Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Review: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Title: Blackmoore
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Pages: 320

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.

I loved Edenbrooke so much that I knew I needed to read Blackmoore immediately. I was not disappointed. Not in the least. I loved it so much I re-read it immediately after I finished--unable to continue on to anything else in my life. I needed this story again.

This story is dark and sad. Yet, is filled with hope and the romance is smouldering. There were moments between Kate and Henry that literally look my breath away. Moments that brought tears to my eyes, more like sobs, and moments that made me scream out, "why?!!" I felt it all. I was so invested in the story and the character's that I literally could not stop reading. I tried to set the book down and I just couldn't. I didn't want to. My heart needed to know what happened next.

Kate is such a complex character and she has all these hidden secrets that make up why she is the way she is. Her love is so steadfast and she is selfless. I'm in awe of her character and was full of hope for her the whole book.

Henry Delafield is my kind of man. He is the stuff my dreams are made of. No question. There were moments between he and Kate that actually had me holding my breath. There were moments where my whole body got tingly and my chest felt like it was going to explode. He is a dreamboat and oh so kind. I can't get enough of Henry.

I'm telling you that I've not read a book I liked this much in so long. I've been stuck in a mediocre reading rut for so long. It is as if Blackmoore has thrown me a life vest and I'm hanging on for dear life. I'm entertaining the idea of reading it a third time this week. I don't want to move on from this story. I just can't. I'm not ready. I'm putting it on my all time favourites list. It deserves the spot. If author Julianne Donaldson had any more books, I would buy them all without even knowing what they were about. I totally trust her as an author.

"Kate," he whispered, stepping closer to me, "you are not like your mother. You are a different creature from your sisters. The depths of your soul are fathomless. You are brave and loyal and true. You have such a good heart." he held my hand close to his chest and covered it with his other hand. "It is only afraid. But I would take such good care of it, love, if you would give it to me." He bent his head and pressed his lips to my fingers."                

Monday, 16 September 2013

Review:: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Title: Edenbrooke
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Pages: 264

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

I've had this book on my TBR pile forever. I knew it would be my kind of thing. I don't even know why I didn't read it sooner because I kept going back to it and almost reading it several times. Then my sister called this weekend. She told me she read the same book 3 times this week. It must be good! She told me I had to stop everything and read Edenbrooke. So, I did.

I'm going to tell you that I couldn't have stopped reading if my house was on fire. I would have been reading while I was walking out the door. There were so many moments when my whole body was getting warm and tingly. I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest! GAH! The romantic tension is unreal. I felt all of the things. This is romance done right. Amen. It is finally here. Loveable character's, interesting plot, fun and romantic. Not to mention the writing is ace.

This romance is of the clean variety and oh so much more romantic than the smutty stuff. I'm telling you, this is how it's done! I love how author Julianne Donaldson was true to the details in the Regency time period but she used a language we could understand. It was magic.

I'm in love with this book and I am literally unable to move on from this story. I need to read it again. I have to read it again. Then when I'm finished I will read Blackmoore, her next book!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

Happy Roald Dahl Day! My mother used to read me Matilda and it is still one of my favourites. Roald Dahl brings magic to children's book like no one else. How are you celebrating?
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."                

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."                 

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."                 

"It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you."                

"I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage."                

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."

"Matilda said, "Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable..."

"The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village."                

"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be"                

"I want an Oompa-Loompa!' screamed Veruca."

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