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review 2017-05-19 08:31
Anna Cinderella
Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

An original take on the Cinderella story. How do you go from poverty to riches without losing yourself in the process? Mary Balogh attempted to answer this question.

Anna, the female lead of the story, has lived in an orphanage all her life, first as an orphan child, then as a teacher. Suddenly at twenty-five, she becomes a lady heiress, thrust into the high society of London, but what she has wanted most for her entire life – her own family, someone to love – still eludes her. Her family wants nothing to do with her, and who could blame them. The same twist of fate that made Anna an heiress deprived them of all they owned. And the one responsible for this imbroglio is safely dead, beyond any blame or retribution. So they blame the only one who is left – Anna, even though she wants to share her newfound wealth with them.

Like Anna, Avery, the Duke of Netherby, is an unusual male lead. To start with, he is not tall and manly. He is golden-haired, short and slight, beautiful like a girl and almost, but not quite, effeminate. He is aloof and keeps everyone at a distance, but Anna gets under his skin in no time. Love creeps at them both and catches them both unawares, and they submit to its sweet demands without much resistance.

The story is charming and quiet, with no suspense subplot: pure romance at its best. It is very well written, and I loved it. It’s the beginning of a new series, and I look forward to more books about the characters I met in this one.

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review 2017-04-11 06:09
She was a lady. She isn't anymore.
Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

Camille had been a lady all her life, cold and aloof and as arrogant as a British aristocrat and a daughter of a wealthy earl could be. Until one day, after her father’s death, she discovers that her life has been a lie. Her late father, the earl, was never legally married to her mother. Camille and her siblings are all illegitimate and have not a cent to their names.

The story of this book is the story of Camille’s self-discovery. She is trying to figure out who she is if not a rich and powerful noble lady. She is also trying to find out how those who are not rich and powerful, those she had always considered beneath her notice, live.

I didn’t like Camille or her story very much. She remains cold and aloof even when knocked off her pedestal of money and title. She is trying – I’ll give her that – but her fumblings are halfhearted at best. And she uses those weaker and poorer than herself – the orphan children – as an instrument of her self-discovery. She doesn’t think of what will happen to the children after she leaves them behind. They are just a means to an end. Through them, she is determining how to exist without being a rich lady.

In the end of the book, she accepts money from her legitimate sister as her due. Struggling to keep food on the table is not for Camille. In fact, everyone becomes rich in the end of the book, as if the money problems should always be rewarded by inheritance or kindness of relatives. Nothing like that has ever happened to anyone I know, so I didn’t believe this happy ending for Camille either.

The romance between Camille and her young beau doesn’t play a large role in the story. It almost seems an afterthought, because the author is a romance writer, and her publisher expected at least a token romantic line.

On the whole – a very average novel. I did enjoy it... somewhat. I like Balogh’s writing style and I have read most of her prolific output, but this particular book is one of my least favorite of hers.

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review 2017-03-13 18:34
Someone to Hold (Westcott #2) by Mary Balogh
Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

 

 

 

 

 

With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.

An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead.

 

 

 

 

The blurb on Someone to Hold doesn't really do justice to what this book is really about and whats more is that the book doesn't really hold weight to what the blurb describes.

I'm willing to take some of the credit for not liking this installment so much in comparison to the last book but I couldn't seem to slip into Camille's headspace other than her life seemed to be a set of circumstances set by the decisions made by the others in her life. Camille was neither hot nor cold and never really stepped into the spot light despite being a little too self absorbed. However I couldn't really blame her for that considering what had been done to her. At the same time I felt like she really kind of needed to grow up which I don't really feel she did at any point in the book.

I still think Someone to Hold is worth the read just to be in and a part of the Westcott series which to my relief was much lighter on the family dynasty thing that got a little too long in the tooth the first time.

Mary Balogh

 

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/da-vincis-tiger-laura-malone-elliott/1121228362?ean=9780062231710&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20IncM000004http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/da-vincis-tiger-laura-malone-elliott/1121228362?ean=9780062231710&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20IncM000004

 

 

 

 
 
 
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Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing.

 

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review 2017-02-23 16:18
Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

Anna Snow always wanted to know who her parents were, having grown up in an orphanage she never knew, but she had a few vague memories. Now she receives a summons to go to London to meet a Lawyer and there she finds a different future from the one she had planned. It turns out her father didn't wait for her mother to die before marrying again and now she has inherited the family fortune and his children are disinherited. Now she has responsibilities beyond her wildest dreams and she has to marry.

 

Avery Archer is the Duke of Netherby and keeps everyone at a distance, now he finds himself drifting towards Anna and he finds her interesting.  A relationship develops but can it survive all the stresses?

 

I liked the characters and how Avery wins the duel.  Anna is very determined to be her own person and you can see the hardships in doing that here. I enjoyed the read and found it very difficult to put down.

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review 2017-01-15 11:47
Someone To Love #1 Westcott by Mary Balogh
Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh


4 helms


 

Please follow me on my blog :) Review originally posted on Vellum Voyages

 

Ok I need to read more Mary Balogh! Wowie she pens such good historical romance! And I mean ACTUAL historical romance- like you know stuff like Austen! I never knew! Where have I been all this time?!?! Living under a bookshelf instead of in it, that's where! As you can probably tell this is my first Balogh! Probably not the best one to start off with I know, but, I'm still in awe of her writing style- her mastery of the Regency period really shines through in her style of writing and she's just such a pleasure to read!

 

The Westcott family are steeped in scandal as the real truth behind the late Earl of Riverdale's legal will comes out- he has had a secret wife and child in the past, making his current children illegitimate and the marriage bigamous! Miss Anna Snow, an orphan, and a teacher at the orphanage where she grew up, finds out all her dreams have come true when she finds herself the sole legitimate heir to the title and fortune of Riverdale! And suddenly she has a family! Not just a few relatives but a whole squadron of them! Avery Archer is the guardian to Anna's illegitimate half brother and not closely related to the Westcott family at all and stays out of tedious family affairs. But as he watches Anna transition from a quite dignified orphan to a lady of the Ton, he can't help but be intrigued by her stoic strength, confidence and air of dignity she wears around herself.

 

Lots to talk about in this book in terms of likes and dislikes...I'll start off with the smaller bits and expand into the characters as they were my main interests. First off, this "Chinese Gentleman" scandal. I found the mention of this character very very random- no explanation at all at what the heck he was doing in Regency England practicing martial arts in the middle of a park. Nothing else other than he teaches Avery a style of martial arts. I didn't find this racist at all (I'm coloured myself), as mentioned in some book reviews, just really random without any further explanation. Secondly, the introduction to the Westcott family was so TEDIOUS! Omg there were just too many names and too many introductions and I got such a headache, I had to find my smelling salts...This happened especially heavily when Anna was introduced to the Westcott family at the beginning and it was just such a bore to get through. I do appreciate that this is the first book in a series but I just felt like it was something that could have been condensed slightly as not to loose some readers. Hence why I stop-started this book and forced myself to continue, but I'm glad I stuck it through, though, because obviously as you became better acquainted with the characters it got easier to remember who was who. Again on the topic of tedious, some of later letters to Joel also came close to blah mainly because it felt repeated to what we read 3 pages ago. Lastly some major nitpicking here- so please forgive me! I found the word "legalese" mentioned which annoyed me. There! I got that out of my system! Now I feel better haha. These were the smaller things that niggled at me throughout the book and now onto the characters.

 

Overall, I did come really close to disliking "Someone to Love". I think it was mainly due to the characters being so different and unique, particularly our hero. Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby is short, small statured, blond and pretty- almost girlish and practices martial arts? Say what? Aren't Dukes meant to be tall, handsome, roguish, dangerous, scandalous and all that other broody stuff? And since when did martial arts make an appearance with The Quality? Avery is a tough nut to crack. Even as a reader, we are not privy to much and are only allowed a proper glance into the depths of his soul within the last chapter of the book, when he opens up to Anna. I also didn't like the whole perpetually bored, overly flamboyant persona of Avery. Anna our heroine, does not have a big personality. She is a quiet study indeed and a thoroughly composed and confident character. Again, very different to the louder, rebellious, sassy and sensual heroines you read about. I liked Anna. She had strength and continues to have strength throughout the book, which serves her very nicely. I didn't have much trouble liking her but it was Avery I really didn't take to initially.

 

Sooooooo, I didn't really like Avery throughout most of the book, Anna is great but really not what I'm used to as a heroine....but what's this I'm feeling? An emotional connection to these two? Shedding a few tears because they are fell in love? Where the heck did these emotions come from? How did Mary Balogh manage to wrest those emotions out of me, despite all the other bits going on that I didn't like? After some thought, I think it's because she really got to the essence of a romance. She demonstrated to us a slow, simple and sweet love between two very different characters. She portrays Avery as an illusion of someone unlikeable and gives us the real Avery later-someone we actually really did like deep down. Avery really is a sweet hero despite everything else and he is truly wonderful to Anna.

 

Towards the end of the novel, Mary Balogh gave me what I wanted despite my misgivings and my preconceived notions and that's why I loved "Someone To Love" much more than I expected to. Despite all the odds against it, this book really is well written and I daresay will provide more enjoyment on a second re-read! Fans of Mary Balogh don't be afraid to pick this up as I'm sure your favourite author will deliver!

 

*Thank-you Mary Balogh, Netgalley & Piatkus for the ARC.

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