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Admirers of Austen, Gaskell, and the Brontë sisters will enjoy this light tale of romance set in the early nineteenth century. The heroine, Kate Worthington, appears to be dead­set against marrying. She has set her sights instead on an excursion to India with a favorite aunt, but her mother, angered by Katherine’s refusal to land a husband, won’t agree to the travel scheme so Kate escapes to Blackmoore, home of her childhood friend Henry Delafield. If Kate can obtain three proposals of marriage while she is there, she will be permitted to reject them and travel to India.

While the plot is a bit far­fetched, Donaldson has used it to inject humor into the situation and takes the reader on Kate’s journey toward recognizing—and finally admitting—the name of her true love. The reader, of course, guesses his identity from the very beginning, but it is a pleasant read toward the story’s conclusion.

While Donaldson can turn a phrase well enough, readers may hope that her next work will be free of so many names and situations she borrows directly from her (obviously) favorite authors. Still, Blackmoore is light and easy to read, perfect for a day at the beach or over tea and crumpets served in the best china.

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