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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW
Release Date: October 28, 2014

The Survivors' Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now, in the fourth novel of the Survivors' Club series, Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, has left this refuge to find his own salvation—in the love of a most unsuspecting woman.…

Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, was devastated by his fiancée’s desertion after his return home. Now the woman who broke his heart is back—and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of a most sensible yet enchanting young woman.

Agnes Keeping has never been in love—and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage.

When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she’s determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love.

What a lovely romance this was!

Agnes Keeping is normally a sensible and practical woman, widowed at a young age, she’s never been in love and is okay with that. Then she attends the wedding celebration of a friend and meets Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby and all thought and reason go flying out the window. Agnes falls helplessly in love with the charming viscount and readily accepts his marriage proposal without a second thought.

Flavian is in a panic. His former fiancé is now a widow and eager to renew their engagement, much to Flavian’s dismay. He hasn’t forgotten how she deserted him in favor of another titled gentleman. Desperate to escape her clutches he turns to Agnes and marries her. When Agnes discovers the reason behind their marriage she is devastated and attempts to leave her new husband but Flavian has no intention of letting her go.

Sadly, I’ve missed the previous books in the series but since Only Enchanting is strictly Flavian and Agnes’ story, I never felt lost.

Agnes was such a calm character for the most part that I wondered if anything would ruffle her feathers. She was so sensible and logical most of the time yet I never got bored with her. She was surprisingly understanding about Flavian’s shortcomings and his emotions. She was almost too understanding but again, she was just so likable that I didn’t mind how docile she seemed. Imagine my surprise when underneath all that proper behavior emerged a sharp tongued woman with a spine encased in steel. One of the best kinds of heroines in my opinion.

Flavian was such a revelation as well. He was not at all what he seemed and he broke my heart a little towards the end when it’s revealed just how much of himself he hid from every one. He was certainly not the most dashing historical romance hero but he was a memorable one. He was charming, gentle, and intelligent but he also stuttered and the reason behind it is quite sad.

As a couple Flavian and Agnes bring out the best in each other even when they didn’t know it. There were so many hidden aspects of both their personalities that benefitted from them being together. Their romance was actually pretty subtle even though they were married suddenly. I loved how their relationship grew at a steady pace and that they took the time to get to know each other. Somehow I don’t think an explosive physical relationship would have suited these two.

Only Enchanting definitely enchanted me with its steady pace and lovable characters. Agnes was the type of character I would want as my best friend and so is Flavian. They’re both such good characters that it was hard to find fault with them even when they were making mistakes.

Final Verdict: I need to find the time to read the previous books in the series.

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  1. I just love the cover on this one. I made it about halfway through the book before taking a break and need to get back to it. I kinda wish I'd read the previous books first. I think I would have had a stronger connect to this one with that. It felt slow without that for me. But not bad. Just slow.

  2. I enjoy the steady paced romances....they are sometimes way more satisfying than the intense passionate ones. You see more development of the relationship as a whole. Sounds like this is a winner...already on my list..but I am going to bump it up after reading your review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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