A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Only a Promisie- The Survivor's Club # 5 by Mary Balogh- A Book Review

Ralph Stockwood prides himself on being a leader, but when he convinced his friends to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, he never envisioned being the sole survivor. Racked with guilt over their deaths, Ralph must move on . . . and find a wife to secure an heir to his family's title and fortune.

Since her Seasons in London ended in disaster, Chloe Muirhead is resigned to spinsterhood. Driven by the need to escape her family, she takes refuge at the home of her mother's godmother, where she meets Ralph. He needs a wife. She wants a husband. So Chloe makes the outrageous suggestion to strike a bargain and get married. One condition: Ralph has to promise that he will never take her back to London. But circumstances change. And to Ralph, it was only a promise.


Only a Promise (The Survivors' Club, #5)Only a Promise by Mary Balogh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Only a Promise by Mary Balogh is a 2015 Signet publication.

This book turned out to be one of my very favorites in the survivor’s club series!

I know I sound like a broken record, but this series is appealing to me for a number of reasons. The Survivor’s Club struck a chord with me right off, and so far, I don’t think I’ve missed a single book. The premise is one in which wounded soldiers, mentally, emotionally, and physically, are still recovering from the effects of war. Each story is compelling, emotional, and inspirational. All the characters have had to overcome major obstacles in order to open their hearts up to the possibility of falling in love.

Ralph’s story is no exception and it is certainly painful, so I really felt bad for him. He is severely wounded physically in the Neapolitan war, and is left scarred, but it is the loss of three comrades during the war, which has left him emotionally drained to the point where he has nothing left inside but bitter regret and remorse.

For Chloe it is a broken heart that taught her that love is just a lie, the actions of a selfish sister that ruined her chances of marriage, and the shocking revelations about her parents that have caused her to become fodder for the cruel gossips in London society. With her reputation in ruins, this chance with Ralph is a golden opportunity for her. But, once they are married, and reality sets in, all of Chloe’s hopes are dashed as she endures the one thing in this world she dreaded the most, and Ralph appears impervious to her pain.

I love the mature characters, how they deal with really difficult and complex issues, and go through transitions that only love’s restorative powers can accomplish. I literally watched Ralph fall in his wife, saw him face his worst fears, and all that bottled up pain slowly released from him.

“No man can do everything,” Graham explained. “Each of us can do only what is within his power. If we dwell upon our inability to solve the world’s problems, our only possible recourse is to despair. Despair accomplishes nothing.”

Chloe is a character I admire tremendously. No matter what era you live in the shock she endured concerning her parents is one that would send anyone into a tailspin.

Like Chloe my first inclination would be to withdraw from society and it was Ralph’s preference as well, until duty called.

“The trouble with running away is that you must always take yourself with you.”

Both main characters really stepped into their roles, gaining strength from one another as their love for each other grew. I loved how Ralph addressed his feeling for Chloe, as not just about romantic love, or sexual pleasure, but that deep abiding love that is what holds couples together through the ups and downs that life inevitably brings.

This is a wonderful story about learning to face your worst fears, forgiving yourself, and the power of love which is what made all that possible for Ralph and Chloe.




Mary Jenkins was born on 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.