Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh is the 7th and last book in the Survivor’s Club series. I was so looking forward to this book, as it was the story of George, Duke of Stanbrook, and Dora Debbins, both mature, he in his 40s, she in her late 30s. I was annoyed by the storyline though. While there was no drama in the couple, as one would expect, it was unnecessary drama around them.

Like with the previous book in the series, some things were unbelievable. For example Dora learns the names of all the servants, unlike his first wife, but she does that when she meets them. How is that even possible, a duke would have at least 100 servants in the house, so it’s quite a Rain-Man moment for her. Country houses needed a lot of staff, as this was before central heating, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and even some of the cleaning substances were made by the housekeeper.

I gave the book 3 stars, not for this stupidity of her amazing ability to remember everybody, but for 2 different reasons. If you plan to read the book, stop here, if not and you are curious why I didn’t like the book, read further.

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

I took a star out because they had children, and, even worse, the duke was hoping for a girl. Really?! A duke without a heir would have wanted a girl… What’s wrong for him to say that he hopes for a boy? The book ends with an epilogue, in which, in 6 years, all the members of the Survivor’s Club have at least one child… there are 17 in total and one is pregnant. Imagine being happy without having lots and lots of children, and, even more, two women believed they could not have children, but did, of course, because this is the only way someone can be happy, isn’t it? It got annoying to read about child x and child y and I couldn’t care for this at all.

I took another star out because of the drama. So, her mother left her and her sister because she was upset with something her father said. She divorced and re-married. Now, amazingly, they got together and were happily reunited. Again… really?! Dora’s life was destroyed by what her mother did, it was a bit of a stretch that a duke wanted to marry her in the first place, 20 years after the scandal. But, apparently, Dora and her sister could not see any difference between their father, which raised them, and their mother. Wow. Also, George’s brother-in-law turned out to be a bit crazy and wanted to kill her, because of a very unlikely background.

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 3/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes-ish
Published by: Piatkus
Year it was published: 2016
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Regency
Pages: 400

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

4 thoughts on “Only Beloved by Mary Balogh”

  • I agree with you on the points you object to. The Duke would definitely want/need a male heir. Once she did her duty, he might have wanted to have a daughter. I suppose at those times motherhood was the woman’s mission in life, but I can see it might get very boring reading about all the 17+ children in the series. And yes, the divorce of parents would be a big black mark against their children. Do you have a new regency romance series in mind?

    • It’s not the first time I read that a titled man wanted a girl first, it’s just not realistic. The children are presented happy and healthy and with parents that love them and spend lots and lots of time with them, which is not realistic either. Child mortality in the 19th century was high among all classes. It’s a light romance book, I don’t expect nor want tragedy, but these stories push the reality a bit too much.
      I will read some historical fiction books, but not regency. I will go to pick up one book from the library tomorrow and that is about the Spanish Civil War. It’s exciting.

  • Oops! It sounds as though it is just as well that this was the last book in the series, as it has obviously done its time for you and is getting a little far-fetched and struggling for closure. Sorry this series didn’t come together as neatly as you might have hoped and that it didn’t dampen your overall enjoyment too much! Thanks for sharing your well-considered thoughts and have a lovely weekend ! 🙂

    • There are some things that annoy me in any kind of book. One of them is a long-lost parent who is coming back and their children are welcoming them regardless of the situation they were left in as children. Others might not be annoyed by this and so they might like the book more than I did.
      I am looking forward to some other historical fiction books though, hopefully those will be much better.

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