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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-22
- Reviewer: Staff
In Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series, six men and one woman seek recovery from the travails of the Napoleonic wars. Their close friendship and somewhat anachronistic but heartwarming mutual support helps them rebuild their lives. In this often poignant fourth entry (after The Escape), Flavian, Lord Ponsonby, is possessed of looks and fortune, but he suffered a mental breakdown after returning home from battle and was repudiated by his fiancée. While his friends have dealt with physical injuries, Flavian wrestles with unseen demons. He impulsively proposes to the quiet and calming Agnes Keeping to protect himself from being hurt again, not realizing that Agnes has fallen wholeheartedly in love with him and is determined to capture his heart. There is always great pleasure in reading a new book from Balogh, and this one is no exception. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (Nov.)
Romance: Two hearts united
Mary Balogh offers another poignant and heart-wrenching story in her Survivors’ Club series in Only Enchanting. Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, visits a fellow Survivors’ Club member’s home for their annual reunion and meets a young gentlewoman and widow, Agnes Keeping. She is content with her life, and she purposefully avoids impulse and passion. But when she sees the charming, handsome Flavian, she quickly falls for him. War injuries left Flavian with memory gaps that still plague him, but despite his fuzzy past, he’s sure he wants Agnes in his future. Flavian persuades her to marry him, and they travel to London to take up their new life. But they quickly discover that old wounds and uncomfortable history put a wedge between them and their hope for happiness. Although Agnes blames their marital woes on her seemingly too intense feelings for Flavian, he is relieved when she decides to make their marriage work. But there are foes and gossip to defeat, and these two will have to be honest and open-hearted to beat the odds. This introspective, lovely romance will leave readers sighing.
LOVE ALL GROWN UP
Love is all around in Jude Deveraux’s Change of Heart. Twelve-year-olds Eli and Chelsea consider themselves modern-day Robin and Marian, righting wrongs and helping the poor. They even manage to make a match for Eli’s single mom, the story of which takes up the first third of the novel. Fast-forward 20 years, and computer genius and government operative Eli Harcourt, who went from geeky kid to gorgeous man, has reached out to his childhood friend Chelsea Hamilton. They lost touch as teens, and now he invites her to visit his home in Virginia—she’s the one who got away and he’s determined to change that. Chelsea, who’s been somewhat aimless in the intervening years, isn’t so sure about this reunion. When she arrives, his changed appearance makes her even more uncertain. But pretty soon, Eli and Chelsea fall into another Robin and Marian-style suspenseful adventure, peopled with helpful and entertaining secondary characters. Will their hearts be resolved when the mystery is solved? Deveraux’s latest is a fast-paced charmer.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews is the first Hidden Legacy book, a new paranormal romance series set in a world similar to our own but run by family dynasties that hold hereditary magical powers. The most formidable members of these powerful families are known as Primes, and Nevada Baylor, a private investigator, is on the trail of a very dangerous Prime who is bent on destruction. While Nevada has an interesting power of her own, she must partner up with legendary Mad Rogan to have any hope of success. As the two set out to find the most wanted man in the city, their race against time ends in a battle between two potent adversaries. Who will be caught in the crossfire? This story is kisses only, though the sizzling attraction between the leads suggests that this could change in later installments. Captivating world-building and interesting, faceted characters make this a smokin’-good story!