Saturday, December 22, 2018

*Review* Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: November 27, 2018
Pages: 377

During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.

After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snowbank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them, for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following Season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love. . . .

I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program. This is my honest review. 

Now I'm calling this book a Christmas book, although it probably doesn't deserve that designation. While the story starts during Christmas festivities, most of the story takes place during the spring Season in London. But in still starts around Christmas so it totally counts. 

I found myself getting bogged down in all the names and titles, especially at the beginning of the story. This is partially because it's the fifth in a series and most readers would have already been familiar with many of the side characters (I assume). But I think it was also partially because I wasn't prepared for it. When I guaranteed this book I was looking for light, airy, easy, and cheesy (because Christmas book). The style of this book is much more in line with like Pride and Prejudice though, where the titles are important. If I had been more prepared for all of that, it probably wouldn't have left me feeling so hung up and bogged down. 

Beyond that, I had a hard time feeling connected to the characters. They always felt a little bit distant and aloof to me, and I think that's because of the time period when this is set (and the style of the writing to an extent). This book really read more like a classic than modern historical fiction (I apparently can't emphasize that enough). To me it felt like it was written in the late 1800s rather than being written now and just set during that time. If I had been expecting that going into the story, I would have enjoyed it more, but I wasn't really in the mood for that type of story when I was reading this, which is sad because it means I didn't enjoy the story as much as I could have. 

Because of all of that, overall I give Someone to Trust 3.3487 stars. Technically I think the story was good, but because I wasn't in the mood for the type of story it is, I didn't enjoy it all that much. - Katie 

Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man’s Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Love, Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic, and Simply Perfect, her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin’s School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.

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