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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2013)
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.

286 pages, Paperback

First published September 9, 2013

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About the author

Julianne Donaldson

9 books4,278 followers
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. She writes historical romance when she is not busy with her four young children and husband. Edenbrooke is her first novel.

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5 stars
12,528 (42%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,052 reviews
March 22, 2014
Word count of "Bird" within this book: 167.
"Cage": 71
"Trapped": I give up.

Insipid. Silly. Sappy. Predictable. The main character is so insufferably uptight you'd think she had a stick permanently up her ass (on which a bird has perched). There is not a single instance of true female friendship in this book. All the other women in this book are stupid, slutty, or bitches. Even the heroine's own mother and sister.

How DARE this book fucking compare itself to Little Women? It is a fucking travesty. This book is like Little Women in the way that Fifty Shades of Gray is similar to Harry Potter. There are characters of intelligence in Little Women. There is sisterly love in Little Women. There is a beloved mother willing to work hard for the children she loves in Little Women. There is no hatred of other women just because you don't fucking like them.

This book bills itself as a "proper romance, and it is that. It is pure, unadulterated moonlit fantasy romance. It is the sort over which that a young lady in the 19th century would swoon while reading Wuthering Heights, only there is no Heathcliff. There is no wounded, tortured lover. In his stead is a man whose balls have been solidly relegated into his lover's hand since the day they met as children. It is a dreamlike fairy tale, complete with a gothic castle on a moor and a lover willing to go the distance to win his beloved's hand---never mind that he has long been promised to someone else; apparently, almost-cheating is acceptable when it is done in the name of true love.

There is not a bit of depth in this book's characters.

Meet Katherine.

She's Like a Bird, She'll Only Fly Away:

Do not let yourself be fooled by Katherine's very human appearance. Katherine thinks she is a clucking bird.
I felt like a bird who had wandered into some strange flock, surrounded by a different species.
And again.
Instead, he said, in a careful voice, “So you are this bird. In this cage.”
I nodded.
“And you see only one option for yourself: to beat yourself against the bars until you are exhausted and give up all your dreams.”
Katherine is a bird. She is trapped. She is in a cage. There is using an imagery to reach an effect, and then there is taking that imagery and beating the reader to death with it. This book does the latter. There is such an abuse of imagery.
“I feel caged. Always. I feel like I am this bird, trapped and stifled and caged, and I keep looking for a way to escape, but I am barred at every turn.”
Katherine also loves birds. She loves their beauty. She loves their birdsong. The result of this bird fetish is the criminal overuse of bird-related imagery in this book. 167 instances of the word bird, a fair share of which referred to herself. I counted. I may be off by a few, I mean, I did count the number by hand.

Even her fucking eyebrows are foul---I mean, fowl.
“Your eyebrows,” His voice dropped to almost a whisper. “Perhaps it is their curve. They look like the wing of a bird in flight.”
Her lovers can't even look at a fucking bird without thinking of her. God help them. How the fuck do they focus, living so close to nature in the wild moors of England?
“I can never look at a bird without thinking of you,” he said. “I wonder what you will do with your wings once you have found them."
She feels a connection with them.
...the bird made no noise. I held my breath as I watched it and felt a connection with this dark, wild bird that I could not explain.
Everything is birdlike. Even a fucking house looks like a bloody bird.
...the house looked to me like a hulking bird of prey, with wings unfolded, ready to drop from the precipice into the empty sky.
Katherine wants to be called Kate.
“Mama! Kitty is being unkind again!”
“Kate,” I reminded her.
Please don't forget it.
“Kate,” I whispered. “My name is Kate.”
She is dead fucking serious.
“Kate,” I said, my own anger flaring. “My name is Kate.
Seriously, it is KATE. Not KITTY. Do NOT call her that!
“My name,” I said in a low voice, “is not Kitty. It is Kate!” I marched past her.
Don't you dare forget it.

Birdbrained: As you can see, I did not care for Kate one bit. She gets overwrought with histrionics and overdramatic gestures over nothing. She throws hissy fits whenever she is in a panic. She is the opposite of level-headed. At all points, she whines and complains that she is caged. Caged. CAGED.
At every possibility I faced another cage. I could be caged by my own betrayal of my feelings, or I could be caged by an unwanted marriage, or I could be caged by going nowhere and realizing none of my dreams.
Understandable, yes, since there are so few options open to her. But there's the thing. I'm supposed to sympathize with her. I don't.

Katherine: A Waste of Air: Katherine has no serious goals in life. The book paints her mother out to be a slag, a bitch, a whore, but for once, I sympathize with her mother and her despair towards Katherine. The stupid girl simply has no goals in life other than to spend it blithely playing Mozart and visiting her childhood friend's home: Blackmoore.
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? Is this why I have invested in you? To gain nothing in return but a silly girl who cares only for Blackmoore and Mozart?”
Her mother is right. Katherine does not have a single fucking plan for life except to spend it doing whatever she pleases. She shirks responsibility, she has no true goal in life except to avoid love and marriage. And her reasons for avoiding love and marriage is utterly stupid and simple, juvenile. Her terrifyingly dramatic hatred of love is completely ludicrous. A childish revolt.
"Love is like a disease. It ravages. It maims. It destroys everything in its wake. I am wise to shun the idea of it, just as wise as if I were to avoid a plague. It is a weakness of the human heart to imagine that something that starts with passion can last. Passion is a fire that burns and leaves nothing standing in its wake. It is illogical and unreasonable. Love is the downfall of men and the entrapment of women. It is a cage that once one enters, one can never escape."

Cluck Female Friendship: This book hates women. Katherine's own mother is a slut who makes a fool of herself, who aims to flirt with anything with a dick. Her own sister is much the same, Maria is presented as an empty-headed slattern who will follow her mother's slatternly ways.

Katherine's one childhood female friend, Sylvia, similarly grew up to be a brainless twit, who has changed into something so commonplace and empty as to be no longer worthy of her friendship. And even if she was, it is Sylvia's brother, Henry, who is the more important friend anyway.

And then there is the lovely Juliet. The really, really nice Juliet. The unblemished Juliet, who is so sincerely nice that Kate---not Kitty, hates her anyway. Because of her name. I mean, Juliet. What a stupid name.
“It sounds presumptuous.”
“Hmm.” Henry nodded. “Presumptuous.”
“Yes! As if she has something classical about her. As if she could be the star in a Shakespearean tragedy. It is entirely too presumptuous. Did her parents not think how they were setting her up for disappointment? For that is what I felt as soon as I met her—disappointment that she was so very bland.”
And Juliet's kindness. Her charity, her suitability to be a good wife. Why, that fucking COW.
She would be proper and lovely and thoughtful and generous and absolutely predictable in every way. For all of these reasons, I heartily disliked her.
Kate hates other women so much that I found myself hating her.

Possession is 9/10ths of the Law: STOP CLAIMING THAT BLACKMOORE IS YOURS. It is NOT yours. Kate seems to think she is ENTITLED to Blackmoore and that she owns it since it has been her dream to visit it. She is possessive of it to an obsessive extent. She calls a fellow visitor an "interloper," never mind the fact that she herself is an uninvited, unexpected guest. She holds claim to it only in her memory, and yet feels more possessive of Blackmoore than its true owner.
I wanted Miss St.Claire to know that she might have visited here first, but my heart had belonged here longer than hers. I was ten when Henry and she had met for the first time. I knew him long before she did, and better, too. I had loved Blackmoore long before she had even heard of it.
Right. It's yours because you know it first.

The main character in this book is intolerably stupid. This book has a beautiful Gothic feel to it, but that is it. My enjoyment was severely decreased because of the idiotic narrator.
Profile Image for Hermione.
596 reviews206 followers
December 4, 2013
"I wonder what you will do with your wings once you have found them. I wonder how far away they will take you. And I fear them, for my sake, at the same time that I hope for them, for yours."

infinite stars. How is it possible, that among millions of books ever published, I have found the one that butchers my heart? Stabs my chest? Takes out my lungs? And pieces my broken self back together again with skillful, deft fingers, leaving no crevice unfilled, and no crater unfulfilled?

Okay, you may be thinking I'm being melodramatic.

And were this another instance I'd say yes, you are completely, positively, miserably right.

But this is Blackmoore I'm talking about, about a young lady named Kate Worthington who desires with all her heart the freedom to come out of her restrictive cage, to explore everything the world has to offer her, and so in this case, I am going to say you are wrong.

I read Blackmoore weeks ago, and still the love of Kate and Henry leave a haunting impression on my mind. How can we connect with a character? How can we feel their love, their emotions, their anguish? These are questions that an author has to accomplish, to connect the mind of a reader and the voice of the writer. Julianne Donaldson may be The Best Historical Romantic Fluff Writer — as I've officially dubbed her — but be aware: If Julianne Donaldson decides to write a tragedy, she will butcher us all. She is that good.

I felt the anguish of Kate's restrictiveness, the hate for her mother, the hopelessness of her fear of never reaching freedom. I felt Henry's struggle, to balance what the girl he loves wants for herself, rather than keeping her with him and taking what is rightfully his — Blackmoore. I felt the incredible, deep longing these two characters had for each other, despite their differences and the disapproval around them all.

In the end, I read Blackmoore in four hours, but those will be the most controversial, fickle, and capricious four hours of my life. How can I go from elated to depressed to anguished to ecstatic to heartbrokenly broken and delighted in as little as four hours? I don't know, but I achieved it. And no one will regret ever picking up this book. Well done, Donaldson. Yet another amazing book.

An ARC of this book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Quote taken from ARC. Subject to change.
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews538 followers
June 7, 2020
Maravilloso!!! Y qué manera de llorar... En serio, la historia es preciosa (y 'preciosa' es decir tan poca cosa; es quedarse con la palabra fácil, el no mostrar sentimientos ni arriesgarse a nada; es quedarse tras el muro, a salvo) Me encantaría abrirme y ser capaz de espesar todo lo que me ha hecho sentir, pero no hay palabras para tantos sentimientos.
Profile Image for ♡ ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ♡.
2,740 reviews450 followers
November 21, 2022
3,5 Sterne
Das ist nicht mein bevorzugtes Genre, aber ich hatte mal wieder Lust, einen Roman im Regency-Stil zu lesen.
Das Buch hat mir erstaunlich gut gefallen. Eine romantische Liebesgeschichte; Freunde werden zu Liebenden. Zunächst müssen aber einige Hindernisse überwunden werden.
Die Protagonistin Kate ist für ihre Zeit eine ungewöhnliche Frau. Sie wirkt zunächst naiv, dennoch ist sie aber willensstark und will sich von ihren Zielen nicht abbringen lassen. Ihre Mutter will sie reich verheiraten, doch Kate möchte mit ihrer Tante nach Indien...
Es gibt erfreulicherweise keine unnötigen Dramen in diesem Buch. Die Geschichte ist eher ruhig, dennoch aber durchaus interessant und unterhaltsam.
Ich fand es irgendwie süß, die Annäherung von Kate und Henry mitzuverfolgen 🥰
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
March 18, 2019
Kate Worthington has decided to skip the whole marriage thing and travel instead. This being Regency times and a romance novel, there are complications. Kate’s mother is determined to see her married. Kate resists, and somehow she and her mother come up with this bargain that Kate needs to get three marriage proposals. If she rejects them all, Kate's mother will get off her back.

So there's a house party at Blackmoore manor with several guests - clearly the perfect venue for leading along some guys and then dumping them. (Not.) Somehow Kate convinces her best friend, Henry Delafield, to help with this bizarre and - have I said coldhearted yet? how about idiotic? - plan.

When you have to force yourself to finish a romance novel - which, c'mon, should be like scarfing down chocolates; it's not like it's great for your intellectual development - you know there's a problem with that book. Keep in mind that this is coming from a reviewer who enjoyed Edenbrooke, the author's other (much more popular) romance novel.

My main issues were too many dislikeable characters and the heroine constantly dancing on the edges of being TSTL (too stupid to live). When I'm cringing in embarrassment for the way the main character is acting, that is just not an enjoyable read for me. Also, most of the joy that made Edenbrooke a fun read is missing from Blackmoore; what you're left with is a lot of angst that takes way too long to resolve. To top it off, the epilogue was a head-scratcher, and not in a good way.

I'll read Julianne Donaldson's next book, but I'll look for it at the library instead of automatically buying it as I did this one. Once burned, twice shy.
Profile Image for Anne.
502 reviews509 followers
January 14, 2016
3.5 stars of mixed feelings as you’ve rarely seen

Ah, Julianne Donaldson. She has such a power for weaving stories that throw you in a complete whirlwind of emotions, whether good or bad; her writing is so elating, vivid, and beautiful, it makes the simplest characters and plot points really stand out and come alive. She is really talented, and so far all the books I've read by her made me feel strongly.

Unfortunately, in the case of Blackmoore, I found myself equal parts enraptured and annoyed for most of the story. If it weren't for the sigh-worthy Henry Delafield and the beautifully enthralling romance, which completely saved the face of this book, I would rate this 1 star without preamble. I suspect my reasons for disliking certain aspects of the book are purely personal; ultimately, Blackmoore is an excellent novel. It only happens to feature one too many of my literary pet peeves.

First of all, although a lover of the Gothic atmosphere in Regency romances, I was never one for serious over-the-top dramatic theatricals à la Wuthering Heights, and this book was a little too much on the wildly angsty side to suit me. I loved the old-mansion-against-the-sea setting, and the secret passages, the moors, and the overall darker atmosphere than in Edenbrooke, but the tendency of certain characters to act like they were cast in a Shakespearean tragedy, and breaking into emotional fits over nothing grated on my nerves a lot. I like emotional books, I don’t mind a certain turmoil, I can even tolerate crazy depending on the book, but all things in moderation, I beg of you. Intense theatricals and endless wailings did not suit this book, which is supposed to be an engrossing Regency romance, and not Emily Brontë’s second novel.

But really, the major thing that didn't work for me in Blackmoore was the heroine. At seventeen, Kate Worthington is a lost young woman seeking liberty and self-realization who feels misunderstood by her entourage because her goals and dreams are different than other young women's. She has vowed never to marry for reasons, and instead wishes to travel to India for other reasons. I hadn't met her for more than five pages than I was already feeling an irresistible urge to slap some sense into her. Kate is moody, immature, and completely irritating. When things don't go according to her plans, she throws a hissy fit. When someone acts in a different way than she would herself, she complains. When her childhood friends invite other people to stay in their house with them, she automatically hates them. When she is told to remain in her room, she whines.

I thought Marianne Daventry was annoying in Edenbrooke...but forget it, Marianne is bloody awesome. She may have been silly, twirling and dazzlingly blind, but boy, I'll take a dozen Mariannes over Kate any day.

The fact that Miss Worthington is the narrator made everything worse, because there was no getting rid of her. No break here and there to read just about Henry. Nope, you're stuck with her the whole time. And man, is her life ever difficult. She has a family, a house, servants to tend to her every need, good looks, and wonderful friends. So what's the difference between her and any other seventeen year-old Regency miss of her position?

Kate is trapped.

Oh, no, how awful, she's never allowed out of the house or something? She's been grounded for something terrible? She has an evil step-mother who is keeping her locked up?

No, no. She only feels trapped. Caged, you know. Like a bird.

There was such an overuse of the words “bird”, “trapped” and “cage”, that Kate did not just feel like a bird, she dashed well near became a bird! She’s trapped, she’s caged, she can’t fly, she needs to find her wings, she finds a bird, people call her “little bird”, she loves birds, she has a bird-room, she reminds people of a bird, she knows bird-songs, she loves listening to birds, she goes outside early every morning to listen to birds, she thinks Blackmoore looks like a big bird, EVEN HER EYEBROWS LOOK LIKE THE SLANTED WINGS OF A BIRD.


Now look here, I understand the imagery, and feeling trapped, disoriented, and unsure of life. I understand the fear of the unknown and the fear of not realizing your dreams. And ultimately, I can even understand feeling like a bird in a cage. But despite the abusive imagery, it’s not the fact the we have a caged heroine as the main character that bothered me, it was the total lack of reason she had to feel caged. What was there to feel caged about?

Her father was indolent and unconcerned, and did not govern her with an iron hand. She was not married to a tyrannical husband, or even engaged to some decrepit old man twice her age. Um, hello, this book is set in 1820, if you’ve checked “none of the above” to all three statements, YOU ARE PRETTY DARN LUCKY AND SHOULD BE HAPPY TO BE SO FREE. Yes, her mother is a slut, her sisters are stupid, her friend Sylvia is a little vapid, and yes every single female character in this book was unbearable, but girl. Seriously. You’re seventeen, free to roam about, unmarried and unengaged, and you complain about feeling trapped? Trapped from what??

Oh, that’s right. India. How could I forget, when we were beat up over the head continuously with that name? Because Miss Kate has put it into her head that India is the only means to get out of her cage, she will go to any lengths to achieve her goal, even if it means playing with men’s affections to receive and reject three proposals, per her mother’s bargaining conditions to let her go on her God-forsaken trip. See what I mean by having problems with the plot? Why would a trapped heroine try to get un-trapped by positioning herself in the most awkward position of having to flirt with and encourage men to propose, only to reject them after? Can she not foresee the disastrous consequences her actions could have? No, she doesn’t. Because all Miss Kate can think about is India.

India is salvation. India is liberty. India is freedom. India is the key. INDIA IS EVERYTHING!!! But why, I kept asking myself. Why India? Why do you think you’ll be free if you go to India? Why do want to go to India for anyways? Missionary work? Helping the poor? Building a school? Teaching less fortunate children? Nurse infants?

Well guess what y’all. Kate just wants to go to India PERIOD. Besides the fact that she wants adventure and wants to travel, there is no legitimate reason for her to want to get there. No reason why she’d pick India in particular. No reason why she’d be any freer in India than she is in England. And, above all, no plan at all, no goal to even accomplish something even remotely useful in India.


If it had been just a passing fancy, you know, a faraway dream, something she’d hoped to get to one day, it would have been perfectly fine. But it wasn’t that at all. Oh, no. It was a serious, all consuming obsession. And the fact that it had no fundamental reason to have become such an obsession drove me completely up the wall.

So, we’re off to a really bad start, with a birdie-heroine in a cage who wants to go to India and whines and complains about everything and anything. I don’t mind telling you that I was ready to DNF this many times, but something here has to be said about Ms. Donaldson’s undeniable talent, because I forged on and the more I went, the more I was able to oversee the birds and the cages, and Kate and her India.

Don’t get me wrong, they were still there and still annoying, but as the romance unfolded and Henry quite literally started to make me swoon, I was able to forget them momentarily, or convince myself that it didn’t matter anymore. Guys, I have to be honest, as annoying as this book could be sometimes, it’s one of the best romances I’ve ever read. I still melt a little bit inside when I think about it. It was just so romantic, and beautiful, and vivid and heart-wrenching. *sigh*

I admit it, I’m a sucker for perfect-moonlight-fantasy-romance full of impossibly fairy-tale like scenes of impeccable kisses and sublime love declarations. We all need the stuff of dreams sometimes. And I don’t know how Julianne Donaldson does it, but she is definitely an expert at creating that sort of romance. She wrote those parts so skilfully and beautifully that I often found myself quite loving the book. Her writing is just gorgeous, and her choices of romantic scenes are incredibly well-thought.

And I don’t know how she does it either, but she seems to have a knack for creating annoying heroines but absolutely perfect, sublime heroes that are sure to make you dream. Henry Delafield is no exception, and I’d do anything to marry him tomorrow. Even study a bird manual or take a trip to India! ;)

I loved this book. I was annoyed beyond measure with this book. I hugged this book. I also threw it violently on my bed. I swooned over this book, and I swore over this book. It was wonderful, exhausting, and settling on a rating has never been so difficult!
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,073 reviews604 followers
November 3, 2014
I was so excited when I saw this was available for review on Netgalley (what a great website!), but I admit I was a tiny bit nervous as well. Would it be as good as Edenbrooke? Well, I was not disappointed. Right from the start I knew I was going to like this one, especially our hero Henry. He was perfect, I loved everything about him. He has the best lines; I had to re-read a few of the scenes between him and Kate. I thought Henry and Kate had great chemistry, I loved them together. You do wonder though how things are going to work out and what is keeping them apart. I loved the flashback scenes and a part of me wanted to slap Kate for not realizing what was in front of her! But, I can’t go into that without spoilers, but it does make sense why. I liked Kate, even more as the story goes on. She was genuinely a good person and has a good heart. I like that even though she is still discovering herself, she was confident and intelligent. She sees the good in others and doesn’t hold grudges for those who do not like her. Her family was awful! Her mother, wow. There are just so many things I’d like to write, but I don’t want to give any spoilers.

I thought Blackmoore had a different feel to it than Edenbrooke, maybe it was the obstacles they had to overcome to be together, or how awful Kate’s family is. But the romance was great, filled with tension and the wondering if things are going to work out. All I know is, Henry gives Phillip a run for his money! It was a great story with great characters. I again loved the scenes with Henry and Kate, especially on the tower. Mmmm. This is one of those books you’ll want to re-read as soon as you finish.

Content: Clean.
Profile Image for Regan.
457 reviews110k followers
June 9, 2023
I'm just really emotional right now
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 6 books33 followers
July 20, 2013
I really liked Edenbrooke, and while I enjoyed the overall storyline of Blackmoore, I found a few things irritating. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I was not moved to tears by the main character's many tears. I think I felt impatient with her presumed ignorance of Henry's super-obvious feelings. And there were some phrases used so repeatedly that they began to grate. I found myself saying, "If Henry 'rakes his hand through his hair' one more time, I'm going to have to stop reading." He did. Many times. But the story and some of the characters were interesting enough that I did want to find out what happened, so I kept reading. I appreciated the author's gradual unfolding of the details of Kate's past because that did leave me guessing along the way at some elements of what was an otherwise very predictable story. Overall, an enjoyable, easy read that was entertaining (and clean, which is a plus) that just didn't quite live up to the author's first book.
Profile Image for Pepa.
950 reviews237 followers
April 11, 2015
4.5... pero como luego no le doy a ninguno los 5, pues hala, jajaja
Tiene sus fallos. Al principio la historia cuesta arrancary la metáfora de los pájaros resulta muy cansina, en serio, cansina hasta decir basta.
Pero esta mujer me atrapa, no sé porqué. Quizás porque son historias sencillas en las que se habla de amor. Y para algo soy lectora de novela romántica. Es una historia más compleja que la anterior, en la que hay más riqueza en los personajes secundarios que ayudan a la autora a crear su propia critica social.
Henry es una amor y Kate me ha sorprendido al final porque al principio me parecía una niña tonta y rebelde que quería lo imposible.
Creo que es una novela de las de antaño, de las que yo disfruto en medio de estas publicaciones en las que se confunde amor con lujuria.
No es una novela perfecta pero cuando te atrapa de esta forma y te hace suspirar ya vale las estrellas
Es muy blanca así que no se la recomiendo a las que les guste las hitorias con muchas escenas hot

Reseña completa: http://masromance.blogspot.com.es/201...
Profile Image for Ainhoa.
382 reviews17 followers
August 3, 2022
I’m afraid I might be in love.

With Blackmoore.
With Kate and Henry.
With the frustrating story.
And with the author and her beautiful writing style.

Now I only feel sad I have no more HR romances by her to read.
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 20 books861 followers
April 14, 2022
Gah! This author. Take all my money. Just take it. :) I'm super impressed on how on the edge of your seat she can keep you through an entire book with just repressed emotions and yet you never feel the need to yell at the characters for keeping it bottled up. (You want to, but you don't actually, because they can't and Oh my goodness, I sat and read the whole thing straight through. That's why I'm writing this at 3am) And the one POV trick again where you can tell what the hero is thinking and yet your POV heroine can't/won't and you believe it. That's talent right there.
Profile Image for Allison.
554 reviews575 followers
April 12, 2017
Even though I profess not to like romances, it's not really that I don't like them. I'm just really picky and get irritated easily by certain plot devices - and they get old if I read too many. But sometimes I really need a brainless comfort read after a draining week at work. Some people might go to the pub with friends, but antisocial being that I am, I simply want to go home and bury myself in a book. And that's when I am likely to pick a quick romance and not be irritated by it.

I'm much less critical when I'm going for the veg-out-my-brain and guaranteed-happy-ending effects. It's not about realistic plot or anything that can be analyzed. Sometimes there are problems that I completely gloss over because I'm just experiencing it, not thinking about it. I'm more interested in whether the book convinces me on a gut level that the two people are in love and should get that happy ending. It's about the emotions. And it's like putting my batteries on the fast charger.

So, Blackmoore was this for me last night. I read it in one sitting, and I completely escaped my sense of reality. I may also have neglected my husband, but he's used to sharing me with books by now, poor guy.

Just as with Edenbrooke, the intensity of emotion between the characters is what makes the story so absorbing. Their longing for each other is deep and sharp and has stood the test of years. The reason that their love is unrequited is not a completely unbelievable one, and it's not riddled with fake misunderstandings, even though lack of communication does come into it. Never mind that all the other women in the book are horrible. I ignored them. I already forgot about them. The setting captured my attention more than they did, with just a bit of a Gothic touch that made it more than a generic Regency setting.

It is almost completely an emotional romance (as opposed to physical), which is what I prefer. It was so sweet and painful at the same time. By the end I was just aching for a good resolution. Not many romances actually put me through an emotional wringer, but this one managed it. My main fear was that all the build-up would just fizzle, but I found the resolution satisfying and heartwarming.

As far as fluff romances go, I recommend it. Just don't over-think it.
Profile Image for Ingie.
1,358 reviews168 followers
September 10, 2016
Review written September 10, 2016

4.8 Stars - Absolutely perfect, thoughtful and grandly romantic. A novel to love.

I listened to the 9:51 hrs audiobook narrated by Cassandra Campbell. Bought by impulse and chance on a $6 sale. — There are a lot of happy reviews for this "clean" Regency historical (m/f) and I crossed my finger.
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Oh yes, this was delicate, beautifully told, utterly well narrated and a spellbinding audiobook adventure. Simply great.


England 1820

Kate Worthington is seventeen and has two big dreams. The first one is to at last get the privilege to visit her childhood friends, Sylvia and Henry Delafield's talked about family castle Blackmoore in the north of England. Kate's second longing is to join her aunt on a long adventurous trip to the far away India. But, as it says in the book blurb:

« ...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. »
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“I can never look at a bird without thinking of you," he said. "I wonder what you will do with your wings once you have found them. I wonder how far away they will take you. And I fear them, for my sake, at the same time that I hope for them, for yours.”

I shall not pretend that I wasn't a bit annoyed about this heroine Kate (or Kitty as they all called her against her will) to start with. Well, well I know I must accept that she is only 17 years young, then back in 1820, while I'm 52 (surprised?!) now 200 years later. Maybe I have a tiny little bit more experience of life, about love, about the whole wide world etc etc, and that I also with the years got the ability to better actually hear (listen to) what others really are saying. — Sigh, all you young emotional dramatic girls: Pretty please open up your ears and eyes.


Not important but Blackmoore should maybe not be labeled as a 'historical romance'. More rightly a historical novel with a grand romantic love-story. The main topic could be summarized as "the right to make your own decisions, the ownership of your own future and at some point take charge of your own life".. To be honest it was hard to know (guess) how it all should end. I was both scared, heartbroken and feared the worst until the very end.

Blackmoore is in a unforgettable way filled with birds (yes the flying singing kind) and the huge dream of places (like Blackmoore and India). My everyday language isn't English, and I have some lacks, but I truly felt this is a novel told with almost poetical well expressed thoughts wrapped in lovely grand sentences.
“I feel caged. Always. I feel like I am this bird, trapped and stifled and caged, and I keep looking for a way to escape, but I am barred at every turn.”
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More thoughts...

# ... Shocking were those two almost frightening heartlessly cruel mothers. Incomparable disgusting women... — I just wanted to scream to them to start behave and show who always should be the more mature adult person when dealing with children or young people as the main characters here.

# ... Best of all, we get a stunning admirable young man. A true to-be hero. — I loved this young innocent love. The romance part in Blackmoore is without doubt heartbreaking sweet and worth to read about.


I have been lucky with good reads or audiobook listenings lately. The mix with steamy romances, cozy mystery crime and now and then also more traditional clean (romantic) novels (like this one) may be the right recipe for me. I just keep on smiling book after book right now. Another high star rating once again. — Blackmoore was a sincerely good audiobook choice. Lucky me!

I LIKE - immensely ... very much
Profile Image for Vorágine (ig:voragineblog).
676 reviews130 followers
August 22, 2016
Me ha encantado sumergirme en el Londres y la India de 1920.
Desde mi opinión, lo mejor de este libro es la gran ambientación que tiene y sus personajes. Nos encontramos con unos personajes muy diferentes: están aquellos que han querido los pensamientos de la época y también encontramos a algunos que se niegan a aceptar el funcionamiento de la sociedad, como es el caso de la protagonista. Kate me ha encantado por su lucha por librarse de aquello que está destinado para ella por el hecho de ser mujer. Como punto negativo, destacar que me habría gustado encontrar más pasión en algunas escenas, y ha sido esto precisamente lo que ha hecho que no quede del todo satisfecho.

Reseña completa: http://voragineinterna.blogspot.com.e...
Profile Image for Erika B. (SOS BOOKS).
1,290 reviews132 followers
June 27, 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. When I first started reading this I had a moment of fear. What if I put my expectations too high for this book because Edenbrooke was so good?! I am super happy to report that my fears were needless! It may be slightly blasphemous but I might even venture to say that this is better than Edenbrooke. The romance was amazing!!! It was the kind of romance where you are squirming from the cuteness! It leaves you screaming, "JUST KISS ALREADY!" 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! :) For my full review-click the link below!

my link text
Profile Image for Shantelle.
Author 2 books358 followers
September 9, 2016
Oh my heart! Why do these books have to be so irresistibly sweet?? And heart-wrenching, and lovely, and touching, and just so all around, pretty much, perfect? *smiles*

I think Edenbrooke, and now Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson, are two of the cutest love stories I have ever read. Blackmoore had a little darker theme to it than the previous. Hurt and betrayal and shame that went far beyond what people could see. But Kate's story of letting go and embracing life was beautiful. (I only wish it could have at least mentioned that God can ultimately and completely heal all those hurts better than anything else).

Anyway, it was lovely. Henry and Kate ... oh sigh. I love their childhood friendship that budded into romance. So sweet. A poignant story to be sure. And Regency of course, just makes it all the better. ^_^

Thank you Julianne Donaldson, for another heartfelt, fantastic Regency, all-together sweet romance story.
Profile Image for Lena Targaryen.
1,015 reviews358 followers
March 13, 2016
Me declaro fan incondicional de esta autora. Qué historias *-*
Henry y Kate me han enamorado aún más que Philip y Marianne, y eso que ellos fueron taaaaan OTP. Cada palabra, cada página, destila tanta sencillez, delicadeza y sentimientos a flor de piel, que me ha hecho leerlo con un nudo y una angustia, aunque buena, a cada uno de los pasos que daban sus protagonistas. Y la narración, impecable una vez más y perfectamente contextualizada en la época. En este ocasión además, los capítulos flashback al pasado han sido esenciales y todo un acierto para elaborar y entender el por qué de la situación actual de Kate. Y Henry... es AMOR en todo.
¡Estoy deseando que esta autora nos deleite con más libros, por favor!
August 17, 2020
Beni gerçekten çok etkiledi. Sabaha kadar okuyabilirdim. Kitabı okurken hissettiğim duygular, Kate için hissettiğim duygular bana şu ana kadar okuduğum ve etkisinden çıkamadığım kitapların yazarlarını hatırlattı. Austen, Brontë, Atwood.. ve en çok da Burnett. Sanki bir harmanlama yapılmış da ortaya bu çıkmış. Hiç böyle bir beklentim yoktu. Umduğunun ötesinde bir duygu yoğunluğu ile okudum.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews378 followers
October 14, 2017
Donaldson has this amazing ability to make me feel while reading her stories. They never cease to move me in one way or another. They are simultaneously both sweet in romance and drastic in heartache, with heroes that are easy to fall in love with.

I loved her debut novel and was in doubt that I would be able to love this as much as I did her first but I was wrong, so wrong. I fell in love with this from the very beginning and it didn't take me long to be hopelessly in love with the characters and to instantly feel every emotion they were going through.

I don't know how to describe this other than being transported back in time to when women were suppose to be anything but strong and independent and that is exactly what you will find in our protagonist, in all of Donaldson's heroines. Heroines that are lovable and fierce and so very good at heart that you can't help but root for their happily ever afters.

From the beautiful setting on the moors to the very house itself, this was everything I didn't even know I was craving and wanting in a good love story. It has me smiling, crying, and almost everything in between. It was once again something spectacular that took my breath away and leaving be bereft that it was over.
Profile Image for Alissa J. Zavalianos.
Author 7 books266 followers
July 8, 2022
This book feels like the deepest and darkest places of my heart are being torn in half and thrust into the raging sea. When reading this, I feel twisted inside, mournful, and filled with longing. It's devastatingly beautiful, and perhaps for reasons I may never quite find the words to say.

This story is my favorite, I think, out of all of them in the world. Bold, I know. But it just is. And it's beautiful. To me, it's a tangible depiction of my soul taking flight.

P.S. I summarized this entire book to my patient husband as I sat on his lap with wet eyes. There you have it, I am a sap.



A reread 🥹

I still feel the same way about this book after all these years. Though this was my third time rereading this book, I still cried at the end of it. Like I do Every. Single. Time.

Romance isn’t my preferred genre, but there’s just something about this book that gets me. Maybe it’s the bird imagery and the deep themes of freedom and longing, or perhaps it’s the atmospheric setting of the brooding moors. It’s probably both!

Henry and Kate’s friendship also makes me weep. The flashbacks add so much to their history, and the selfless love they share… it’s admirable!

Overall, this book is full of light amidst a backdrop of despair. There is hope in the end, and it is utterly gut-wrenchingly beautiful.

There are a couple of romancy moments, if you will, but it never gets out of hand. Ex: kissing, subtle mentions of observations/desires, etc. A clean and sweet friends-to-lovers romance
Profile Image for Toni Shiloh.
Author 49 books1,201 followers
October 15, 2018
All. The. Feels!

Seriously, Julianne Donaldson is becoming one of my favorites. I feel like I need to read everything she's written and skip all other genres until I'm caught up. Blackmoore is filled with all things I love about this era of historical fiction.

I devoured this is one setting because once you open a book by Ms. Donaldson, it's absolutely required. The way she pulls you into the story and snags your feelings is masterful. And there are so many good parts written that I admire.

I need more!
Profile Image for Maddie J.
329 reviews67 followers
August 30, 2023
●5 Billion Stars●

My heart 💔🤕🥺
Why does this book do this to me? It always leaves my heart broken in a million pieces, even if the epolouge starts to piece it back together, a few pieces are always missing. Rtc
Profile Image for Michelle Griep.
Author 34 books2,102 followers
October 5, 2013
You know those rare books that you keep glancing at the page number as you read, wishing it would magically stop increasing so that the story would never end? BLACKMOORE is one of those. Delightful. Consuming. Altogether a keeper on my shelf that I’ll pull down to read every few years or so because it’s just that good.

At first I wasn’t sure I liked the way the story jumped between past and present. It seemed a bit disjointed. But after I got used to it, and as the story developed, I could see how the format was integral in explaining and fleshing out the tangled relationships between the Delafields and Worthingtons, and especially between the heroine and hero, Kate and Henry.

I totally identified with Kate. Her dysfunctional family. Her demanding, controlling mother. Her struggle for self worth in a cultural environment that only gave a female worth according to a good match. She is a believable character who you’ll end up cheering your lungs out for.

Henry is a stalwart young man. I love how willing he is to allow Kate to be herself no matter how much it hurts him. Their love story is a beautiful picture of giving, reminiscent of O’Henry’s Gift of the Magi.

The tension for the first kiss between Kate and Henry builds and builds until you think you can’t possibly stand it any more and then in one all-glorious instant when the planets align and you’re certain this will be the most passionate memorable kiss in all of history—bam! The stupid little sister walks in on the intimate moment and blows it out of the water. Don’t panic, though, like I did. When they Henry and Kate finally do carry out their magic moment, oh yeah, it is well worth the wait.

If you love Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, you’re going to adore BLACKMOORE. I look forward to more from author Julianne Donaldson.
Profile Image for Ashley.
225 reviews
August 26, 2021
I tried to draw this book out as long as possible, simply because I did not want it to end. It was fantastic- I was so drawn into the story that I find it hard and sad to get back to my (truly great) reality. I loved this book just as much as Edenbrooke, in an entirely different way. Dare I say I loved it even more? Is that possible? I was nervous about the ending, and the direction it was going but my fears were laid to rest and now I'm just sad the book is over and I have to leave Kate and Henry's world. I loved the flashback scenes, the light they shed on the characters of the book. I loved Kate and Henry's friendship. And oh the angst!!!!!! I'll totally be rereading this again. It's a sadder story than Edenbrooke. I can understand why others might have questions about parts in the plot, but I guess I'm just easy to please - I am SUCH a fan of Julianne Donaldson and her writing - one of my favorite authors. I only wish there were more of her books to read.

Reread 12.30.14 and loved it just as much
Reread 8.26.21 and I couldnt' remember all the details so it was like discovering this book again: I even cried. This is just one of my favorite books and makes me feel all. the. feels.
Profile Image for Amarie Fernández.
Author 6 books104 followers
April 8, 2020
En menos de 48 horas me leí esta novela, la segunda que leo de la autora.

He notado diferencias con la primera, Edenbrooke, pero para nada diferencias negativas.

Esta novela está más currada en ambientación y en profundidad de personajes. Hay saltos temporales al pasado para que comprendamos mejor la psicología y los motivos de actuar de los protagonistas. Hay más variedad de personalidades descritas, sobre todo en villanos y personajes que caen antipáticos que cercan a nuestros protagonistas en una sociedad opresiva como una jaula.

Marianne me caía mejor como protagonista en Edenbrooke, que Kate en Blacmoore.... Kate se me hacía algo repetitiva; pero Henry ❤️... si Philip tenía el cielo ganado, Henry se merece un altar por santo varón.

Desde luego, la autora se curra mucho más los protagonista masculinos para que nos enamoramos irremediablemente.

He disfrutado mucho de estas dos novelas románticas ambientadas en el período de regencia inglesa. Dulces, inocentes y muy muy sentimentales.

Son de esas historias que terminas con una sonrisa en la cara, un lugar feliz.
Profile Image for Büşra Köprü.
Author 5 books54 followers
October 1, 2017

Şaşkınım, şaşkınım, hala çok şaşkınım. Bu sanırım haddinden uzun bir yorum olacak ama hislerimi tam olarak yansıtabilmem için, yazmam şarttı.

Şunu bilmenizi isterim ki tarihi kurgu/tarihi aşk etiketiyle basılan kitaplarla lise yıllarımda tanıştım ve şu an geriye dönüp baktığımda iki Julia Quinn kitabı dışında bende iz bırakan hiçbir kitap yok ne yazık ki. JQ kitapları ise kütüphanemde saklayacak kadar kıymetli olmamıştı. Peki neden? Bu uzun bir açıklama olacak, o kesin. Öncelikle bu kitaplarda tarihi detay olmamasından yakınabilirim. Sürekli 1750, İngiltere, bıdı bıdı başlığı ile giriş yapılır ama tarihten kasıt bu olarak kalır. Birkaç ufak, hepsinde mecburen gördüğümüz detay vardır yalnızca. İşte giyim kuşam, meşhur balolar, birkaç ıvır zıvır detay ama tarih? Yok. Bunun yanında öyle sığ aşklar yazılır ki bu aşksa teşekkürler, kalsın dedirtir bana daima. Kadınlar yalnızca güzelliği ile önce çıkan, güzelliği için sevilen ve güzelliği üzerine sürekli muhabbet dönen o eşsiz karakterdir. Aşık olduğu adam da tüm çapkınlığı, huysuzluğu, kibri, gururu, inadı, hor görüşünün yanında daima yakışıklı ve unvan sahibi bir zengindir. Bu korkunçluklar yetmezmiş gibi birbirlerine fiziksel çekim dışında hiçbir şey hissetmeyen bu iki kişi bize aşık olarak yedirtilir. Birbirilerini incitir, yeri gelir adam kadını aşağılar ve adının lekelenmesi riskiyle yahut başka bir unvan sahibinin varlığıyla sinir strese sokar, mecburi evlilikler ya da kaçınılmaz kaçamaklar yaşar ama sonunda ne hikmetse çok ciddi bir şekilde aşık ve mutlu olarak aramızdan ayrılırlar. İnsan yazarken bile göz devirmek istiyor, ne yalan söyleyeyim? Bunun yanında bol bol cinsellik sahnesi de eklenince haliyle kitapta sevecek en ufak bir şey bulamaz oluyor ve hüsranla bitiriyorum kitapları. Yani bitiriyordum. Çünkü bir süredir bu türü okumuyor, para vermeyi ve denemeyi reddediyordum. Ama Bir Asi Yürek ve Bir Rüya Gibi, beni şaşkınlık içinde bırakt��. Kitaplığımda mutlaka olmasını isteyeceğim iki tarihi aşk kitabım var artık, çok ama çok şaşkınım.

Şimdi gelelim Bir Asi Yürek'e...

Yukarıda söylediğim şeyler bu kitapta yok, en başta bunu bir bilin de yüzünüz gülsün kitap dostlarım. Bu kitabı bana öneren arkadaşıma, mesafeler sebebiyle sarılamıyor olsam da manen onu kucakladığımı hissedebiliyorum. Yüzümde koca bir tebessüm oldu bu kitap, nereden başlasam anlatmaya bilmiyorum.

Kate ve Henry çok gerçekçi, nahif ve tatlı karakterlerdi. Zamanda geri gitme şansım olsa oralarda görmek isteyeceğim insan tipini yansıtıyorlardı. Henry tam bir beyefendi ve konumuna yaraşır şekilde bilgili, olgun, düşünceli, çalışkan ve mantıklı bir adamdı. Bunun yanında içinde bu koca sevgiyi biriktirmesine asla şaşırmayacağınız bir çocuksuluk kalmıştı, yalnızca Kate'ine özel... O kadar anlamlı bir aşkı vardı ki şu an bile gülümsüyorum.

Kate... Kate ise... Ah benim canım kızım, dedirtti bana. Arada gözlerim onun hissettiği esaret ve çaresizlikle doldu, yeri geldi elini kolunu bağlayan haksızlıklara karşı dişlerimi sıktım ve tüm enerjisini, araştırma tutkusunu, kuşlara olan özel ilgisini hissederek okudum. Sanki yazar o zamana gitsek bizi en çok ne incitir, gerçekten düşünen bir kadın için en büyük sıkıntılar nelerdir o zamanın şartlarında diye empati yaparak yazmış bu kitabı. O kadar haklı ve güzel yansıtmış ki diyecek sözüm yok. Çok da düzgün bir denge üzerinde ilerletmiş karakteri. Başından sonuna, evet bu benim kızım ya, böyle olması gerekiyordu diye destekledim Kate'i.

Genel olarak ise kitabın dili sade ve akıcı, tasvirler de bu kurguya uygun düşecek kadar dozunda ve başarılıydı. Gerçekten iyi bir kitaptı anlayacağınız. Sevmediğim ufacık birkaç detay var yalnızca. Birkaç mantık hatası, sonun hayal ettiğimden daha kısa olması -bir kısım var, bilmek istediğim- ve kahraman anlatıcıyla yazılmış olması... Ama onlar dışında gerçekten çok, çok, çok güzeldi. (Kahraman anlatıcı kötü değildi bu arada, ben yalnızca Henry'nin tarafını da okuyabilmeyi isterdim.)

Bu güzel kitabı, nahif bir aşk hikayesi okumak isteyen herkese tavsiye ederim.
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