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May 1, 2018

Someone to Care by Mary Balogh ~ A Review

by MK French

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

May 2018; Berkley; 978-0399586088
audio, ebook, print (384 pages)
Regency romance
Viola, the onetime Countess of Riverdale, is so overwhelmed by the family circumstances that it hits her at her grandchild's baptism in Bath that she runs away. When the carriage breaks down, she winds up in the same country village as Marcel Lamarr, the Marquess of Dorchester. He had flirted with her fourteen years before, and she now agrees to a liaison with him. She feels physical passion for the first time and well understood.

As part of the Westcott family series, it does involve some knowledge of the circumstances that led to disgrace and fall from being a Countess. It's clearly woven into the text if you haven't read earlier novels in the series, so you can pick it up and follow along without any difficulty. Viola is 42 years old, so this isn't a story about a young girl with her first Season in London, but a woman looking to figure out what she wants out of her life other than to be defined by the roles she takes with others. It's what we would recognize now as a midlife crisis of sorts, because in her time she didn't have interests other than controlling a household or looking after children, and those are not tasks she has to take on now that she is no longer a countess.Marcel, on the other hand, runs from emotional entanglements. We learn why about two-thirds of the way through the book when we really see how Marcel interacts with people.

The structure follows that of the usual Regency romance, with a little bit of a twist. Usually, we have the hero and heroine meet cute in some way, have an emotional connection, get separated by some kind of thrilling circumstance, then come together and get married. Here, there was the physical connection first, and the "thrilling circumstance" is less of an outside force than their own fears and emotional baggage driving them apart even as the external situation forces them together. It's more realistic for these two, who have realized that romantic love isn't the center of the universe, but the part that makes it worthwhile to keep going and try. There are all kinds of love, and we see shining examples of it in every relationship here.

Buy Someone to Care at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.
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  1. Enjoy! Mary Balogh is on my list of must-try authors.

  2. I haven't read Mary Balogh for quite a while but need to begin again. I liked the beginning. This week I am featuring Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell. Happy reading!

  3. I have been wanting to read this author! Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “NIGHT MOVES”

  4. This isn't my kind of book, but the opening is compelling.

  5. I've always liked Mary Balough's stories although I haven't read one in a while. This one sounds like one I'd enjoy.

  6. I don't read much historical fiction. I love the cove though.

  7. I like the fact that this is the story of an older woman.