ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
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Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Someone to Care by Mary Balogh is a 2018 Berkley publication.
A lovely tale of second chances- proving it’s never too late to find your happily ever after!
For those following the Wescott series, you will be familiar with Viola and the shocking discoveries that changed her life drastically at an age when starting over is especially difficult. So, when I realized she was the central character in this book was absolutely thrilled!
Viola might be suffering from something akin to panic anxiety disorder and depression. I wouldn’t go so far as to label it PTSD, but she’s been holding her emotions at bay for the sake of her children. However, she’s been showing signs of strain, exhibiting strange behavior, as everything finally caught up with her.
Years ago, Viola skirted the seductive temptations offered her by the notorious womanizer, Marcel Lamarr. But, when the pair meet again, Marcel finds Viola even more desirable and once again attempts to woo her. This time Viola is not ‘married’, and her children have proven to be remarkably resilient, so when Marcel, who has some difficult decisions weighing on his mind, suggests they run away together, Viola makes the impulsive decision to take him up on his offer. Why not? After all, there is no one to care for or about her- or so she thinks.
“You told me to go away,” he said. “But that was fifteen years or so ago. Was there a time limit?”
I loved the romance between Viola and Marcel. Although they are more ‘mature’ characters, they still acted like angsty teenagers at times. Love often feels overwhelming and with all baggage the couple carried, on top of their intrusive family members making the situation even more complicated, it was no surprise the couple wavered and rallied a time or two. I wasn’t especially fond of Marcel in the beginning, I must say. He was not all that impressive, and his attitude was all wrong for Viola. Although his coaxing her into a little risqué behavior was probably cathartic for her, he didn’t have much to lose, while the repercussions for Viola would be enormous if they were ever discovered.
However, as the story progressed, I warmed up to him and even felt sorry for him. He was flummoxed and flustered around Viola which was fun to watch, but he also made the most emotional progress, realizing the consequences of having neglected his two children who became collateral damage after his wife’s untimely death. Turns out there was more substance to him than I had given him credit for.
My only complaint was with the pacing, which was at times excruciatingly slow. Things also got a little too busy with the arrival of concerned and well -meaning family members, which resulted in constant conversation, and really put a damper on Viola and Marcel’s dalliance.
Although some patience was required, the conclusion was beautiful, sweet, and very romantic!
PS: I rarely comment on covers- but this one is just beautiful!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curling.
Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling 'Slightly' sextet and 'Simply' quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.