112 of 116 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I literally stayed up all night to finish it.
Take several handfuls of Bedwyns (all appear with their families), add a cup of Pride & Prejudice, a dash of Notting Hill, and liberally lace the whole thing with vivacity & humor (thanks to the heroine) = the result is a nearly perfect romance and a fitting conclusion to the Bedwyn series. This book is a welcome return to the splendor of A Summer to Remember, but with more humor than pathos. Wulfric was worth the wait.
No, this story has little intrigue and few sex scenes--it doesn't need them. Slightly Dangerous is a rollicking good time and warm, wonderful romance. Wulfric really somes into his own here as we see the man behind the Duke. Christine is vivacious, and even her thoughts are delightfully chuckle-worthy. She will make an unconventional duchess, but Wulf needs someone who'll bring out the boy he used to be, the lonely man behind the cold face of the Duke of Bewcastle. Watching Wulfric mentally roll his eyes at Christine's antics while perversely (and unwillingly) being attracted to her is outrageously fun. Seeing her melt the ice around his heart makes the reader agree with Freyja: "If this is what you have done for him...I will love you all my life."
Indeed, there are few truly interesting secondary characters at the house party, but the focus does remain solidly on the romantic leads. Once the action moves to Bewcastle's estate, the Bedwyns provide plenty of delicious filler. And, in the bargain, we get to catch up on all their families.
(...)Slightly Dangerous is a classic romance. If that's your cup of tea, you'll be thrilled with the final entry in the Bedwyn series. How I'll miss them, but I feel honored, especially after this book, to have shared their lives.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2004
For some time now readers have followed the saga of the highly aristocratic Bedwyn siblings finding love in some of the most unexpected places. The tone of the "Slightly" series has ranged from raucous ("Slightly Wicked") to tragic ("Slightly Married") and in each book the powerful presence of Wulfric Bewyn has been felt. He is the icy, rigidly controlled Duke of Bewcastle who took on the heavy mantle of the title and responsibility for his five younger brothers and sisters at the tender age of 17.
In this book, Wulfric is thirty-six years old. His siblings have all married and started families. His mistress of ten years has died. Thus, one of the most compelling Regency heroes to come along in years is at loose ends and uncharacteristically accepts
an invitation to a two-week house party. There he meets and reluctantly falls in love with Mrs. Christine Derrick, a vivacious but impoverished widow with roots in the lower gentry.
Wulfric's and Christine's coming together is more than just an "opposites attract" story. It's a deep and moving exploration of the transforming power of love. Neither Wulfric nor Christine are looking for love or marriage. Wulfric doubts that he is even capable of love. Christine has suffered terribly as a result of her early love, her marriage, and the repercussions of her husband's death. Although they fight their mutual attraction and make many mistakes along the way they are hopelessly drawn to one another.
While there are some very amusing clashes between the penultimate toplofty aristocrat and the luminous free spirit who simply "doesn't know how to behave" this novel is at its heart a serious and deep love story. It has some of the most romantic scenes you'll ever encounter (Wulfric's and Christine's first walz, the scene in the dovecote).
It's rich and subtle. It was well worth the wait.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2004
At the end of Mary Balogh's Summer to Remember, a very haughty family rode up on horseback. They had ancient British names ( Freja, Alleyne, Rannulf) and I suspected that the author may introduce these folks in later books.
Well, they got a whole series to themselves! The "Slightly" series concludes with eldest brother Wulfric's story in Slightly Dangerous. Other reviewers have seemed disappointed with lack of passion and a buoyant "silly" heroine but I disagree. This was a perfect ending to an excellent set of stories about the filthy rich, arrogant Bedwyn family. At age 17, Wulfric Bedwyn took on the responsibility of raising 3 younger brothers and 2 sisters when his father died. He was a very strict taskmaster who rarely showed emotion and never smiled. His icy manner terrified most of London's 'ton' and even his own family tread very carefully when close to him. Balogh introduced a totally opposite female personality to soften the hard-edged Wulfric. Widowed Christine Derrick was a sunny, childlike, loving woman whose overly exuberant ways had often been mistaken for immaturity and flirtatiousness. She is what we hope to be on our good days: always smiling, laughing and UP! Christine and Wulfric immediately acknowledged and acted upon their physical attraction but it took most of the book for them to discover that they "suited." Balogh writes some classic lines in this book. When Wulfric realized he loved Christine, he thought:"...he was in love, damn it all. He disliked her, he resented her, he disapproved...yet he was head over heels in love with her...He was not amused." Christine was equally annoyed:"...She was horribly in love with him. Horribly, she supposed, being the operative word. Ignominiously might be even better." Slowly Wulfric and Christine revealed parts of their lives to each other; they began to to trust each other and finally realized no one else would do but the other.
All the Bedwyns reappeared including many offspring ( whose names I soon lost track of, but it didn't matter). It was great seeing and hearing all of them again. So I highly recommend the finale to the "Slightly" series - Wulfric finds someone to melt his icy heart and accept him for what he is. Warm, loving Christine Derrick makes him smile and laugh for the first time in 20 years.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
In the final installment of her Bedwyn sibling series, Mary Balogh gives Wulfric a love interest. Over the last 5 or so books that featured his siblings, Balogh had painted a very consisted picture of Wulf. He was a very controlled, icy, arrogant member of the peerage who held and wielded a lot of power. He doesn't suffer fools gladly and he is the undisputed ruler of his household. Yet he clearly loves his family and has deeply felt (and closely held) emotions.
Enter the widow Christine Derrick who is always laughing, full of life and makes a complete and total spectacle of herself. She is poor and her dead husband's relatives dislike her because apparently she had something to do with his death. The two meet at a house party that neither wants to actually be at. They butt heads, she doesn't treat him with proper respect. Other people look down their nose at her. And Wulf reluctantly, despite himself, falls in love.
I thought this was a delightful book. I wondered how MB would unbend Wulf enough to show him fall in love. Well she did it by building on the foundation of the character that she had introduced us to over the previous books. Wulf doesn't unbend, he stays Wulf. Instead of changing him, she delves deeper under the surface and lets us peek into the inner person. It makes for an effective and sweet and sexy love story. I think this one replaces the Judith/Rannulf story as my favorite of the series.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2004
I have read many series romances, and am very critical of the last book in them because I fear the author will slack off just to tie up loose ends. And in some series, that has happened. But not in the Slightlys - Wulfric's story is my favorite of the bunch!
I read the review where the readers didn't care for Christine, but I liked her very much. I liked that she was older, I liked that she was always herself no matter what, and I liked that she didn't give a hoot to marrying a title. I LOVED that she was brave enough to refuse Wulfric even though it broke her heart, because she knew he wasn't what she needed for the long haul. He needed someone to finally tell him that he had to stop acting like he thought others expected him to, and Christine was perfect for that.
And, hello people, the first sex scene was short and rather cold to make a point - that's all that Wulf was capable of then. The eventual LOVE scene is that much more special, because it reflected his changed outlook. It's called contrast - did no one pay attention in high school lit. class?
And romance novels so rarely make me cry, but the Epilogue to this one did. I won't give anything away, but it is so very touching.
I'm glad Balogh is done with the Slightly series, because I don't think she could top this one. It's a keeper for sure.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2004
There has got to be a special place for that kind of a book, huh? Even when the darlings sang "100 bottles of beer on the wall," I barely registered it because the book had sucked me in.
I enjoyed Christine -- she occasionally was over the top (farcical and klutzy, like Cora Downes of The Famous Heroine, a book I liked even more)but she relished life, she enjoyed laughing at the world including herself and she didn't apologize for herself.
Sometimes I get tired of scenes of parents playing with children that Balogh presents as the perfect life (maybe because I was on that school bus?) and think enough with all those daddies with all those toddlers playing horsie, but Bedwyn needed a touch of that and at least he didn't suddenly turn into some new sentimental sop. He just thawed enough for the inner man to appear a bit.
I'd rather suspected the two Big Secrets of Christine, but didn't mind that they were obvious, because the characters' development and relationship made the read worthwhile even without the added touch.
(It was a relief to see Wulf actually gave a damn about that mistress. I'd noticed several references to her in previous books.)
I think the person who gave me this book said "You'll be disappointed."
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2004
And far superior to its predecessor, Slightly Sinful. If the reader is looking for a hotbed of smouldering sensuality this is NOT the book for you, but since I read for character and plot and not for gratuitous sexual encounters, this IS the book for me. Granted the plot is more or less the same as in Pride and Prejudice, but that is a tale that has been told more than once and in worse ways (the detestable Bridget Jones's Diary springs to mind), so I forgive the lack of originality in plot - at least the author borrowed from a classic and not from some hormonally-charged drivel like Rosemary Rogers or ellipsis-ridden, eye-crossing puerile pap from Barbara Cartland.
Smouldering sensuality would have been terribly misplaced in a character built up over 5 previous books as being a singularly cold and undemonstrative man. Wulfric's gradual breakdown into a human being was perfectly told - too much warmth, too much change and he would not have been believeable. And any lessening in his view of his self-consequence and personal responsibilities would have made me throw the book across the room. Thankfully, the author remained true to the character she had invested so much time in.
I was a little impatient with the heroine though - her thinking seemed muddled at times, and while that may have been true to HER character, I found it obstructive, dragging the story out far longer than it needed to be. And I think that if there had been 5 previous books about Christine Derrick then the last book would have had to be called Slightly Stupid. Fortunately Wulfric and his perceptive siblings make up for the heroine's foot-dragging. The scene where Wulfric says someone should have warned him the water was cold was a treat, perfect imagery for a man no longer made of ice. This is the only book of this series that I immediately went back and re-read favorite scenes. As far as I'm concerned the others were just advance PR for Wulfric's sweet romance.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been on a Mary Balogh kick lately and scooped Slightly Dangerous up last night, even knowing that it was the last of the Bedwyn series and that I have not read all the books in that series. I did enjoy it immensely -- it was a smooth and easy, fast-paced read, and I found myself liking Christine quite a bit and eventually warming up to Wulfric.
The plot of this book is pure Pride and Prejudice. Christine, like Elizabeth Bennett, is lively and vibrant, possessed of a pair of "fine eyes" and full of laughter and enthusiasm despite her widowhood and straitened circumstances as the 29-year-old youngest daughter of impoverished lower gentry. She is the type of person who draws others to her naturally. But she is also not quite good ton. Far too outgoing and willing to put herself in precarious positions, which inevitably end in some kind of calamity, she is nothing at all like the type of woman the duty-bound Wulfric Bedwyn would consider to be his duchess. And yet he is irresistably drawn to her, almost from the first moment of their meeting at a house party he did not really want to attend in the first place.
Wulfric Bedwyn is every inch the haughty Duke of Bewcastle. His siblings are all now happily married off and busily reproducing, and his long-time mistress of ten years, for whom he had affection although no great love or passion, has recently died. The duke feels lonely, enough so that he uncharacteristically accepts an invitation far beneath his consideration in normal circumstances. At the houseparty he meets the somewhat shabbily dressed Christine and initially mistakes her for a servant. When he realizes his mistake, he tries unsuccessfully to stare her into submission, failing utterly in the attempt, for Christine is not one to be cowed. And so the chase is on. Wulf can think of easily a dozen reasons why Christine is beneath his interest and worthy of his contempt, and yet he finds himself begrudgingly attracted to her.
If you know the plot of Pride and Prejudice, then you know the basic plot of this story. Christine and Wulfric are attracted to each other, but also simultaneously repelled. An offer is made and rejected. A second, although slightly different, offer is made and rejected, with harsh words exchanged. There are even sections of dialogue which seem nearly identical to similar passages in Pride and Prejudice. But whereas with Pride and Prejudice we never quite know what Darcy is thinking or feeling, in Slightly Dangerous we are privy to Wulf's toughts and emotions. As a reader of modern romances, that's no more than is expected, but with a character as top-lofty and closed-off as Wulfric Bedwyn, it's still a treat.
The ending of the book is predictable enough, but still satisfying. If I had one quibble, it was that there were times when I kept wanting Wulfric to warm up just a bit more, to be more declarative of his feelings -- to show just a bit more humanity, which in fact is one of Christine's criticisms of him, that he's not human enough. At the same time, however, I think it was important that he stayed true to his character. The story would have lacked integrity somehow if the aloof and stoic Duke of Bewcastle suddenly became effusive in his love for the eminently unsuitable Christine. What pleased me most particularly was that Balogh maintained that intregity with regard to Christine. She is a nearly 30-year-old woman who had been married for a number of years, and widowed for two. She had loved her husband deeply, but was still honest about her sexual attraction to Wulfric. I appreciated that, because any number of other authors would have taken it a different way, bestowing upon Christina inexplicable virginity, or some past frigidity (due to her first husband's lack of skill as a lover), or even arranged it so that she had never really known love at all prior to her relationship with the duke. All those maneuvers would have seemed so trite and dishonest, and yet I've come across every one of them in today's romance novels. So I was thankful beyond words that Mary Balogh had taken the high road in this case, and given us a character drawn exactly as she ought to be.
I'm not sure that this book will linger in my mind as the most memorable of Mary Balogh's romances -- that position still seems to be occupied by The Secret Pearl -- but I do think it deserves a place on my keeper shelf and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2005
This finale to the "Slightly.." series of the Bedwyn family could have been an absolute disaster.
With ingenuity and some of the finest writing I have read from her, Balogh steers an even course over the tried and tested Pride & Prejudice plot, and the Duke of Bewcastle shines.
One of the best moves the author makes is allowing his Grace to retain all the wintry aloofness she has built up in the preceeding novels. Rather than remove those characteristics we have grown to love, they naturally unfold and in the most plausible fashion Wulfric is revealed for the man within the Dukes' mantle.
As all his family has now wed and begun their own families, the Duke uncharacteristically accepts an invitation to a house party in the country.
Once there he imediately clashes with country mouse Christine, who is a widowed relation of the family he is guesting with.
A warm and vibrant girl he begins to find her extremely attractive and offers her a postition which no girl is flattered to recieve.
As his heart slowly becomes involved, Balogh treats us to a very fine Sense and Sensibility or Pride & Prejudice like plot - so deftly written that one is not aware of the similarities until cross examining the plot for review :)
Alas for my sleep! I began this book close enough to midnight, and was unable to set it aside until completed in the early hours of the morning.
Probably my favorite of the series, which I have enjoyed to varying degrees, I found this one really carried me away to their world, and I became emotionally envolved with the hero & heroine. Of course, one was already deeply attached to the Duke, via his brief appearances in the previous tomes.
Great read & highly recommended - wonderfully romantic! If you haven't read the others in the series this one does fine as a stand alone - don't read it first if you will go and read the others though, as it will really spoil the surprises.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2004
Wulfric's story is Mary Balogh at here best. I loved it!
If you want your romance spiced with adventures and high drama, this book is not for you. However it does fit Wulfric perfectly. I would have been very disappointed if he had stepped out of the character and way of life that was established in the earlier "Slightly" books - he doesn't.
In order for Wulfric to meet someone so different from the normal "society miss" he has to enter a different milieu; Mary Balogh makes his decision to attend a summer house party, something he normally would not do, very believable. There he encounters Christine Derrick, widowed daughter of the local schoolmaster and from the lesser gentry - pretty vivacious, full of humor and love of life - very disconcerting and very attractive. The story of Wulfric and Christine is one of characters that we gradually get to know better as they struggle to understand the attraction between them and decide what to do about it. I was so tied up in enjoying their relationship that I was taken by surprise that there is an actual "bad guy" in the plot!
I also liked the fact that the events in the book took place over a longer period of time - that makes them far more realistic. If I have any quibble it is that the book is not longer - I might have enjoyed knowing what Wulfric and Christine were up to in the months after the house party ended - before they meet again at a Society wedding.
You will also very much enjoy catching up with the Bedwyn siblings and their growing families.