Historical Romance: Mary Balogh

It’s the perfect time of year to cuddle up with a fun, entertaining read and a warm beverage… make mine a Mary Balogh historical romance and a cup of English Breakfast tea, please!

Let me introduce you to the Westcott series, which is set in England in the early nineteenth century and is now up to three delightful books. Someone to Love, the first in the series, opens with the Countess of Riverdale and the Duke of Netherby, who are connected through the Westcott family tree, in a meeting with their somewhat dull and ponderous solicitor, Mr. Brumford, after the death of the Earl of Riverdale. The Countess surprises the lawyer and the Duke when she asks Mr. Brumford to track down her late husband’s natural daughter in Bath to make sure the young woman is provided for and also to make sure she never makes herself known to the legitimate branch of the Westcott family. In the next scene of the novel, we meet Anna Snow, the Earl’s illegitimate daughter, who is earning her living as a schoolteacher at the orphanage school in Bath where she herself grew up. Anna is content to be supporting herself and has turned down no less than three proposals of marriage. Anna and her school friends are astonished when a letter arrives from Mr. Brumford to summon her to London. It turns out that things are more complicated than anyone knew and that Anna’s future is not what anyone, least of all herself, expected. And that’s all I’m really going to say about the plot, because I want you to read and enjoy this story, with all surprises yet to come!

Anna is an intelligent, engaging young woman and it’s particularly enjoyable to hear her voice in the letters she writes to her friends describing how she adapts to her new-found situation. And it’s a positive pleasure to see her find a new voice and take strong stands when she needs to. Both the family plot, which is, of course, simply seething with Westcott connections, and the romance are well-paced. The romance is definitely there in the center of the plot, right where it’s supposed to be, but there are other characters and plot lines to make this into an exceptionally fun read.

I can’t say enough good things about all three of the Westcott novels. If you are a historical romance reader, come on over to the library and check these out! If you are not yet a historical romance reader but you like books with strong women characters and historical settings, you may become one if you try reading Mary Balogh’s excellent books.

The other two are:

Someone to Hold (second in the series)

Someone to Wed (third in the series)

 

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