First Chapter Review: Blackmoore, a Proper Romance novel by Julianne Donaldson
The first chapter of this Regency romance was sent to me by Shadow Mountain Publishing for review.
BLURB: At eighteen, Kate Worthington knows she should be getting serious about marriage, but her restless heart won’t let her settle down. To escape her mother’s meddlesome influence, she dreams of traveling to exotic India. When the opportunity arises, Kate finds herself making a bargain with her mother: she will be allowed to go only if she spends a season at the family’s wealthy estate, Blackmoore, where she must secure— and reject—three marriage proposals. Enlisting the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield, Kate sets out to collect her proposals so she can be on her way. But Henry’s decision to help threatens to destroy both of their dreams in ways they could never imagine. With hints of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Blackmoore is a page-turning tale of romance, intrigue, and devotion.
COVER: This is a stunning cover. The family estate in the background with the close up of the elegant young woman is lovely, especially because of the calming color scheme.
FIRST CHAPTER: Kate finds her sister, Maria, on the stairs wailing over the departure of a Mr. Wilkes. Unsympathetic, she moves by her to practice her Mozart concerto for when she goes to Blackmoore. When her mother arrives home, they have a dreadful confrontation that ends with Kate's plans up in the air.
KEEP READING: Most definitely. Julianne Donaldson quickly moves to set up the Kate's conflict with a powerful opening hook and a first chapter that begs you to continue. The tension between Kate and Maria, the struggle of wills between Kate and her mother, and Kate's goals for her life as opposed to what is conventional at this time in history, blend together and create an engaging story line. Kate's mother is quite awful, and the reader doesn't know, yet, why her relationship with Kate is so stressed. The woman is easy to dislike, increasing the sympathy for Kate's plight. I'm eager to see how Kate manages to change her destiny.
I received a free PDF copy of the book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
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.