A Summer to Remember, by Mary Balogh

I’m a bad blogger, I hit my one-month anniversary of posting every day and then stopped. For any of your readers who know me in real life this is no surprise, I am lazy (actually make that Lazy with a capital L), bump on a log, couch surfer…you get the picture.

The difference is that now that I have started to write my thoughts down here, when I don’t do it, they beat against my brain as I’m trying to fall asleep and I wake up in the morning, jaw clenched, with half formed sentences in my mind.

Kind of like when you’re studying for a test and dream of doing derivatives backwards and balancing algebra equations, so that your dreams become nightmares, right? Ugh, I solved WAY too many math problems in my sleep, probably because I had to take Calculus THREE times (yeah math is not my strong suit), but hooray, I have not given it a second thought since I finally got an A in 2004!

summer_to_remember1So anyway, a few weeks ago I read Mary Balogh’s A Summer To Remember and loved it! As you can see from my list of fav’s on my About Me page, her Slightly Dangerous is one of my Desert Island Keepers (or DIKs as Romance novel book blogs call them) so I loved A Summer To Rememberright away as it is one of Balogh’s early works and introduces us to the Bedwyn family and their neighbors who go on to be her largest and most popular family series.

Check out below for my thoughts

Here is the Publisher’s Weekly summary:

Kit Butler, Viscount Ravensburg, is no gentleman. He has long scandalized the ton of London with his antics, and the Honorable Miss Lauren Edgeworth, who is in the city after a painful jilting, is even more horrified than most by his behavior. As the novel begins, Kit forges a particularly scandalous plan. Looking to escape an arranged marriage, he embarks on a wager with his friends to woo and engage an unobjectionably correct lady in order to rid himself of his intended. Lauren is the perfect target, and Kit gets to work. Surprisingly, he comes to like her and confesses his dastardly wager; she, having decided that she wishes to be independent and unmarried, makes a proposal of her own: a summer filled with adventure in return for acting as Kit’s fiancee. But when the summer is over, and the gorgeous, intelligent Lauren has quietly helped Kit to reconcile with his family as well as earned the respect of his friends and kin, will the smitten Kit be able to persuade Lauren to make their engagement a real one?

By the way, I love the how the book jackets, back cover blurbs, and such always end in a question! No DUH the smitten Kit will persuade Lauren to marry him! It is a ROMANCE NOVEL, if it didn’t have a happy ending it would be in a different category. That is why I never need to sneak a peek at the end of a romance novel, I am already secure in my knowledge that the hero and heroine will live Happily Ever After.

So what did I think about Kit a Lauren? I really liked their character background stories that went into shaping their current motivations and why their relationship was rocky at first and it was difficult for them to admit to their love for each other. The scenes where Lauren bonds with Kit’s family, has therapeutic conversations with Kit, eventually ending in Kit’s reconciliation of deep issues with his family were all very moving, and I felt they were very believable how they overcame such long standing issues with Lauren’s guidance, observation, and overall empathy and caring nature in just a few weeks.

I read a bunch of Balogh’s in a row a few months ago and I have to say I definitely noticed some similar scenes from her other books (ex: walking through Vauxhall Gardens at night down a slightly deserted path, lanterns on the trees, and he asks her for a kiss, very similar to my 2nd favorite Balogh Slightly Tempted) but overall this story truly belonged to Kit and Lauren, even with the enormous amount of secondary characters. I did not read the first book in the series One Night to Love but honestly I don’t care to since I like Lauren so much I don’t really want to read about the man who jilted her and hurt her so much, Neville. I’ve read other reviews where people read One Night to Love first and hold such a dislike for Lauren getting in the way of the Neville and his HEA that they don’t want to read A Summer To Remember, which I totally understood, it’s definitely a risk author’s take. But again, since this is Romance Land it’s always comforting to know that if one character is left high and dry in one book’s ending, it is good sequel bait for their redemption and finding love-never-ending in the next book!

I experienced something similar when I read The Heir– there is this colossal bitch (Ophelia, stupid name) who lies, schemes, and manipulates her way throughout the plot keeping the hero and heroine apart until they finally ditch her totally. Then I found out she has her own book (The Devil Who Tamed Her, a very apt title) where she gets a HEA! I picked it up because

  • A) Johanna Lindsey is a genius writing goddess in my opinion
  • B) I was mostly just curious to see if she could redeem Ophelia

Although Lindsey’s masterful mind and fabulous writing were hard at work and she wrote an excellent story, I still could not get past my initial impression of Ophelia from The Heir. So I totally get why Lauren wouldn’t be super loved by those who read One Night to Love first.

I just babbled a lot. I guess that is what happens when I don’t write for a while. All those semi-thoughts I stressed out about while I was dreaming don’t form very good written down sentences!


One Response

  1. […] yes, I know, how could I not have read this one before! Here is my blog post from earlier this year where you can read alllll my thoughts on it. I am a huuuuuge Balogh fan but somehow never picked […]

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