Tag: Mary Balogh

Guest Review: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Posted September 13, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Someone to Trust by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott Series #5
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed, Someone to Care, Someone to Honor
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.

After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snow bank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love...

Colin and Elizabeth start off as friends in this book.  They are both looking for the same thing – marriage – but since Elizabeth is 9 years older than Colin they don’t really even think about marrying each other.  There is a spark and a sparkle there – and Colin constantly teases Elizabeth that he could marry him, but then plays it off as a joke.  She’s a little hurt by his teasing, but is Colin truly teasing her or is there a vein of seriousness in him?

While the story started off slowly it soon picked up and I was pretty invested in the romance.  I really liked both Colin and Elizabeth and wanted them together.  Yes, she was 9 years older than Colin and that age thing got a little old, I’m not gonna lie.  Colin was so adorable and kind, and I loved his character so much.  I’m glad that they finally worked things out, but it took a little too long to get there.  This actually could have been a novella and been perfect.

The overwhelming Wescott family irritated me in this book.  Not that any of them did anything wrong, truly they didn’t, but having to remember who is who was getting to me.  I love that they are so supportive of each other, but it got to a point where I just wanted them to all go away.

While I didn’t like this as much as I liked books 2, 3 & 4 in the series, it was still a lovely romance and worth reading.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Wescott

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh

Posted August 13, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Someone to Honor by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #6
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed, Someone to Care, Someone to Trust
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Abigail Westcott's dreams for her future were lost when her father died and she discovered her parents were not legally married. But now, six years later, she enjoys the independence a life without expectation provides a wealthy single woman. Indeed, she's grown confident enough to scold the careless servant chopping wood outside without his shirt on in the proximity of ladies.

But the man is not a servant. He is Gilbert Bennington, the lieutenant colonel and superior officer who has escorted her wounded brother Harry home from the wars with Napoleon. He's come to help his friend and junior officer recover, and he doesn't take lightly to being condescended to - secretly because of his own humble beginnings.

If at first these two seem to embody what the other most despises, they will soon discover how wrong first impressions can be. For behind the appearance of the once grand lady and once humble man are two people who share an understanding of what true honor means, and how only with it can one find love.

Gil is an army man who helps his weak and injured friend, Harry Wescott, home he needs Abby Westcott, Harry’ sister, but isn’t really interested in Abby – he’s more focused on getting his daughter back.

While Gil was in the war, his wife had a baby. He then finds out that she had taken the child to her parents and left her there. The child’s mother then went off flitting from house party to house party and eventually her reckless attitude gets her killed. Gil wants nothing more than to get his daughter back, but the grandparents believe a bunch of lies that Gil’s wife had told about him, and they’ll do anything to keep the child from him.

Gil was born illegitimate. His mother was a washerwoman and his father was a noble. While they didn’t have a much, she always provided for Gil. His father wasn’t in the picture and Gil resents the man for making him and his mother live in poverty. Of course, as the book goes on, we find out that sometimes all is not as it seems.

Gil and Abby come together to get Gil’s daughter back but other than that I felt no real romance between the two of them. Gil was surly and contrary, and Abby was just kind of blah. I was actually bored through most of this book, which was a bit of a surprise since I’ve liked the previous Wescott books so much.

I was interested in the whole daughter issue, (it’s what kept me reading) but it ended up being anti-climactic. There was a lot of stress thinking how it was going to work out and it kind of had me on the edge of my seat. Then, of course, when they actually got to that point it was a bit of a letdown. I don’t know if I was expecting this big fight, or what, but it just wasn’t very exciting.

Balogh is a good author, but I think she really missed the mark on this one. I’m not sure if she wasn’t into the characters as much as previous books, or maybe she was trying to knock it out quickly, but it just didn’t work for me

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Posted December 9, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 9 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: Someone to Trust by Mary BaloghSomeone to Trust (Westcott, #5) by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #5
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed, Someone to Care, Someone to Honor, Someone to Trust
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.

After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snow bank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love...

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Excerpt

SOMEONE TO TRUST by Mary Balogh
Book Binge Exclusive Excerpt

“I hope,” Colin said later when he was standing at the bottom of the run watching the action and Elizabeth had just come down with the Reverend Kingsley, “I did not offend you with the snowball in the face?”

“Oh, let me see,” she said. “Was that the first one or the fourth?”

“Numbers two, three, and four were part of a fair fight,” he said. “The first one was not. I hope I did not offend you. Actually I meant to hit you on the shoulder.”

“What?” she said. “You are not such a star bowler after all, then?”

“As for numbers two, three, and four,” he said, ignoring the jibe, “you really need to learn how to duck, Elizabeth.”

“The third time I did duck,” she said, “and got it in the face anyway.”

Her cheeks were bright red and glowing. So was her nose. Her hair beneath the red-brimmed bonnet was wet and pulling free of its pins. Her eyes were sparkling, her lips curved into a smile. She looked really quite beautiful with animation to add to the usual smiling serenity. She appeared young and vibrant. But she ought to be offended. He had concentrated most of his attack during the fight upon her, perhaps because she was concentrating most of hers upon him and had been so very obviously enjoying herself. She had missed by a mile with every snowball but one, and that had shattered harmlessly against his elbow.

“Yes. Thank you,” he said when Dorchester offered him the sled he had just ridden down with his wife. The two of them wandered off together, hand in hand.
Colin turned to Elizabeth. “Shall we?”

“But can I trust you?” she asked.

“Always.” He clapped one gloved hand over his heart and they trudged up the hill side by side.

They did two runs together. The first was flawless. Colin’s only regret was that the slope was not longer, but this was the highest hill in the park and it really was not bad. The second run was not so successful. Bertrand Lamarr, on his way down with Abigail, swerved to avoid colliding with his twin and Boris, Molenor’s eldest boy, and Colin had to swerve to miss them both. He was on the outer edge of the run and hit soft snow before reaching the bottom. He tried to correct their course, but the sled had other ideas and went plowing farther in, veering wildly from side to side before upending its occupants into deep snow close to the bottom.

There were shouts from outside their cocoon of snow, though none sounded deeply concerned. Elizabeth was laughing and sputtering—from beneath Colin. He was laughing too as he raised his head and brushed foolishly and ineffectually at the snow covering her bonnet and shoulders.

“I will never live that one down,” he said.

“I forgot to ask in what ways I might trust you,” she said. “Foolish of me.”

“With your life, ma’am,” he said, grinning at her. “Behold yourself unharmed and only snow caked. At least, I hope you are unharmed.” It occurred to him that his weight might be squashing her.

And then the most ghastly thing happened.

He thought about it afterward—he could not stop thinking, in fact—and squirmed with intense discomfort every time. What the devil had possessed him? And what the devil must she think even though she had assured him that she would not think about it at all.

He kissed her.

Wescott

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: December 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh's Headshot

Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Love, Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic, and Simply Perfect, her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin's School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.


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Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Posted May 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #4
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed, Someone to Honor, Someone to Trust
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


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

Wescott

four-stars


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Guest Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Posted November 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: Someone to Wed by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #3
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Care, Someone to Honor, Someone to Trust
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can't afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life . . .

A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate-and oh-so-dashing-earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past . . .

Alexander Wescott arrives at Withington House for tea expecting that he would be meeting some of his new neighbors.  He’s surprised when it’s only the lady of the house, Miss Wren Heyden, and her maid.  He’s a bit put off by the situation and by Miss Heyden, and just wants to leave.  He is shocked when she proposes marriage to him out of the blue.  She had been sitting in shadow and when she reveals herself he sees a large purple mark on one side of her face that she had had since birth.  Alexander agrees to get to know Wren and they start a bit of a courtship that ends with Wren retracting her proposal.

Almost a month later Wren arrives in London.  When Alexander sees her again he knows that marrying her is the right thing to do.  He proposes, and she accepts.  Unfortunately Wren thought that once they were married that she would continue to live in obscurity – she couldn’t have been more wrong.  The reclusive Wren soon finds herself surrounded by Alexander’s accepting family and eventually going out in public without her veil.  The ghosts of her past, however, soon start to tear her apart from the inside and she’s not sure that marrying Alexander was the wisest thing to do as she considers herself a broken woman.

This was such a sweet book.  I have enjoyed the Wescott series so far and this is another good one.  I expected, after book 1, that the books would be strictly about the Wescott children who had found themselves illegitimate after thinking for most of their lives that they were legitimate.  I was wrong and I’m happy about that. 🙂  I didn’t realize that I wanted Alexander’s story until I started reading.  It was so very good and I was happy that Balogh went the direction she did.

Alexander was such a great character and a good man.  He was conscientious and thoughtful and genuinely cared about people.  When he inherited the Earldom he was shocked and overwhelmed.  He had inherited a home that had been completely neglected despite the former earl’s wealth.  Unfortunately that wealth hadn’t come with the title so Alexander was trying to do the best he could.  He knew he needed a rich wife but it was distasteful to him to marry for money – I can’t say I blame him.  Wren presented a perfect solution but he knew that she had many issues and the wall she put up between herself and people would cause problems.  He told himself when she broke things off that he was relieved, but he couldn’t decide if he was being honest with himself.  I was so happy that he made the decisions he did later in the book. He proved that he was the honorable man I thought him to be.  He took such good care with Wren and her sensitivities to people and I loved him for that.

Wren started off not being my favorite.  She was standoffish and caustic and it bothered me as I knew Alexander didn’t deserve it.  She tried to come out of her shell but after being a recluse for twenty years it was difficult, to say the least.  When she finally made it to London she seemed to become a different person and one I greatly admired. She could have so easily stayed in her rooms and continued to be the recluse but she made an effort to show herself despite her self-consciousness and I loved it.  Balogh did a wonderful job writing this heroine!  She had been through so much in her life that she could have folded up into herself and crumbled but she didn’t and loved her for it.

Balogh has become one of my go-to authors when it comes to historical romance.  She always provides a lovely story and wonderful romance and this was another great one.  The Wescotts are a lively family and I can’t wait to read more about them in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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