Once Upon A Dream by Mary Balogh, Grace Burrowes
Series: Bedwyn Saga #6.5
on April 12th 2016
ONCE UPON A DREAM consists of two separate and unconnected stories.
ANOTHER DREAM by Mary Balogh is the story of Eleanor Thompson an independent woman of almost forty. On the way to visit her sister, the Duchess of Bewcastle, she is forced to seek shelter at an inn because of the weather. There she meets Michael Benning, Earl of Staunton and his two precocious children. These two mature adults find sweet platonic companionship with one another but never expect to meet again. When they do, at Eleanor’s sister’s home, they discover that Michael’s children already have plans for Eleanor to be their new mother.
This story was reserved and sweet. It is book 6.5 in the Bedwyn series and, for me, the best part was seeing all my favorite characters from that series again. The relationship between Eleanor and Michael was not complicated and they are rather reserved characters, but I enjoyed their romance because it wrapped up some lose ends from the series and I like that these more mature characters also get their happy ending. The children in this story are simply adorable as well.
Rating: 4 stars.
DUKE OF MY DREAMS by Grace Burrowes is the story of a banker’s daughter Anne Faraday who ends up at a house party with Elias, Duke of Sedgemere. Sedgemere has been attracted to the prickly Anne but she has gently rebuffed him. She knows that she is not the match for the stoic duke. During the house party, however, with a duke determined to woo, three irrepressible children and one duck, Elias and Anne find that there is more to them than the duke and the banker’s daughter. I really enjoyed this story especially as it kept a mystery why Anne was so determined to refuse Elias’s completely proper proposals. Their relationship was sweet and gentle, but Anne is strong and loving. I love how she cracks the shell of Elias.
The story is connected to “May I Have This Duke” in DANCING IN THE DUKE’S ARMS.
Rating: 4 Stars
Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga, #6) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #6
Published by Delacorte Press on June 1st 2004
Absolutely Fantastic End to the Bedwyn Series
SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS is the final book in the Bedwyn series. It is the story of the Duke of Bewcastle, Wulfric Bedwyn. In the previous two years, Bewcastle has seen his five siblings happily married. He is now alone and is somewhat restless. That leads him to accepting an invitation for a house party. There he meets Christine Derrick, a widow, whose behavior, while not scandalous, is not completely ladylike either. She is too bright. Of course, the cold, reserved Duke is attracted despite himself.
I absolutely loved this book. It ended up being my favorite of the series. Balogh did an amazing job of allowing the reader to see how two people who appear to be so incompatible are actually perfect for one another. The slow development of the romance between them just built to such an ending that I just smiled through the last chapters of the book.
I started this late in the evening intending to read a couple chapters before bed…didn’t happen. I was immediately drawn into the story and couldn’t put it down. I ended up staying up most of the night to finish it. There was never a lull in the book. Every moment built upon the other. This book plays into Balogh’s strengths. The inner life of these people is slowly revealed. The characters are vivid and compelling.
I have nothing bad to say about it except that I think it is a better book for having read the others in the series first.
Slightly Sinful (Bedwyn Saga, #5) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #5
Published by Dell on April 27th 2004
More Madcap Then Usual
SLIGHTLY SINFUL is the fifth book in the Bedwyn series. It is the story of Alleyne, the youngest son. The events in this book occur concurrently with those in SLIGHTLY TEMPTED. Alleyne is injured during the Battle of Waterloo. He is rescued by Rachel York, who find him unconscious and naked. Alleyne awakes with no memory of who he is. Rachel is a young woman who has fallen on hard times and is currently staying in a brothel with four prostitutes. Soon Alleyne is helping Rachel by masquerading as a newly married couple.
This is a story about who we are and what knowledge of the past makes us. Both Alleyne and Rachel are missing the truth about their pasts. The two fall in love while engaged in the fake marriage. This book is more madcap adventure than the others. Rachel and Alleyne travel with four prostitutes and a one-eyes former sergeant. Their deception, however, allows them to discover the truth. I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and poignant at the same time. The end of the book where Alleyne finally finds himself was so incredible that I forgot that the madcap adventure went on just a touch too long. I really like Alleyne and Rachel’s romance.
Slightly Tempted (Bedwyn Saga #4) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #4
Published by Dell on December 30th 2003
Story of Revenge and Forgiveness
SLIGHTLY TEMPTED is the fourth novel in the Bedwyn series. It is the story of Morgan, the youngest Bedwyn sibling. In Brussels, she meets Gervese Ashford, the Earl of Rosthorn. The clever, smiling Gervese approaches Morgan at a ball and ends up wooing her. What Morgan doesn’t know is Gervese is seeking revenge against her brother, the Duke of Bewcastle because of events that lead to Gervese’s exile from England nine years ago. Because of the return of Napoleon, war is coming to the continent. Morgan and Gervese end up spending a week together where they become genuine friends. Once returning to England, Gervese’s desire for revenge and the events of 9 years ago threaten to tear the two apart.
The First part of this book is simply magnificent. It is beautiful and poignant. Gervese struggles with his desire for revenge and his feelings toward Morgan. Once they are back in England, I loved the scene where Morgan confronts Gervese with his perfidy. Although young, Morgan is strong and no one’s fool. I also very much enjoyed the idea expressed in this book that forgiveness is a conscious choice that can give peace.
I really enjoyed the scenes with the various Bedwyn siblings who I have become fond of in this series.
I would rate this one a 4.5.
Slightly Scandalous (Bedwyn Saga #3) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga
Published by Dell on June 3rd 2003
Balogh Makes Me Like Freyja
SLIGHTLY SCANDALOUS is the third book in the Bedwyn series. It is the story of the oldest Bedwyn sister Freyja. Readers of the prequels will have encountered Freyja as woman who was in love with Kit and had expected to marry him. Freyja was particularly nasty in that book and it was hard to imagine that she could be made into a sympathetic heroine. Balogh does a great job of giving the reader an understanding of Freyja’s character. Her brashness hides a soft heart.
She meets her match in Joshua Moore, Marquees of Hallmere. Joshua is a smiling, laughing rake who challenges Freyja and encourages her free spirit. The two end up in a fake engagement. Some readers may not like this old standard, but Balogh does particularly well with them because it allows the characters enough time and togetherness to really investigate their feelings for one another.
I really enjoy these slow developing relationships. Balogh does such a great job allowing the relationship to develop slowly and the characters change and grow.
Definitely worth a read. I’d rate it 4.5 stars.
Slightly Wicked (Bedwyn Saga #2) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #2
Published by Dell on April 29th 2003
Classic Romance from Balogh
SLIGHTLY WICKED is the second book in the Berwyn series. It is the story of Rannulf Bedwyn and Judith Law. The two encounter one another while traveling to the same area. Judith is on her way to be a poor relation in her aunt and uncle’s house. She knows that she will have no future once there. Ralf is on his way to his grandmother’s house to be presented with a potential bride. The two end up spending two nights together in an inn. Both are shocked to encounter one another again at their destination.
This book was enjoyable. The beginning where Judith and Ralf meet was great. The book slows down in the middle while the two begin to feel their way towards love. Once Ralf figures out his feelings, the book picked up again. I thought the relationship between Ralf and Judith is different and interesting. Judith is a strong woman and while she is sometimes rescued by Ralf, she is never a damsel in distress.
For fans of the series, this book is a must. While the first book in the series is not necessary, it helps with the family dynamics to have read it and the prequels.
Slightly Married (Bedwyn Saga, #1) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #1
Published by Dell Bantam Random House on April 1st 2003
Classic Marriage of Convenience Story
SLIGHTLY MARRIED is the first book in the Bedwyn series (although there are two prequel books ONE NIGHT FOR LOVE and A SUMMER TO REMEMBER). SLIGHTLY MARRIED is the story of Colonel Aiden Bedwyn, the second son in the Bedwyn family. When one of his soldier’s dies, Aiden makes a promise to care for the soldier’s sister. Eve Morris is in serious trouble with the death of her brother. She is about to be evicted from her home if she is not married in a week. Aiden offers Eve a marriage of convenience in order to satisfy his promise. Fate intervenes, however, and the two are constantly drawn back together.
I absolutely loved this book. Balogh has a wonderful way of allowing her characters to fall in love slowly. The emphasis in these stories is on the characters’ romantic journey. I love that part of her novels. I feel that at the end of the book, I understand these characters who are complex and multifaceted.
A Summer to Remember (Bedwyn Saga, #.6) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #0.6
on July 30, 2002
QUIET, BEAUTIFUL STORY
A SUMMER TO REMEMBER is the story of Lauren Edgeworth, the abandoned almost bride from ONE NIGHT FOR LOVE. Her disappointment of having been abandoned on her wedding day and a lifetime of feeling rejected by so many has left Lauren trapped in her ladylike mask. Kit Butler, Viscount Ravensburg, is a reckless rake whose smiling, laughing nature hides man who has scars of his own. The two end up in a pretend engagement that ends up healing so much that is hurt inside each of them.
This is a beautiful, deeply emotional book. Balogh really allows the reader to quietly and slowly understand the depths of these two characters and see the slow movements that they make in learning about one another, falling in love and healing one another. I love the quiet beauty of this book. It fits Lauren’s personality which is not cold but rather gentle and loving. The plot of the book is not particularly original or exciting. Rather, Balogh focuses expertly on the beautiful relationship that develops between Lauren and Kit.
I highly recommend this book which is better than the first in the series.
One Night for Love (Bedwyn Prequels #1) by Mary Balogh
Series: Bedwyn Saga #0.5
Published by Dell on August 1999
Heartbreaking Story of Two People from Different Worlds
ONE NIGHT FOR LOVE is the story of Neville Wyatt, Earl of Kilbourne. Neville is marrying his cousin when a ragged woman enters the back of the church and declares herself his wife. Lily Doyle is the daughter of a commoner. Lily and Neville met when Neville was in the army. They married and the next day both are shot. Neville believes Lily dead and goes on with his life. He never tells any one about his marriage, returns to England and a year and a half later plans to marry the woman that he was expected to his whole life. Lily has returned after being held prisoner. She is illiterate, uneducated and far from being a lady. The gulf between the two seems impossible to cross. The two love one another, however, and this book is the story of how they learn to live together.
I really liked this story. The book is slow at times because it is a lush, romantic exploration of the feelings of the two. It is the story of how love alone is not enough. Lily and Neville need to deal with guilt and pain. Lily also has to change so that she can learn to live in Neville’s world. Those changes.are about discovering one’s.potential. By the time, this book ends the reunion and happy ending between the two is satisfying.