Very descriptive, emotional, frustrating, page turner

by  Glenda  -   reviewed on  September 08, 2013

I found it very hard to put down; wanting to know how Kate would manage to work things out, despite the devious grasp of her mother. The vivid descriptions of the characters brought them to life in the imagination, and the scenes of the house and countryside made it seem like you were there. Kate could be so frustrating at times and Henry so feeling. Even though I did not agree with all of Kate's thoughts and actions, it made fascinating reading. It showed how family members can affect each other. A page turner!

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PERFECT!

by  Shauna  -   reviewed on  September 12, 2013

AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL! PRAISE-WORTHY! ROMANCE AT IT BEST! DELIGHTFUL! SO. SO. SO. GOOD! And I could go on and on about this breath-taking book, for it truly is a definite must-read for anyone who loves a good love story like I do. Kate has been keeping secrets from her two best friends, Henry and Sylvia. Secrets too terrible to reveal. Secrets that have made her determined to never marry! Instead she will travel to India with her aunt and leave the trapped feelings she has of being at home. But Kate's mother has always wanted her daughters to marry...so she bargains with Kate. Kate must receive, and then deny, three marriage proposals at the summer gathering in the Blackmoore manor before she can travel to India. Can she find 3 men to propose to her? Can she find the escape her heart so desires? Read this fabulous book to find the answers found in this one woman's secretly locked heart...you will be so happy you did!

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Wonderful Love story. One that I will let my kids read.

by  Kelli  -   reviewed on  September 19, 2013

Loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I stayed up way late into the night. I guess I shouldn’t have started reading it after dinner. I was even reading it when I was cooking meals that’s how much I hated to put it down. It's one of my new favorites. Right up there with Pride and Prejudice. I loved how the author developed her characters. She made them so real. She has vivid descriptions throughout the book. It made it very easy to picture what she was talking about. I kept waiting for Kitty and Henry to realize how they felt about one another. I loved how we were kept in suspense as to why Kitty said she would never marry. I found myself sad, getting angry and laughing at some of the characters. I loved the scene with the grandfather. It reminded me of trying to talk to my grandmother. This is a book that I will let my kids read. It is a wonderful, well written and clean romance story.

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Wonderful Love story. One that I will let my kids read.

by  Kelli  -   reviewed on  September 19, 2013

Loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I stayed up way late into the night. I guess I shouldn’t have started reading it after dinner. I was even reading it when I was cooking meals that’s how much I hated to put it down. It's one of my new favorites. Right up there with Pride and Prejudice. I loved how the author developed her characters. She made them so real. She has vivid descriptions throughout the book. It made it very easy to picture what she was talking about. I kept waiting for Kitty and Henry to realize how they felt about one another. I loved how we were kept in suspense as to why Kitty said she would never marry. I found myself sad, getting angry and laughing at some of the characters. I loved the scene with the grandfather. It reminded me of trying to talk to my grandmother. This is a book that I will let my kids read. It is a wonderful, well written and clean romance story.

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Stunning Story

by  Monica  -   reviewed on  September 06, 2013

Julianne Donaldson’s Blackmoore is a fabulous addition to her first novel Edenbrooke. Kate and Henry love one another but meddlesome mothers, scandalous sisters, and awkward associations may fatefully keep them apart. Propelled by a stunning plot filled with intrigue, suspense, and heart fluttering romance (of course), I was wishing for more pages to turn. Everyone will be hearing my recommendation for this novel.

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A  magical, achingly beautiful love story

by  Lisa  -   reviewed on  July 06, 2013

In this Regency story, it is not that love is unrequited, but it is unrealized.  It tells about a love that twines two hearts together to the degree that separate confines are indistinguishable.  Yet, that very love is only in the world of impossibilities. In Blackmoore, Julianne Donaldson has created a character tapestry so intricate it is nearly impossible to distinguish between it and the living, breathing article.  How do you know what you want if you have never experienced or seen its existence? If you don't recognize where you want to go, you will never recognize when you arrive. Sweet, achingly beautiful, heart-wrenching, and not to be missed!

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LOVED THIS BOOK!

by  Erika  -   reviewed on  August 11, 2013

Yep! This book I finished at five in the morning! Bad decision to start this one before bed because you won't actually go to bed! Then I took 10 minutes to reread all of my favorite parts! I will consider myself Blackmoored! Yep-made that phrase up right along with the phrase Edenbrooked.The romance was amazing!!! It was the kind of romance where you are squirming from the cuteness! I was about half way through this book when I realized I was actually smiling at my kindle. I laughed, I sighed...remembering my favorite parts makes my heart race a bit! :) I bet you anything you'll LOVE this book!

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Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

by  Mindy  -   reviewed on  September 09, 2013

Kate Worthington comes from a loveless family. Her mother and her sisters only want what is best for them, even at the expense of others. Kate is nothing like them. What Kate wants most in the world is to go to India. Her deplorable mother wants her to marry Mr. Cooper. That disgusts Kate, mostly because she said she will never marry. Her best friends are Henry and Sylvia Delafield. Every year they go to Blackmoore, the estate which Henry will inherit, and Kate has always wanted to go. She finally gets her chance, but she makes a deal with the devil. Her mother. Everything about this book is beautiful. The story, the setting, the characters, even the not so nice ones. As much I loved Julianne's first book, Edenbrooke, I loved Blackmoore even more. I was instantly taken into Kate's world. Although she is a stubborn character, I enjoyed her sense of adventure and I loved that she knew what she wanted. Even though it may not be what her heart wants. I enjoyed her walks in the moors, her exploring the manor, and I especially loved it when she was with Henry. There is a scene where they are on the beach together talking that I read several times. There are some complications with her relationship with Henry. I can't give anything away, but I could not put this book down until I was finished. I had tears in the eyes many times, and the tears at the end were from happiness. 5 out of 5 stars. Edenbrooke won Best Romance for a 2012 Whitney Award and Julianne also won the Whitney for Best Novel of the Year for a new author.

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'Modern Day Jane Austen'

by  camille  -   reviewed on  September 02, 2013

Blackmoore Review “Julianne Donaldson is the ‘modern day Jane Austen’ and as such has created another masterpiece that exceeds the brilliance of her first novel. A book that causes the feeling of raw and intense emotions to escape from the pages and to reach into the reader’s soul. The use of Greek, German, and English mythologies and legends adds to the experience that the story leads you on and raises the curiosity in the reader to further their knowledge through research. Blackmoore , like Edenbrookes, leaves you satisfied and wanting more. Keep writing Julianne, keep writing.” ~ Camille Saunderson

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Simply Amazing!

by  Customer  -   reviewed on  September 06, 2013

A must read for any romantic!

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secrets, romance, and adventures

by  Renae  -   reviewed on  September 18, 2013

The lucid descriptions bring me back to a classy embarkment of a tale of romance that keeps you turning the pages, wanting more. Donaldson paints a beautiful picture on every page of this novel, I was captivated and impressed with not only the story line, and the exciting twists in the main characters story, but the author's willingness to open your eyes to the secrets, and heart of one adventurous Kate Worthington. The main character, Kate Worthington, struggles with a secret she promises never to tell, her only sacrifice ends up being the only man she really truly ever loved. Her heart belongs to BlackMoore and has since the day her friends Henry and Sylvia told her of their manor on the cliffs. Secrets and mysteries are uncovered slowly, but in good fashion as the author keeps you salivating for more of Kate Worthington and her desires to be free. To read a classy romance, filled with chivalry set in a classy time is a breath of fresh air, Donaldson writes freely and confidently, and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an escape, but beware, your time getting to know Kate and her secrets goes by all to fast as you will not be able to put this book down. http://bookdeep.blogspot.com

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A masterfully constructed story of true love and integrity

by  Liz  -   reviewed on  August 16, 2013

It was obvious that Kate and Henry had an endearing attachment right from the beginning, yet Kate is adamant that she would never marry Henry, or any man. I kept asking "Why? Why?" Not to disappoint, Julianne Donaldson masterfully peeled back layer after layer of experiences, secrets, and determinations to reveal the true heartache that was holding her back. The climax will have you cheering for the true love and integrity shown by these characters. What a sweet and heart-wrenching love story!

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