Review: Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Reviewed by Jen

40-year-olds exist as more than just the roles they play in life. They are more than just moms, grandmas, daughters, aunts, or even wives. It’s a point not often made in romance novels, especially historical ones. Let’s be real, a woman such as Viola is not generally heroine age material. She is 42. Her children are grown. She has three grandchildren. But she is first and foremost her own person. She just needs to figure out who that is. And she wants to be loved for it.

This is book four in Mary Balogh’s Wescotts series. You could probably read this as a standalone, but there are a lot of characters that may be hard to keep up with if you have not read the previous books. Suffice it to say, the premise of the series is that after the death of Viola’s first husband, she and her three children learn he had never been her husband in the first place. He was still married to his first wife and the daughter he had with her was the true heir to his fortune. The discovery made Viola a tainted woman and her children, bastards. At the start of this book, a couple of years have passed, but she is just starting to really deal with what happened to her.

She runs away from her well-meaning family members and comes face to face with Marcel, a handsome rake who had propositioned her once during the course of her marriage. She had been interested in him, but turned him down soundly because of propriety, duty, and his reputation. Turns out that the mutual interest never went away. So when he invites her for a getaway, she accepts and an affair begins. And it’s great, until her family and his come looking for them, forcing a betrothal no one had signed up for.

If you couldn’t tell already, I am a fan of a couple who breaks out of the normal mold. That’s not to say either of them is perfect. Viola is a bit of a martyr at times and Marcel can be extremely selfish. The real roadblock to their happiness–their unwillingness to bare their real feelings to each other– is a problem of their own making. There were times I was frustrated with each of them. And as in the case in so many romance novels, a great deal of angst could have been avoided by an honest conversation.

But. I liked the book. I liked the message. And despite the flaws of the main characters, I liked the couple. They were good for each other. I loved their silly trip to the market and fake jewelry. I loved how Viola was brave enough to live a little for herself. And I loved how Marcel manned up and faced his children and his responsibilities.

This may not be for everyone, especially if you need a 20-something couple, a virgin heroine, or tons of action. But I liked it and would recommend for folks looking for an older couple… or something just a little bit different.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Someone to Care
by Mary Balogh
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Berkley

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