So in my further exploration into Mary Balogh’s back catalog I started a bunch of her series at once. As they come in at the library I shall give them a try, and keep reading at random. It’s making for a lot of similar stories, but sometimes one just needs a whole lot of happy mindless-ness.
This is the start of the Huxtable Quintet. It begins with Elliott, Viscount Lyndgate and heir to a dukedom, arriving in the middle of nowhere searching for the Huxtable family. There he meets 3 sisters and the brother, inheritor of a surprise earldom. Elliott is the guardian for the new earl, at 17, until he reaches his majority. In a marriage of convenience Elliott decides to marry the oldest sister so he can easily introduce them all to society. Instead the middle, and plain sister, offers herself up as a better choice. Vanessa and Elliott marry (hence the title), and our story goes out from there.
I enjoyed this one. It was a solid Balogh. There was an outside “villain” in this one in the form of Elliott’s ex-mistress, but even then she was swiftly dealt with and out of the way. That’s one of my favorite things about most Balogh books. Most of the tension comes from within our central couple working together to get to know each other and resolve who they were with who they are now together. It makes for very relaxing reads. Sometimes I need less drama, and that’s where Balogh is a master.
My only “eh” thought on this one is, well, it’s not very memorable. It’s solid, but six months from now will I remember the details? Not so much. I’ll only know I’ve read it thanks to my handy dandy excel spreadsheet tracking my reading. If you want safe, relaxing romance, Mary Balogh is a great author. Although there are others of hers I’d recommend first, such as Slightly Dangerous that I just finished or her Survivor’s Club series (specifically Only Enchanting and Only a Promise).