Wednesday, October 12, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve enjoyed Mary Balogh’s historical romances in the past and was very pleased to have the opportunity to read her new novel: Someone to Love.

In this sweet romance, the heroine, Anna Snow, has been raised in an orphanage in Bath. At twenty-five, she is now a teacher in the orphanage’s school. She’s made a life for herself filled with purpose and good friends, yet something is missing. Anna is unaware of her true identity and has no family connections.

Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, is an atypical hero. Unlike the usual large alpha male, Avery is short and lithe. Nevertheless, despite his affectation of constant boredom (an affectation demanded by the ton), he exudes power and danger. Bullied as a child, he serendipitously discovered martial arts. His body is now a lethal weapon, something only he needs to know for his confidence to shine through.

The story begins with the death of the Earl of Riverdale. His son and heir, Harry, is not quite of age and so is under the guardianship of Avery Archer. Everything is going smoothly, until the old earl’s solicitor discovers the existence of a prior claim. The earl had a daughter by his first wife, a secret marriage, and remarried before his first wife died. The children by his second wife, Harry and his sisters, are illegitimate and so disinherited. His legitimate daughter is Anna Snow.

Anna’s strength, independence, and dignity carry her through the terrifying experience of meeting a family who are appalled by her existence and ashamed of her lowly upbringing. She impresses the un-impressible Duke of Netherby. Although at first she doesn’t know what to make of him, Anna comes to appreciate the real man behind the falsely indifferent, impenetrable front.

The relationship develops in a calm, pleasant way, with mature, well-behaved protagonists. They are comfortable with who they are and they should be. They work together to meet the challenges facing them. Avery and Anna belong together and it makes for pleasant reading as they glide into marriage and the post-honeymoon period. I’ll keep Mary Balogh in mind when I’m looking for Regency Romance.