Kate Worthington is a beautiful, intelligent young woman with a natural empathy for birds, understanding the frustration of their cages and the longing and heartache of their song. She has become an amateur ornithologist with the help of her childhood friend Sylvia Delafield, and Sylvia’s brother, Henry. Each summer, the Delafields travel to their country manor, Blackmoore, and return with such stories as to inspire an unflagging fascination in Kate to see the world. Kate is willing to make a devil’s bargain to travel but discovers that her friendship with the Delafields may soon change forever. If Kate is to find her own freedom, she must learn to follow her heart and accept that some secrets are meant to be told.
Bestselling author Julianne Donaldson delivers another passionate Regency-era romance, full of sizzling tension and unconsummated love (earning it the term of a “proper” romance). Blackmoore is similar to her previous work (Edenbrooke) in that both feature strong heroines who travel to country estates and find love. Blackmoore stands out for its Brontë-like atmosphere and haunting landscapes. The windswept moors, ocean-battered cliffs, and dark and mysterious passages of Blackmoore are a perfect backdrop for a Gothic-inspired romance. Fans of Little Women and Northanger Abbey will enjoy the focus on the changing nature of friendship and importance of family connections.
This review first appeared in the February 2014 issue of the Historical Novel Review. I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review.