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Only Beloved (A Survivors' Club Novel) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2016
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“Mary Balogh sets the gold standard in historical romance.”—New York Timesbestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz
Praise for Only Beloved
“Begins quietly but builds with emotional intensity…Engrossing and lovely.”—BookPage
“[An] unforgettable, danger-tinged story. It tugs at the heartstrings and will leave fans thoroughly gratified.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“A satisfying conclusion to an intense and popular historical series.”—Publishers Weekly
“Balogh wraps up her celebrated series with a perfect happy-ever-after.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A novel filled with realistic characters, a tender love story and a bit of suspense…that holds readers spellbound.”—RT Book Reviews
“Another heart-warming and impressive performance from Balogh”—Historical Novel Society
About the Author
Mary Balogh grew up in Wales and now lives with her husband, Robert, in Saskatchewan, Canada. She has written more than one hundred historical novels and novellas, more than thirty of which have been New York Times bestsellers. They include the Bedwyn saga, the Simply quartet, the Huxtable quintet, the seven-part Survivors’ Club series and the Westcott series.
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Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the series we've known that George Crabbe, Duke of Stanbrook had suffered but we had no idea the extent of his suffering. It's revealed in this story. Then we have our heroine, Dora Debbins a rather plain, 39-year-old music teacher. Before the book's release, I thought gah, can there possibly be a more boring heroine? Wrong. She was wonderful and perfect for George. And Dora had troubles from her past that she had to work through too.
This was a beautiful novel, beautifully written, and with much more depth than most HRs. It's my favorite.....except for my other favorites in this series. LOL
Enjoy your reading! ::) (You'll love this one.)
This book begins right on the heels of the last one. Imogen has just married and now George has decided that he would like the same happiness that all of the other survivors have found in marriage. He wastes no time in seeking out Dora, sister to Flavian’s wife, Agnes. She is the talent music teacher who raised Agnes when their mother abandoned them. George essentially shows up on her front door unannounced and proposes. Dora has always had a soft spot for the duke, and though she never expected his interest, she doesn’t hesitate to say yes.
There are so many things I liked about this book. The first is the utter lack of artifice between these two characters. They are simple and earnest in how they treat each other. They are old enough that they see the world as it is, and they recognize the gifts that they are to each other. What starts as mutual esteem grows with their time together, and it’s really quite lovely to see these two get the happiness that has so long been denied them both.
George has always been the person there to help others –to make them happy. But no one has ever shared his burden. Honestly, no one even knew the true nature of it. It’s over the course of the book that big mystery unfolds, both to Dora and the readers alike.
I adored both of these characters. I loved watching them fall in love. I loved how they were mature enough to really appreciate each other. By their own admission, it’s not a grand passionate affair. But it’s better. It feels real.
The mystery is good. I definitely didn’t figure it out ahead of time. Another thing I really liked: it felt like this book brought the series full circle. All of our survivors come back. We get to see inside their HEAs. And we experience again what they all mean to each other. I’m sad to see the series end, but it goes out on a high note.
This book satisfies in every way.
In the first book of the series, the Duke of Stanbrook talked of having loved his wife, and that he owed his wife better than to have had affairs. Well, this is his story and I have to say it is completely inconsistent with the earlier book. I don't want to add a spoiler, but when I was reading this it felt like it didn't go with the Duke of Stanbrook from the earlier books in the series.
Next, the heroine does something completely foolish and inconsistent with her character near the end of the book which leads to a plot twist that is just a little...well, it's more in keeping with a different author, like Stephanie Laurens. (That's not a criticism. I like Stephanie Laurens. They just tend to be a little more melodramatic that Mary Balogh's books.)
I think I would have liked it more if I hadn't read and loved the other "Survivor Club" books. This, as the end of the series, just left me a little disappointed.
My only complaint is that it was a little light on the steamy love scenes. I know there are a lot of readers these days writing to authors complaining about the presence of sex scenes in romance novels and writing reviews complaining about sexual content. Perhaps M. Balogh simply feels less inclined to write them. Whatever the case may be, I'd just like to cast my vote as being pro-sex in romance novels- not excessive, but this book was pretty much at the minimum without being a total disappointment. It would be nice if authors could offer two versions of the same story one clean and explicit, but I guess that's something that Amazon would have to implement first.
Lastly, I would recommend not reading this book without reading the others first. It CAN be read as a standalone, but shouldn't. You miss too much of the important detail of the story in doing so.
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