Friday, May 20, 2016

REVIEW: "Only Enchanting" by Mary Balogh


Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4)
(The Survivors Club #4)

Historical Romance (Regency England)
Penguin/Signet -- October 2014
Ebook, 394 pages
Read in April 2016
Library

Goodreads -- Author Website -- Publisher Website

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY
Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, was devastated by his fiancĂ©e’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.


THEMES & TROPES
Returning Military, Widowed Heroine, Opposites Attract, Shotgun Wedding

MY THOUGHTS 
Only Enchanting is the fourth book in the Survivors Club series which focuses on a group of six men and one woman who recovered from war wounds together at the Duke of Stanbrook's manor.  I have enjoyed watching all these fascinating characters deal with life after the war and how they have found happiness and love.  This book focuses on Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, who, at first glance, appears to have escaped the battlefield unscathed, but his handsome, flirtacious facade hides memory issues and panic attacks.

Agnes Keeping has been living with her sister in a small cottage ever since the death of her husband.  She is happiest when she is in the fields painting flowers and she never assumed she would rise any higher in status or marry ever again.  Her life gets a brief bit of energy when she meets Flavian at a country dance and they discover they have a connection.  But. Flavian leaves and Agnes, while half in love with him, understands she will probably never see him again.

Flavian and Agnes get another chance when the annual gathering of the Survivors Club occurs at Viscount Darleigh's estate which is just down the road from Agnes.  The connection they felt at the dance is still there and, despite both of their hesitations, they find themselves looking forward to the moments that they meet.  Eventually, their courtship moves towards marriage especially when Flavian discovers that his family is trying to coerce him into marrying his former fiancee who is recently widowed.  The rest of the book consists of Flavian and Agnes adjusting to their young marriage with Flavian having to prove that he didn't just marry Agnes to avoid his family's machinations.

Like most of Mary Balogh's historicals, Only Enchanting is a gentle and slow-burning romance.  Flavian and Agnes's characters are fully fleshed out and given plenty of time to burrow their way into the reader's heart.  I loved how character driven this story was and how most of the conflict just dealt with their relationship.  I enjoy action plots in historicals, but sometimes it is nice to just sit back, relax, and let emotions take over.

I will admit that it does take time for the story to get going at the beginning, but, once the Survivors Club reunion occurs, it is easy to get sucked in.  I loved the appearances of the other Survivors and I am looking forward to reading about the others.  This can be read as a stand-alone though I do think readers get benefits from reading the books in order.

FAVORITE QUOTE
“A funny thing, love. It was not always, or even mostly, a sexual thing.” 

READING CHALLENGES
2016 Historical Romance Reading Challenge

BOOKS IN THE SERIES


The Proposal (The Survivors' Club #1) The Suitor (The Survivors' Club, #1.5) The Arrangement (The Survivors' Club #2) The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3) Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4) Only a Promise (The Survivors' Club, #5) Only a Kiss (The Survivors' Club, #6) Only Beloved (The Survivors' Club, #7)

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I really like this series and I love Mary Balogh (I still think the Huxtable Quintet is my favorite). I can't wait to start this latest installment!

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