The Escape Artist Book Blog

Books are my escape...I need it. My life is super busy between working full time, being a mom of 2 super social kids, a traveling husband, and an annoying habit of not being able to say "No". 

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Enchanted by Only Enchanting

Only Enchanting - Mary Balogh

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.

 

Well my goodness, this description tells you the whole book. Even so, this is such a wonderfully touching story. I have only read the third book in this series but do not feel like I have missed a significant part of the series. If anything, I would like to go back and read the first two so I have that much more time with the people of the Survivors’ Club.

 

Flavian is so adorable – I don’t know how else to describe him. He is suffering from severe brain injury that causes him to stutter. It is a bit unnerving at first and difficult to read, but then I got used to his pattern of speech. He is a definite charmer and the quintessential Viscount and aristocrat of the ton. He is still broken but has too much pride to let anyone know.

 

He feels an attraction to a plain widow who caught his attention and whom he cannot keep himself away from spending more time and naturally, kissing. She is baffled about his interest, but in love with him nonetheless. Flavian’s answer to the question of his interest is that he feels “safe” with her. Turns out this is really a big deal – he is not completely whole from his injury and Agnes is a “what you see is what you get” heroine so it comes to light the safe feeling is also trust. Agnes is pushed completely out of her comfort zone with Flavian. She feels the heat of his attraction but is scared by what will happen when she lets her control of her passion loose. What these two discover about themselves and each other kept me from putting the book down.

 

The love scenes in this book were not graphic but steamy and hot even so. I usually read books that have more description but it was not needed. Balogh described these scenes effectively and captured the passion and emotion without needing to describe everything in a play-by-play fashion.

 

I found that I really like Mary Balogh’s writing style. What differentiates her writing for me is that the reader understands the emotions the characters are feeling. I understood Agnes’ being in love with Flavian, her frustration with him over why he wanted to marry her, he responses to which she replied that he was absurd, her sadness in leaving her sister. I understood Flavian’s frustration and confusion over not knowing whether he loved Velma or not, why he wanted to marry Agnes, why he felt guilty about not talking to his best friend before he died. Ms. Balogh is thorough and detailed yet not wordy. She sets and develops her characters and situations perfectly so that a connection is never left hanging. Information continued to emerge in the story and I was ready for it and it made sense. I know that seems a simple statement but not all stories achieve this feat.

 

I look forward to catching up on the first two and for the others in this very enjoyable series.

 

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.