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.
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.
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.
I liked Vincent. I liked Sophie. I liked this book. The Survivors are interesting characters and Mary Balogh does a wonderful job telling their stories. Rosalyn Landor is a fabulous narrator. Well worth reading/listening!
I love Rosalyn Landor as a narrator; however, when she takes over for an old narrator, she should try to continue their character portrayals. Her voice for Hugo was completely in contrast with his personality as portrayed in the first book. New narrators are fine, but continuation within a series is also important.
Day dreaming book lover!
Sometimes an old fashioned romance is really what you want. Mary Balogh's books fit the bill. Her characters are generally not perfect like other romance novels but they really touch the wounded parts of ourselves and touch on emotions. They are not "hot", or sexy in a way that is over the top. If this is what you are craving, then I say "go for it!"
I am quiet and love being comfortable. I love curling up in a corner either reading or listening to a nice romantic book.
This is one of those romances you want to read over and over again. It was refreshing and interesting without a villainous plot to it. Sophia and Darleigh were great together. Wish it was longer so we could have known what baby they got and what happened maybe in a years time but guess it is left up to the imagination. This book does not indicate but it would made a great follow on with some of the friends. Overall, a good day's listen.
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