Monday, July 1, 2013

Blackmoore Review

Blackmoore: A Proper Romance

Blackmoore: A Proper Romance

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?

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. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.

My Review: 10/10

This is the kind of story I'm always hoping to stumble upon when I pick up a historical fiction novel. I thought the language, etiquette and characterization was flawless. I didn;t mind the flashbacks, as they were in chronological order and the author laced the story with enough intrigue that I was dying to unravel the mysteries of Kate as well.

Normally when a misunderstanding of the two main characters' feelings is what separates them, I can barely trudge through the story; it usually makes the characters behave unnaturally and stupidly. But this was done so well! Kate starts it by declaring she will never marry almost immediately after the tenor of their relationship begins to change. And she never elaborates, until the very end. Henry is engaged, defends his fiance and seems content. I found it totally believeable.

I thought the falling out with Sylvia was realistic as well. Kate's mother and sisters were appropriately cringeworthy- I felt every bit as desperate to get them away from Blackmoore as Kate did.

The plot was so well done. The way Kate backed herself into a corner in the heat of the moment was something I could see myself doing. And I so appreciated the way Sylvia spoke her mind and called Kate on the ugliness of her behavior; it was so well done, that I felt similar emotions of shock and shame, having missed the immortality of what she had agreed to as well. I couldn't believe it.

Miss St. Clair was the perfect opponent. Lovely, refined, etc. She reminded me of Caroline Bingley, except with more confidence (and good reason). Her condescension was subtle enough that she could get away with strategically placed barbs that would only make Kate look insecure and petty if she spoke up.

I loved the birds and music and other supporting characters. This was just so well done I could go on for ages.

Now, onto the criticisms:

I thought there was a little too much description in the first couple of chapters (there was hardly any dialogue and this was particularly troublesome right after the plot dropped.

I didn't think Kate worried enough early on about the possible ramifications of her hasty actions.

But my biggest problem was the us of Kate's "demon." I didn't think much of it when she was advised to play music to release (and essentially be rid of) her demons. But at the end of the book, it actually says, "and this time the demon told me to write." So now the demon is giving advice? And she follows it?! I thought this sent the totally wrong message, especially the context of love. I get that she was tormented, but I don't think anyone would advise following the guidance of your "demon" or tormentors. It was such a brief moment, but it was poignant for me. Not in a good way.

Anyway, the only other complaint that I have is how short the follow up was. It left too much unanswered and I craved more.

All in all, I loved this book.

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.*

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