A Sweet Historical Romance to Finish 2018
As you may remember from a previous post, I’ve jumped head first into reading romance for the first time. After disregarding previous perceptions I requested several NetGalley romance titles, including Mary Balogh’s Someone to Trust.
I did not realize at the time that this book is actually book 5 in the Westcott series! I was a little apprehensive about reading a series book without reading the previous books. However, in my initial foray into romance I had read/heard that most romance series can be read in any order since typically the focal couple changes in each book. While there may be details that would be more greatly appreciated if read in order, it’s not an absolute necessity.
Briefly, this Westcott novel focuses on the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield and Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges. Elizabeth is an poised and loving woman, widowed, and unmarried at the ghastly age of 35. After a disastrous first marriage she’s resigned to herself to finding a stable life but not one filled with romance. Meanwhile, Colin is a reluctant baron attempting to build his life and embrace his responsibilities at the tender age of 26. The bond over Christmas with family although despite their easy friendliness they note the large age difference and joke that if only were older or younger they could be together. Fast forward to the London season and both are on the lookout for a suitable partner. Balls are thrown, engagements made and and broken, and an awful, though pitiful, mother is introduced.
Ultimately, this is on the “sweeter” side and more historical side of romance. There are rare moments of passion but there is a lot more love and character development than the few other romances I’ve read. Moreover, as a regency era romance is actually deals with society’s norms and mores. Although I enjoyed Sarah MacLean’s regency era romances there was a tongue-in-cheek tone and circumstances that certainly would have never happened or would have been more catastrophic, socially. Whereas, on the whole I felt that Balogh was really invested in the time period.
I loved the twist of having a younger man fall in love with an older woman, and vice versa, without the stereotypical “cougar” connotation. However, at times I did feel like I was getting beaten over the head about the stark age difference. Additionally, the first chapter was a bit disconcerting as a new reader to the series because I felt like a lot of names and connections were dropped and I became a little overwhelmed by the number. In spite of this, I persevered and once I settled in it became easy enough to follow.
I really enjoyed reading this book around Christmas! I was warm and loving and easy to pick up between festivities!