Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #4
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
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Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .
Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune--except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness--until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.
Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.
When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it.
Two years ago Viola’s husband died and she found out that her marriage of 23 years had been bigamous. She retreated to her brother’s home trying to deal with the emotional aftermath. She would have thought that she’d be over it all by now but when she heads to Bath for her grandson’s christening she’s inundated with her family. Even the Westcott family, which she was never legally a part of, shows her love and kindness. She knows she’s horrible for not appreciating it more but she finds it smothering. She leaves Bath in a hired carriage (many family members had offered their carriages and servants but she’d refused) and just her luck, the thing breaks down. She ends up in a little village overnight and who does she meet there but the man she’d fallen in love with 14 years earlier.
Marcel is on his way home to deal with family issues when he sees Viola. He knows that she’s no longer married and though he knows he shouldn’t, he approaches her. She told him to “go away” years earlier and he had abided by her wishes. He knew she was married but he couldn’t help flirting with her. Now she’s free and he suggests they spend the day at the town fair. Viola agrees and has more fun with Marcel then she’d had in a very long time – even when she was married. They end up spending the night together and Marcel suggests that they run away together for a couple of weeks. Viola knows it’s not proper but she agrees.
Marcel and Viola spend time at his cottage in the country and they have a great time but reality soon comes crashing down on them in the form of their families and to save Viola’s reputation Marcel says that they’re betrothed. Now it’s back to reality and Viola has to figure out how she can get out of the betrothal. She loves Marcel but knows he doesn’t love her. She thinks he’s just a womanizer and not good marriage material but there’s a whole lot more behind Marcel’s outer core than Viola knows.
This was another lovely novel by Mary Balogh. She’s become one of my favorite historical romance authors as she writes so well and always gives me a good story.
I’ve loved reading about the Westcott family as they’ve gone through the scandal of what their father/husband did to them. Finding out that she was never married to her husband was a shock to Viola and I think she’d been in a bit of a depressive state for two years. I know I would have been! When she sees Marcel again she thinks he’s just as handsome as he was 14 years earlier. She’d fallen in love with him back then but knew nothing could come of it because she was married and not a cheater. To be with him again easily brought those feelings back and she quickly fell in love with him. I could see how she would fall hard and fast for Marcel. He had a dry sense of humor and though he held himself back some I could tell that he truly cared for Viola.
Marcel had once been a loving husband and father to his twins but after the death of his wife he left his kids with their aunt and only visited them twice a year. He had become someone he didn’t recognize, or particularly like, but that changed when he was with Viola. She made him want to be a better person and I loved reading about his transformation throughout the book. Balogh did a wonderful job of bringing him to being more “human.”
The book included characters from previous Westcott books and that was awesome. We got to see how the couples from books 1-3 were faring and I loved reading about the whole family. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens next with this wonderful, loving family.
Rating: 4 out of 5