Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mary Balogh - Slightly Married

Meet the Bedwyns…six brothers and sisters—men and women of passion and privilege, daring and sensuality…Enter their dazzling world of high society and breathtaking seduction…where each will seek love, fight temptation, and court scandal…and where Aidan Bedwyn, the marriage-shy second son, discovers that matrimony may be the most seductive act of all.…
Like all the Bedwyn men, Aidan has a reputation for cool arrogance. But this proud nobleman also possesses a loyal, passionate heart—and it is this fierce loyalty that has brought Colonel Lord Aidan to Ringwood Manor to honor a dying soldier's request. Having promised to comfort and protect the man's sister, Aidan never expected to find a headstrong, fiercely independent woman who wants no part of his protection…nor did he expect the feelings this beguiling creature would ignite in his guarded heart. And when a relative threatens to turn Eve out of her home, Aidan gallantly makes her an offer she can't refuse: marry him…if only to save her home. And now, as all of London breathlessly awaits the transformation of the new Lady Aidan Bedwyn, the strangest thing happens: With one touch, one searing embrace, Aidan and Eve's “business arrangement” is about to be transformed…into something slightly surprising.

Comment: This is a book I've had to read for some time now. I've heard a lot about this author and I did read a book by her years ago but it's one of her oldest books, so her style definitely changes and improved with time. I had high hopes for this novel.

In this novel we meet the Bedwyns, a family of six siblings, all different but sharing many things , especially the fondness and love for one another, even if not always in an obvious way.
Aidan is the second oldest brother and he is an officer that, at the deathbed of one of his friends, makes the promise to help in any way possible his friend's sister. When he has the opportunity to share the terrible news with her, he realizes he might need to stay close because lady Morris apparently want nothing to do with him.
Eve Morris only wants to secure her home for all the people she has helped with time, something impossible if cousin Cecil takes over. By marrying lord Bedwyn she will have the answer to all her problems but what should be a business deal quickly changes when she meets the other Bedwyns and her relationship with Aidan becomes unexpected...

One of the main things people say about this author is how her work has a certain serious tone that makes her stories look more mature, well thought and structured. This was music to my ears because I really like stories like that!
However, I also like romance and sexual tension and, sadly, I think the romance wasn't passionate enough and the switch from partners in a situation to lovers wasn't as smooth or romantic as I expected. These are actually my biggest complaints about the book, I kind of wanted more romance. It almost looks like the romantic parts or the less than serious scenes don't seem to belong in this plot, because everything else is too strict. I guess no one is ever satisfied and in reality the story isn't bad but while I love serious writing, I also like the surprise of a romance, of feelings making you unsure of what you're revealing when you're talking to someone and I didn't have this here.

I liked the pace of the book, the way the plot developed structurally well and well done. Things happen in a believable way and makes it look like there was thought in doing this and there's a special touch in executing the ideas.
I especially liked how we got to know pretty well both the hero and the heroine. Both were similar in some things but neither were reckless or childish or annoying. Yes, it seems I switch my own logic when I say this, but I just wish they could act a little less serious when it came to their feelings for one another. I wanted more romance.

Both Aidan and Eve are realistic characters. I think some situations were too obvious for them to act, meaning, they didn't seem the same people but I guess something had to Papen to make things move forward. Their personalities match and it's fun to see them fall in love but there were way too many subtle layers in the whole process and that makes the sugary end a little bit forced in my opinion. Nevertheless, I obviously loved it that they found their HEA!

The secondary characters are interesting, especially the Bedwyn siblings. I can see why readers like Wulf!
The dialogues and descriptions are well done, the writing shows in this book and it's obvious the author has improved, which becomes clear for readers who compare what she wrote in 1985, like the other book I've read by her, and something more recent like this.

All things considered, this was a good novel, well structured, well developed, captivating, a good main couple. I just wished for more romance but I was impressed and will keep on reading these books in the future.
Grade: 8/10

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