Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Review: Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh

Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh
(The Survivor’s Club, Book 6)

Publisher & Release Date: Signet, September 1, 2015  

Time and setting: 1820s, Cornwall, England

Genre: Historical Romance

Length: 400 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame

Rating: 4.25 Gold Crowns

Book Description:

The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over....

Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace.

Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor’s son living there.

Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?

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Vikki’s Musings

I have been a huge fan of Mary Balogh’s ever since I read Alleyne Bedwyn’s story, Slightly Sinful from the Slightly series. I fell in love and quickly inhaled any book of hers I found. I’ve even downloaded quite a few from her backlist for my Kindle because I will re-read them and more than once. I’ve enjoyed the Survivor’s series a great deal and looked forward to reading Imogen’s story. I suspected it would be tragic and I was correct!

As always with one of Ms. Balogh’s books, I was pulled in right away, and I truly loved Percy’s character. That surprised me quite a bit since he isn’t a tortured hero at all, which is my normal favorite. He’s an easy-going gentleman, spoiled by his family and friends. He has lived a fairly shiftless life for ten years, going from one form of entertainment to another, and has grown bored with the haut ton. What I loved about Percy is his desire to change and become the hero Imogen needs.

Imogen’s character was much harder to get close to, initially. She is so reserved and holds her cards so tightly, they have to be peeled from her breast. I would have liked to have had more insight into what she had experienced earlier on, just a few snippets filtered to me through her introspection would have been nice. Nevertheless, her story is truly heart-wrenching and brought me to tears at the climax.

I know some of the reviewers didn’t enjoy Percy’s family and all the pets, but I thoroughly enjoyed them and his eccentric aunt in particularly. I also loved the bit of mystery and intrigue involving the smuggling. After all, the story is set in Cornwall, an area well known for its nefarious activities during the Napoleonic wars.

While Only a Kiss is not my favorite book in the series, it is a fine addition and well worth the wait. I look forward to the last installment in this incredible series with great anticipation. In fact, I have already pre-ordered it. Ms. Balogh is an auto-buy author for me, and I don’t even bother to read the book description before I decide to buy. If you have never read books by the talented Ms. Balogh, I highly recommend reading A Summer to Remember first. You will fall in love with her engaging, yet unique love stories, and of course, the Bedwyn family. Happy reading!

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