HelenEdith's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘simply’

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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Book Review: Mary Balogh – Simply Love

Posted by HelenEdith on January 6, 2009

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

This novel has very little to do with the academy. It tells the story of Anne Jewell, who was raped and bore a son, David, who is now nine. David’s father died before David was born, but a member of his family has been keeping an eye on David and invites David, along with Anne, to spend a month during the summer at a house party in Wales.

The people in the Welsh house party are mostly characters from the Slightly series by the same author, but this did not spoil my enjoyment of this book. However, I will probably read the Slightly series at some point if I can obtain them.

Anne meets Sydnam Butler at the house party. He, like Anne, is trying to remain on the periphery of the house party, and they enjoy quite a bit of time together. Sydnam is a war hero, but suffered injuries which lead him to think that he will never marry; while Anne, as the mother of an illegitimate son, also considers herself unmarriageable.

Events prove otherwise and the two do marry sometime before the end of the book. There are many other loose ends to tie up before the book is brought to a conclusion though: will Sydnam ever return to painting, and will David ever accept him as a stepfather? These and other questions have to be resolved before Mary Balogh can bring this volume to a happy conclusion.

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Book Review: Mary Balogh – Simply Unforgettable

Posted by HelenEdith on September 20, 2008

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

This regency romance tells the story of Frances Allard and Lucius Marshall, the Viscount Sinclair.

It’s a bit daring for a Regency novel, as our couple end up in bed together near the beginning of the book – and without the advantage of a wedding ring! Maybe that makes the plot a bit improbable, or maybe I’m just too innocent to know what really used to go on back then.

Frances turns out to have a beautiful singing voice, but she’s a woman with a secret, and she’s buried herself in Bath, teaching at Miss Martin’s School. When Viscount Sinclair encounters her in Bath, after both have expected never to meet again, he starts to realise that this is a relationship which he wishes to pursue.

He engineers a return to London for Frances, and then he arranges for her to sing before the cream of society – much to her dismay. Eventually her secrets come out, and everything ends very satisfactorily.

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