Tuesday, July 28, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Someone to Romance by Mary Balogh

I received this book for free from Netgalley. That did not influence my review.

Mary Balogh delivers reliably enjoyable Historical Romance. Someone to Romance, the 8th book in the Westcott series, is light-hearted fare (despite some dark backstory) with a smart heroine and hero who are fun to root for.

Jessica Archer is the younger sister of the Duke of Neverby, whose love story was told in the first book of the series. At that time, the Westcott family was turned upside down when Jessica’s cousin’s father, the Earl of Riverdale, was revealed to be a bigamist. His children were thus illegitimate. Jessica’s cousin/best friend was disinherited and snubbed by the ton. Although Jessica had been looking forward to her first season, she gave it all up because her cousin could not take part.

Now years have passed and Jessica realizes it’s time for her to seriously consider getting married and taking her place in the world. The problem is, while she has many admirers, she wants love. She wants romance.

Gabriel Thorne is not, at first glance, a likely candidate. Although he is a titled gentleman, he fled England many years earlier and found a place with his mother’s cousin in Boston. He is now a very wealthy member of the American merchant class. He has no desire to return to the country of his birth; however, duty calls him home.

The two cross paths under unfavorable circumstances and there is a rather instantaneous mutual dislike. But they meet again in London in ton settings and an attraction builds. Jessica slowly learns the truth about Gabriel’s past. She is able to harness her training as a duke’s sister to support him as he returns to society and as he seeks to displace the cousin who is trying to usurp his place.

Although the plot lines and character traits can become repetitive over the course of too much Regency Romance reading, authors with Balogh’s skill can keep stories fresh and readable. This is a delightful series that continues to hold my interest.