So here are the romance novels I devoured during June! For explanation and the fantasy/SF/literary fiction, see previous post.
This month was Balogh only, which I wouldn’t say is a bad thing.
Mary Balogh: The Secret Pearl
He first spies her in the shadows outside a London theatre, a ravishing creature forced to barter her body to survive.
To the woman known simply as Fleur, the well-dressed gentleman with the mesmerizing eyes is an unlikely savior. And when she takes the stranger to her bed, she never expects to see him again. But then Fleur accepts the position as governess to a young girl… and is stunned to discover that her midnight lover is a powerful nobleman. As two wary hearts ignite – and the threat of scandal hovers over them – one question remains: will she be mistress or wife?
(Back cover of Dell 2005 edition)
The best thing about Mary Balogh is the way I get immersed in them. The drama in most of them is just delicious. In this book, the there is not one but two people between the main characters: the duke’s wife, and Fleur’s cousin. Of course, the duke acts very strangely considering the period, hiring a prostitute to be his daughter’s governess, but then again that is what sets him apart from other people. He’s different physically as well (another plus!), having been severely injured in the Battle of Waterloo.
The Secret Pearl is so far the most melancholy of Balogh’s books. And I liked it. It is a good change from light-hearted romance – and the ending of this book makes sense to me.
Pages: 399 (Dell 2005 edition)
Mary Balogh: A Secret Affair
Constantine Huxtable, who takes a new mistress in London every spring, meets his match in the notorious Hannah, widowed Duchess of Dunbarton, who refuses to take no for an answer when she decides that he will be her lover for the Season. But both harbor secrets, and in the uncovering of them they begin to fall in love.
This fifth and last book in the Huxtable Quintet ties all the loose ends from previous books neatly, finally tells the story of Constantine, the second cousin of the Huxtable main family, and packs a couple of surprises – and fails to impress. There’s nothing wrong with it, per se, but there’s nothing special, either. It is wonderful to finally find out what Constantine has been doing all throughout the series, and what really went on with his now-deceased brother, but it is all non-surprising. Overall a neat book though. As a romance novel, this one has the most conventional ending of the entire quintet.
Published: Dell 2010
And there’re the romances! Is this system good?