Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh

Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh

Publisher & Release: Jove, February 7, 2017

Time and setting:  18, Bath

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Book Length: 396 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

A reversal of fortune befalls a young woman in the latest Westcott novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss and Someone to Love.
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family—sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery...
With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.
An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead...

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Vikki’s Musings

I just finished reading Someone to Hold, and I sighed because I did not want it to end. This is a beautifully crafted love story from the first page to the last. I have long been a huge fan of Mary Balogh, and she does not disappoint with her latest novel. This is the second book in her new A Wescott Novel series. I had thoroughly enjoyed the first book and could not wait to read this second one.

Camille is no longer considered a lady by the ton. Not only is she now the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Riverdale, her intended requested she break off their engagement. She is now living in Bath with her grandmother but feels she has no purpose. When she learns the Bath Orphanage needs a teacher, she accepts the position. The same position her half-sister left when she learned she was actually the legal heir of their father’s fortune.

Joel Cunningham grew up in Bath Orphanage and although he is gaining acclaim as an artist, he still spends two days a week instructing art to the children at the orphanage. When he meets Camille, his initial reaction is dislike. After all, this is the young woman who rejected his best friend’s overtures of friendship. His friend is now a Duchess, and Camille’s half-sister.

However, there is an irresistible attraction between Joel and Camille. While neither desire this, they cannot turn away. Can two such unlikely people find an everlasting love?

Someone to Hold pulled at my heart-strings. To be honest, I was not sure I would like Camille because the glimpse of her character in Someone to Love was not pretty. I soon found myself fully vested in her character and truly wanted her to find happiness. Her character has so many layers beneath the surface. I always enjoy that. Her love and kindness to the infant, Sarah, and the young girl Winifred, completely stole my heart.

I met Joel’s character in the first book and liked him, so I was predisposed to enjoy his character development in this second book. His giving heart comes through from the first page. Although he does not want to, he finds compassion in his heart for Camille, and it quickly ignites into passion. Joel is not an alpha male, which is typical of Ms. Balogh’s heroes. He shows his vulnerability and uncertainty. When he discovers his roots, I could feel his turmoil, wanting to know more, but anxious to delve into his past. He also has great depth to his character.

The chemistry between this pair is strong and only grows stronger as the story progresses. The sexual tension builds from a tiny flame to a roaring blaze by the end. I thoroughly love it when that happens and what I expect in a Regency romance. Although these lovers should not fit, they do extremely well.

If you want to become enmeshed in the Regency world and find characters that will warm your heart, then I highly recommend Someone to Hold. I do suggest you read Someone to Love first, to fully appreciate Camille’s character arch. Happy reading!

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