HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: Mary Balogh – Simply Magic

Posted by HelenEdith on February 28, 2009

(Book three of the Simply series of novels set in an academy for young ladies)

As in the second book in the series, Mary Balogh has largely departed from the academy in this book, too. Susanna Osbourne, a teacher with a past she never mentions, goes to stay with ex-teacher Frances from “Simply Unforgettable”, now married to the Duke of Edgecombe.

While staying at Barclay Court, she runs across Viscount Whitleaf, a man she once met during her childhood, and at whose family’s hands she had suffered.

Susanna isn’t happy at all about meeting a Whitleaf, but despite this, she and Peter, the Viscount, fall in love. Susanna is sure that there will be no happy ending, but her path keeps crossing with Peter’s, most notably at the reception for Anne Jewell after her marriage to Sydnam Butler, whose story was told in “Simply Love”.

This book is full of good Regency colour and the manners of the time, but I do wonder whether Mary Balogh overdoes the intimate relations between her hero and heroine. She manages it by writing about unchaperoned teachers, but she has another series, the “Slightly” series, which actually predates the “Simply” series, and I’m curious to read them (if the library still has them) and see how she handles matters in there.

Maybe I’m making unfair comparisons with Georgette Heyer, but it seems to me that a Regency Romance should stay outside the bedroom until the couple are married. Having said that, I am still enjoying the series, even if I’m a bit sceptical about the amorous adventures of the participants.

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