After reading Julianne Donaldson’s first book (Edenbrooke), I was excited to learn she’d written a second.
Let’s begin with the summary:
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.
And now, my review:
As I mentioned, I was thrilled to find another book by this author after reading her debut (which became a bestseller and which I reviewed here). Blackmoore differs from Edenbrooke in that it's little darker. But the variety between stories is what makes a good author.
Again, we have first person in the regency setting, which I loved. Again, we have a heroine somewhat unaware of her admirer’s admiration. Great romance, but not as much as the first book.
Two of the themes were shame, and overcoming the past. The author explored escape as a means of overcoming shame. She used the symbolism of a caged bird, and we watch to see if her heroine will become strong and find freedom. I was a little disappointed, as can happen when a book does not include overt Christian messages, to not see the aspect of how God helps people (the ultimate characters) overcome shame and the pain of their pasts. At the same time, I realize the purpose of the story was to entertain. The book does that with great hooks throughout, keeping readers engaged.
Reader who enjoy wholesome romance in regency settings will enjoy this story. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this Proper Romance series from Shadow Mountain Publishers.