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review 2017-11-04 03:13
Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh
Someone to Wed (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wren has hidden herself away from the world but without her aunt and uncle, she has grown lonely. Deciding that her inheritance should be good for something, she decides to buy herself a husband. 
Alexander was happy in his life but now finding himself an earl of an impoverished estate, his life has been turned upside down. 
What starts off as a business proposition could end up being a fairy tale. 

"I am twenty-nine years old, very nearly thirty, and I would like…someone to wed." 

Third in the Wescott series we come to Alexander's story. The previous two books set the storyline of the previous Earl of Riverdale dying and exposing that his second marriage was bigamist. His three children are declared bastards while a daughter from the first marriage is found in an orphanage and suddenly legitimate. I did not read the previous two books and appreciated how Balogh smoothly and organically explained how Alexander became the Earl. Balogh relayed important information and characters but didn't info dump and in fact integrated all those previous characters into this story, creating a believable and familial world. You could feasibly start the series here. 

Her instinct was to hide behind veils within veils, and she had done it for so long that she did not know how to cast those veils aside. 

The star of this story and where most of the heavy emotional lifting comes from is our heroine Wren. She was born with a large birthmark covering half of her face and a mother who puts vanity above all else. When she is ten, her aunt takes her from her home and eventually she and her husband adopt Wren. Unfortunately, those important formative years with her cruel mother keep Wren from having any self-worth. Wren always wears a veil to cover her face unless around her aunt and uncle. When they die she becomes incredibly lonely and decides to buy a husband. Her new neighbor, the Earl of Riverdale, is third on her list for potential husbands but he may be just too good looking. 

You'll feel awful for Wren as she uses an ice queen persona to keep her pain and self shielded. Balogh masterfully created a perfect hero for Wren in Alexander. He perfectly complements the situation by being wary of the heroine's pain but also acknowledges it; there are no quick simple solutions in this story. This wasn't even a slow burn but a slow thawing; you'll need to wait until around the half-way mark before our couple starts to really get moving. 

I appreciated this building and forming of their relationship but I also thought the second half dragged on a bit. This is definitely not a "modern" historical, characters and mannerisms stay true to the time period, emotions and actions are a bit more constrained. While the larger cast of characters helped create a full world, it also stole away from my lead's romance more than I would have liked, the story had a tendency to slowly meander. 

Alexander's sister and mother and how they engaged and tried to understand Wren brought such a wonderful warmth to the story; I love when women characters kindly engage with each other. Alexander and Wren were such intelligent characters but I did think Wren’s internal declaration of love felt a bit quick as I don't think the "special" connection with Alexander had been quite made yet, he was the first and only man to show her attention in her life. 

A little slow and meandering towards the end but Wren will have you emotional and incredibly happy that she found the handsome Alexander. 

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text 2017-11-02 17:31
Reading Update: 15%
Someone to Wed (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

"My money would come at too high a price?" she asked.

"There is great pain behind those words," he said. "It is your pain that makes me hesitate, Miss Hoyden."

 

This hero, y'all. I feel like I'm in for an deep emotional read.

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text 2017-08-10 11:42
REVIEW BY DEBBIE - A Hero For The Empire (The Dragon's Bidding #1) by Christina Westcott
A Hero for the Empire (The Dragon's Bidding) - Christina Westcott

A beautiful cybernetic SpecOps agent, and immortal mercenary, and a telepathic cat. 

Commander Kimber FitzWarren is running on borrowed time. The cybernetic augmentations that give her superhuman strength and speed have also shortened her life. The success of her next mission is imperative, not only to save her Empire, but because this operation could be her last. 

She joins a group of idealistic officers plotting to topple the corrupt Imperial government, but the only key to placing missing military legend Arianne Ransahov on the throne lies with the one man who knows how to locate her, mercenary Wolf Youngblood. 

Wolf has recently survived one Imperial assassination attempt, so when Fitz shows up in his bedroom at 0-dark-30, he’s reluctant to trust her, until another assassin tries to kill them both. 

Pursued by Imperial warships, swarmed by mind-sucking parasites, and attacked by giant alien bugs, they’re left with no one to depend on but each other...and Wolf's wise-cracking telepathic cat, Jumper. A bond grows between the pair, one so strong even their secrets can't destroy it, but before Fitz and Wolf can explore what's left of their future together, they first have to survive this mission.

 

@CWestcottAuthor, @debbiereadsbook, #Science_Fiction, #Cyberpunk, #Space_Opera, 4 out of 5 (very good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/debbie/aherofortheempirethedragonsbidding1bychristinawestcott
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text 2017-08-03 16:28
Someone to Love By Mary Balogh $1.99
Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…
 
Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.

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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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