Sunday, February 14, 2010

Review of Simply Love by Mary Balogh

Happy Valentine's Day! Since this is one of my favorite romance novels, I thought I would re-post my review from last year. It is an incredibly romantic Beauty and the Beast tale by Mary Balogh, who is pretty much the queen of true romance in this genre....

Simply Love by Mary Balogh (2007)

A friend of mine once commented on the fact that Mary Balogh does not have a sense of humor. True, there is no humor in her historicals, unlike Amanda Quick or Julie Garwood. Balogh's stories are serious, sometimes emotionally wrenching, and perhaps even somber in tone. But I defy anyone to find a writer whose endings are as emotionally satisfying, and whose characters are as romantic as Balogh's. Simply Love is one of the most touching and satisfying stories I have ever read. I cry repeatedly while reading this book. Balogh introduced Anne Jewell and Sydnam Butler (Sydnam, I love you!) in previous books as secondary characters, and thank the good Lord, she resurrected them in this wonderful tale. Both have been badly beaten down by the events of their lives. Their stilted dialogue and awkward courtship blossom into something glorious and life-affirming for both of them. The symmetry of this story, two broken souls who are able to provide each other with the will and strength to embrace life once again, is simply perfect. My only complaint about Simply Love is that I felt bereft when I finished it. I wanted more! It's everything romance should be. Grade: A+

Hoping all of you are enjoying a romantic holiday,