A mesmerizing story of passionate awakening and redemption, Mary Balogh's new novel unites a war hero consigned to darkness with a remarkable woman who finds her own salvation by showing him the light of love. Desperate to escape his mother's matchmaking, Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh, flees to a remote country village. But even there, another marital trap is sprung. So when Miss Sophia Fry's intervention on his behalf finds her unceremoniously booted from her guardian's home, Vincent is compelled to act. He may have been blinded in battle, but he can see a solution to both their problems: marriage.
At first, quiet, unassuming Sophia rejects Vincent's proposal. But when such a gloriously handsome man persuades her that he needs a wife of his own choosing as much as she needs protection from destitution, she agrees. Her alternative is too dreadful to contemplate. But how can an all-consuming fire burn from such a cold arrangement? As friendship and camaraderie lead to sweet seduction and erotic pleasure, dare they believe a bargain born of desperation might lead them both to a love destined to be?
©2013 Mary Balogh (P)2013 Recorded Books
If you are a sucker for a wounded hero, you'll like Vincent. This is the second in the series featuring members of the Survivors Club, a group of veterans of the Napoleonic wars.
Vincent lost his sight in battle and longs to regain control of his life despite his blindness. He is terribly handsome, "beautiful" is how Sophia describes him.
Sophia is the "poor relation" of a wealthy family who reside in Vincent's childhood village. She has taken on the persona of a "mouse". Neglected and ignored by a series of relatives, she finds it easier to blend in to the background. She finds solace and an outlet for her true witty personality and imagination through her satirical sketches. The author spends way too much time telling Sophia and us how unattractive she is. I understand the author's point that Sophia and Vincent were not aesthetically equal, but didn't need to be constantly reminded that she wasn't supermodel material.
Vincent and Sophia meet and through of a series of events agree it would be beneficial if they married. This book tells the story of their relationship. It is a very sweet story that takes the time for the romance to develop and grow. Each provides the other with support and encouragement that allow them to overcome their obstacles.
This is a lovely romance, period. There really is no drama, no relevant mystery and no single climax to the story that I can specifically remember. While I appreciate that the characters were more realistic and human than those of many romance novels, it would have been a little more interesting if a serious villain was thrown in for good measure. In place of that villain, just plain nasty relatives didn't keep things as interesting.
In summary, if you want a warm and fuzzy romance, this is a genuinely heartwarming tale and worth the credit. If you like adventure and some "swashbuckling" you may find this a bit lacking.
Rosalyn Landor is an outstanding narrator. She brings each character to life.
The love story got built on solid grounds. Respect, devotion, caring and giving mingled with passion lead our H/H to fall in love and it was sweet. A feel good book.
Yes, it is the only Mary Balogh book I will listen to (I read all her others) because all her other audio books are performed by Anne Flosnick and I literally cannot tolerate listening to her. I'm truly shocked that anyone thinks she can narrate. Such a shame.
Very predictable, repetitive, and over-written book, with the mandatory segment of unlikely eroticism. Sadly, it's like most romances written these days. I do not understand the need of authors to repeat the same information and same lame worries numerous times during the story, unless it is to pad the number of words. I find it hard to believe that a Victorian virgin who finds out about sex just hours before her marriage turns into a sex-starved creature in her marriage bed, nor does this add quality to the story. It comes across more like porn for women. Add to all this a few anachronistic touches, and the result is a book I personally did not enjoy very much. The reader did a fairly good job except when a character was described as pronouncing someone's name a certain way, she did not do that when speaking in that character's voice. That was just one small section of the book, but I think it was a very big error on her part. It made it sound like she wasn't listening to what she was saying. For that, she lost a star, but otherwise she did a good job, especially considering the tedium of the repetitive story.
Very good story about a misplaced young lady who in trying to protect a young lord from being hoodwinked by her undeserving cousin from marriage,has gotten herself caught up with a proposal to"said"young lord with gratitude once he found out she had protected him from an unwanted marriage,she had been tossed out for her interference.Together,Vincent and Sophia had created a good,loving life for eachother with him and his wealth and vast loving family and with her imagination and genius,they create a safe environment and gain the love and respect from all those aquainted with them.
Although this book had a sure amount of suspense, as the couple involved negotiated their way to the truth of their feelings, the overall book was so gratifying it was hard to believe! It's a rare book. I was shocked and delighted by the sensuality shared in its modest consignments making the sexuality all more sexy. A dear dear book. Especially if you want to be deeply satisfied.
I loved the performance! The narrator brought all the characters to life vividly. I was actually sad when it was over and wanted to hear more but please keep in mind that I can be a hopeless romantic!
"Another excellent book from Mary Balogh"
Tale of developing love is highly recommended. Characters plausible and well written and story flows well.
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