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review 2018-02-26 13:24
I want to have tea with Sophia and Lavinia.
Irresistible (The Horsemen Trilogy) - Mary Balogh

Sophia may be the main character and pivot for much of the heroism going on but Lavinia is a hoot and deserved a book of her own!


Sophia's husband died a hero at the battle of Waterloo and she was granted a house and servants by the crown. Only now she has to deal with a blackmailer who is leeching her dry, as well as the Four Horsemen, two of whom are married in previous books (that I haven't read but want to).  Sophia wants something more from life but fears what the blackmailer will do to others. She tries to strike a balannce but it's hard work.  Meanwhile she finds herself attracted to Sir Nathaniel Gascoigne, again, he's looking forward to marrying off his sister and ward and having batchelor freedom for a while, but Sophia is distracting him.


It's light and fluffy mostly but it deals with a complex problem of the time.

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review 2018-01-16 22:59
Someone to Wed (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh


An engaging story lovely written. I've come to love most of the author's books because of the care that it's placed on everything. The setting, the characters, the atmosphere, they're all perfectly done.
Also the fact that they mostly have a story besides _eventually _ disrobing... helps.
This story has all the things that I like:
_No insta love;
_No insta attraction;
_No pointless drama;

Instead there's friendship and companionship from the part of a big crazy family.
From my experience, I found that a little far fetched, lol, everyone getting along brilliantly; but it was nice to read...okay, a little less sweetness would have been preferred, :D but that's just me being emotionally stunted.

I loved the way the romance developed... calmly (most of the time). Alexander never once behaved like a neanderthal towards Wren, and that was vastly appreciated.
I am done with brutes and alpha jerks.

For me the only thing that kept this from being a perfect read was the last pages. I think that cutting a few pages and taking it easy on the sweetness might have helped.
But I really liked it and I do see myself re-reading it! ;)

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review 2018-01-16 04:47
Trope soup, and not in an entertaining way.
Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

I finally hit my DNF point about 60% through when I realised that I was never going to reconcile myself to the fact that the hero, an English duke raised in England, was secretly a king fu master. My level of BUT WHY!? was too high for anything but the most riveting of adventures to keep me going, and nothing else in this book was that. (But why is: when he was studying at... Harrow or somewhere... he met a Chinese martial arts master by chance and he taught him the secrets of kung fu. The book answered none of the questions I had about that, most of which revolved around why it was a plot point at all).


The rest of the hero's (non kung fu related) persona revolved around being very rich, very fashionable and very bored. I feel like the author maybe watched the  Anthony Andrews version of The Scarlet Pimpernel one too many times (not that there's anything wrong with that!)


Meanwhile the heroine was raised in one of those Quaker Anarchist orphanages that don't teach you about the class system, so she hits finding out that she's the legitimate daughter of an Earl with zero knowledge of anything, and proceeds to insist on being simple and true to herself and as good as anyone and hiring all her friends as maids. ("A Quaker Anarchist is guided through London society by a Kung Fu master," quoth a friend, "that sounds pretty good, actually." YOU WOULD THINK SO! Alas, the author doesn't lean into it.)


One would think that the 1810s would be a perfect time to declare war on ruffles, given the neoclassical turn in women's fashion around then, but the author disagrees, and claims that All The Other Girls dressed in an overly fussy manner (I was pretty confused about the period generally. Queen Charlotte is on the throne, and they're at war in France, but it's all ruffled dresses and dancing the waltz. WHEN IS THIS SET!?).


I may be obsessing over details? It may be because I don't care about the plot? Since there's literally no conflict and next to no romantic tension between the main characters? This underlined by all scenes being told and retold two or three times. In any case, enough is enough.



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review 2018-01-02 17:35
no surprises here
The Secret Mistress (Mistress Trilogy #3) - Mary Balogh

Edward Ailsbury is going to have to marry and is heading to London to try to find someone suitable, he definitely doesn't want the girl he met at a tavern on the way, who turns out to be Lady Angeline Dudley and he's finding that he's measuring others against her.

Meanwhile she's trying to find a way to convince him that they suit and would be a suitable couple. Life is complicated.

Fairly predictable, title a bit misleading.

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review 2017-12-04 17:03
No more to go
Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga #6) - Mary Balogh

I've been reading this series on and off for a while and just recently binged on the last two and it reminded me of the best of romance, the meeting of two people who at first seem incompatible but turn out to bring out the best in each other and find that they miss having the other around, no matter how much the other infuriates them sometimes.


Wulfric Bedwyn agrees to go to a house party and Christine Derrick agrees to go too, they're not a couple, in fact she is not suitable Duchess material at all.  But he can't stop looking at her, being attracted to her and occasionally rescuing her from her good-hearted impulses.  She was happily married until her husband started to doubt her, now she lives in poverty and tries to be insignificant. Then Wulfric asks Christine to be his mistress and she refuses.


He wants her in his life but he's not sure that she's a suitable wife. Can he survive without her?


Charming and entertaining and worth reading.

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