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.
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Mary Balogh and Rosalyn Landor are Enchanting!
This is one of Mary Balogh's best novels. She has written about other members of the Survivors Club and I love the series of books. This one caught my interest on page one and held it throughout. Viscount Ponsonby had been in the Peninsular War, been shot through the side of the his head, fell off his horse onto his head, then trampled. He suffered memory, speech problems which caused him to display bouts of seemingly uncontrollable anger that frightened his family. After three years of treatment with six other survivors, he is considered healed enough to resume his role in society. He knows how fragile his control is and fears that his memory is still faulty enough to cause problems. He knows that he can't remember what he can't remember. He expects that unlike his friends who have met women they've come to love and marry, he will never love a woman nor will he ask any woman to marry him.
Agnes Keeping is a young widow who lives a quiet, placid life sharing a home with her elder sister. There are secrets in her life about her family that she is content to keep suppressed. She has acknowledges that though she was fond of her late husband, she valued there quiet life even though she was never in love with him nor does she want to meet a man she can fall in love with.
Mary Balogh has masterfully built a story of how they meet, have their expectations overturned, how they match and complement their strengths and weaknesses and unexpectedly learn to trust and love each other. It's beautiful love story that deals with very human frailties told with humor, insight, charm and romance.
Rosalyn Landor is marvelous in her ability to bring the characters to life with her voice, varying her pitch and timbre to suit the different characters, their gender and station in life. She is the perfect actress for this story. Her voice is so beautiful, it's a pleasure to hear her. Her characterizations are amazingly in their variety. I will listen time and again.
Mary Balogh has a gift for writing characters who have a conversation in their own minds, arguing different sides of an issue that is facing them. The conflict between what they believe they should do and what they find themselves actually doing if usually humorous to the point I am often laughing aloud or chuckling to myself. Embarrassing if I try to read in a public place. But worth looking like an idiot so I cannot bring myself to put my Kindle away.
But I especially liked the way she addressed Flavian's struggle to deal with his incapacity stemming from his war injury. He hides behind various masks that makes people see him as mocking, cynical, and proud so they won't see how wounded he still is or how much he has been hurt by people he should be able to trust. He struggles to understand himself and to express himself clearly. Agnes falls in love with him early on but doubts that she should allow herself to give into it and act accordingly. How they overcome their reluctance to trust one another is perfectly paced and perfectly believable.
I love the warmth of her voice, her ability to voice male and female characters and her ability to bring the characters to life. I know when she performs, I only have to relax and get carried away into the story. I have never been disappointed. She can take a mediocre story and make it more interesting. When she has a book by Mary Balogh, she is at her best.
I have no answer for this question.
If you enjoy historical fiction, I recommend this book. If you want escapist fare, it's perfect. If you want to read about characters who are worth caring about, this book is great! If you are already a fan of Mary Balogh's Survivors' Club series, you will like the way she incorporates the club members and their stories as part of this one and let's the readers know some updates about their lives. She manages it without forcing the earlier couples into this story. Very well done! Very satisfying!
- Nan51 "Nancy Crayton"
A good one.
- Maine Knitter