Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh

Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh is book #6 in The Survivors’ Club series. I enjoyed the first 5, but this one was a disappointment. I was looking forward to the story of Imogen, Lady Barclay, as she was in Portugal when her husband was taken by the French, tortured, and killed. She witness a part of this, so I was expecting that this would be the focus of the book. Sadly, it wasn’t. What really happened, which is shocking, is told at the end of the book, in the last pages. Also, the hero, Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, who received the title after the death of her father-in-law is such an unpleasant character.

Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh

The reason why I gave the book only 2.5 stars is not that I did not like the main character or that Imogen’s story is told so late in the book, the historical bits annoyed me too much to consider the rest.

For example, and these are not spoilers, the roof of the dower house is replaced in a week. Really? For a large house. It could have easily been a collapse in the roof, not the entire roof. After that, Imogen because is annoyed with Percival, moves alone in the house. Again… really?! Alone?! In the 1820s, when she was living in a four bedroom house… a Lady would have got up at 5 in the morning to clean all the fireplaces before making the fire? She would have washed the linens for a day each week? Not really, she would have had at least a maid, two is more likely, and a housekeeper/cook. Again, this is the minimum, two maids, a cook, and a housekeeper, alongside a gardener is more likely for a woman in her position. I am very annoyed when historical fiction is not realistic. Before electric kettles, dishwashers, washing machines, and central heating, it would have been impossible for a woman to have only a housekeeper. Adding a couple of maids would have made no difference to the story, only would have made it more realistic.

Besides this, Percival is rude many times, which, again, is not conceivable for someone who had a title and knew what was expected of him. A 19th century Lord might have made rude remarks to a servant (which is just as despicable), but never to a Lady whom he never met.

There are some rather stupid scenes with the Aunt, and the pets, and his unpleasant family. I was surprised by how appalling some of the things in the book were, not at all up to her standard. I will read the last book in the series and I hope it’s better than this one.

Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: no
Published by: Piatkus
Year it was published: 2015
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Regency
Pages: 352

About the author: Mary was born in Wales in 1944. After graduating from University in 1960s, she moved to Canada. There she was a high school teacher. She got married to the Canadian Robert Balogh and they had three children. Besides writing, she also loves music, knitting, watching tennis and curling.

Mary Balogh started writing as a hobby, in the evenings. Her first book, A Masked Deception, a Regency love story, was published in 1985. After 20 years of teaching, in 1988, she retired from teaching to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then. Her best known series are the New York Times bestselling ‘Slightly’ sextet and ‘Simply’ quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.
Website & Social Media Links: marybalogh

3 thoughts on “Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh”

  • Do you believe that occasionally books from specific kinds ‘lose something in the change’ when they are not composed by a local of the way of life they are relating to? I realize that Mary Balogh was initially from Wales, anyway she moved to Canada at a serious youthful age. I track down that numerous US writers likewise will in general lose a portion of the subtleties and points of artfulness, especially when composing ‘period’ fiction. Brain you, that accomplishes likewise work the opposite way around, when British creators attempt to take on a commonly US or Australian-driven subject. I trust that the last book is greatly improved for you and closures the arrangement on a high note

  • Do you think that sometimes books from certain genres ‘lose something in the transition’ when they are not written by a native of the culture they are pertaining to? I know that Mary Balogh was originally from Wales, however she moved to Canada at quite a young age. I find that many US authors also tend to lose some of the details and points of finesse, particularly when writing ‘period’ fiction. Mind you, that does also work the other way around, when British authors try to take on a typically US or Australian centric theme. I hope that the final book is much better for you and ends the series on a high note! 🙂

    • It might be that I’ve studied the period, so I know how a household would look like, so I’m bothered by these things. I think authors that write period books need to be careful to be accurate or, of course, they can write a contemporary novel instead. I hope the final book it as the other ones in this series, because I do like her style and her ideas. It was also infuriating because her book could have been amazing.

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