Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Publication Date: September 9th, 2013
Publisher: Shadow Mountain / Proper Romance
Genre: Historical Fiction
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 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?
After having read Edenbrooke and falling in love with it - as many others - I immediately added Blackmoore to my tbr. I love the premise of a young woman with a goal who defies expectations so this was a book I was excited to read.
While I did enjoy Blackmoore, it couldn’t live up to the level that Edenbrooke set. It was still filled with the trappings you would expect, such as mutual pining, meddling relatives, a stunning manor, etc. but unfortunately a lot of it felt arbitrary.
On paper, Kate sounds like a perfect heroine but as I read, she struck me more like a spoiled child who wanted to get her own way without thinking about how it may effect others. I can see how the reader is meant to see her as trapped by her circumstances and wanting to do anything she can to be free. But even when she was supposed to be shown as selfless, she was actually being pretty selfish.
Henry, on the other hand was pretty great all around. I wish that this book could have been dual POV because I would have loved to see what he was thinking about the various situations that were going on. That being said, being able to see Henry’s side may have just ended up highlighting his and Kate’s differences in maturity. Because, from how he is written, he is far more mature than her.
The wager of the 3 proposals could have been rectified far sooner and with far less emotional trauma in my opinion. Especially considering Kate goes off to Blackmoore alone. Many aspects like this made the plot feel tenuous.
Personally, I was far more interested in some of the flashbacks and what happens after Blackmoore. I wish that the last couple of chapters were a bigger part of the plot overall because there was so much that could be done with it.
Surprisingly, for fans of Evie Dunmore, this book gave off similar vibes to how I felt about many aspects of Portrait of a Scotsman. Odd that I can even compare these 2 books though haha.
Overall, I did enjoy this one but it did not live up to the expectation I had set after having read Edenbrooke.