Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve enjoyed almost every book I’ve read by Mary Balogh, and this was no exception. One of the reasons I like her is how well she does characters with a tortured past. Most often, it’s the hero, but occasionally, she gives us a heroine who must overcome something horrible. In this case, it’s a burden that’s changed the woman’s entire life.

Wren has a purple birthmark that covers one side of her face. In many historical romances, that would be her obstacle to overcome. And it is here too, but only tangentially. The real problem is the psychological damage she has to overcome from a lifetime spent in isolation. [Read more…]

Review: Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh

Reviewed by Jen

As a whole, I enjoyed this second installment of Mary Balogh’s Wescott series better than I did its predecessor, though it was a decidedly slow build. My chief problem with Someone to Love was that I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters and the interchangeable use of their names and titles. Here, that wasn’t as much as an issue because the supporting cast was brought in more slowly, after the primary leads were well established. Add to that my familiarity with the players from book one, plus a (somewhat complicated) family tree drawn out at the beginning, and I think most people will be able to follow along. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorites of 2016

I haven’t read quite as many books this year as I did in years past. Part of the reason is the huge life changes that came with a new job and a major move for my family. The other came with my sudden burning desire to write a book of my own.

So my reading list was shorter, but I still found some great titles in 2016! [Read more…]

Review: Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

someone-to-loveReviewed by Jen

I generally enjoy Mary Balogh books, so much so that she is an auto read author for me. And while this book was a hit for many other readers, for me, it just did not measure up to some of her other work.

The premise sounded pretty good. Anna grew up in an orphanage, having no idea her father was an Earl. It wasn’t until he died and she was left a massive fortune that the truth came out. The story follows her as she learns the ways of the ton and decides how much of herself she wants to transform in order to fit in. The Hero, Avery, falls for her as he helps her navigate the new waters. [Read more…]

Review: Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

only belovedReviewed by Jen

I have been a fan of this series since the very first, but I have to say that this final installment is easily my favorite. This is the Duke of Stanbrook’s story. He is the man who brought all the members of the Survivor’s Club together. He was like a father figure to many, older than the rest, and mourning the death of his wife and son. And at 48, George is definitely not the age of most romance heroes, but he was a fantastic one nonetheless.

This book begins right on the heels of the last one. Imogen has just married and now George has decided that he would like the same happiness that all of the other survivors have found in marriage. He wastes no time in seeking out Dora, sister to Flavian’s wife, Agnes. She is the talent music teacher who raised Agnes when their mother abandoned them. George essentially shows up on her front door unannounced and proposes. Dora has always had a soft spot for the duke, and though she never expected his interest, she doesn’t hesitate to say yes. [Read more…]

Review: Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh

only a kissReviewed by Jen

I have been such a fan of this series and I am a little sad there is only one book left before it’s over. That being said, this installment was fairly good, though not my favorite. It centers on Imogen, the only female member of the Survivor’s Club. It moved a little slowly at times and I felt like I had to do a lot of waiting for things to happen and her secrets to be revealed.

Imogen lives in the dowager house of her late husband’s family estate, even though her father-in-law passed away two years ago. The new earl has never set foot on the property. Until now. Percival Hayes has everything a young man could want. He is good looking. He’s rich. He’s titled. And he is completely bored. As his 30th birthday comes and goes, he decides to take a trip to Hardford Hall in hopes of shaking his life up and finding an interesting diversion. [Read more…]

Review: Only a Promise by Mary Balogh

only a promiseReviewed by Jen

Mary Balogh’s Survivors Club series never disappoints. I have to admit that Ralph didn’t strike much of a chord with me in previous books. And when I was reminded that he was the survivor with a scar across his face, I expected a much different book. Maybe something Beauty and the Beast-y or the kind of story where everyone is repulsed by his scar and only the heroine can see the real man beneath.  It was neither. Instead, the book focuses far more on our hero’s psychological scars and it’s all the better for it. [Read more…]

Review: Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

only enchantingReviewed by Jen

I think in many ways this series is tailor-made for me.  Each installment is focused on a survivor of the Napoleonic wars.  Each has suffered in the aftermath: some, in more obvious ways than others. You know I love a tortured hero and these books are chock-full of them.  In the hands of a lazy author, this could result in essentially the same story playing out over and over again, different in only the details.  Thankfully, that’s not what happens here. I love how different Mary Balogh has made each one of these books, and especially, each one of her heroes. What’s more, she gives us just a taste of each man prior to his book, but then reveals him slowly over the course of his story. [Read more…]

Review: The Arrangement by Mary Balogh

arrangementReviewed by Jen

I really, really enjoyed this book. I was a little nervous about picking it up because The Proposal did not rock my world.  This installment, though, definitely did.  If you are not familiar with The Survivor’s Club series, it follows seven men and women who were damaged in some fashion during the Napoleonic Wars. In this novel, the hero is Vincent, the youngest of the group. He is 23 years old, a viscount with a doting family, and he is completely blind. [Read more…]

Review: The Proposal by Mary Balogh

proposalReviewed by Jen

I absolute adore the premise of this series; so much so that when I jumped in with book three, I decided to go back and check out the backlist with this, book 1. The stories follow six men and one women, connected by tragedy. They are The Survivors Club, and each member is working to heal from a wounded inflicted in the Napoleonic wars… some physical, others mental or emotional.  It is at the group’s annual reunion where our hero and heroine meet. [Read more…]