Book Review: The Escape by Mary Balogh

The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3)The Escape by Mary Balogh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, The Escape, is book #3 in the Survivors’ Club series.

Sir Benedict Harper has tried to get on with his life after his horrific physical damage acquired on the battlefield during the Peninsular wars. He walks with crutches and had done his recovering with the other members of the Survivors’ club at George Crabbe, Duke of Stanbrook’s home. He also might suffer from depression. He certainly seems to have many of the symptoms and his friends invite him to their homes. He chooses instead to go to his sisters. His own home has been taken over by his brother’s family and they are not exactly restful.

Samantha McKay had attended to her husband for years after he too had been wounded during the wars. After her husband passed away, her sister-in-law has stayed to make sure that she behaved as a respectable widow. She is being smothered by the darkness and the widows weeds and the depressive nature of her sister-in-law. She had become a widow only four months before she accidentally met Ben.

Neither liked the other at first because of the suddenness of the dangerous meeting. They remained annoyed with each other until they suddenly realized that they were attracted. I have to admit, it was quite the meeting.

Their home lives were in turmoil and neither one were secure with their homes. As things get even more unpleasant she remembers that she was left a cottage. It was perfect timing to remember this as her future was looking even bleaker.

When she decides to go to her inherited cottage in Wales, Ben accompanies her there on the week long trip in order to keep her safe. It is a very interesting trip. They find themselves tempted by one another.

This is another magnificent story about wounded returning soldiers that have no hope of finding love and happiness. Mary Balogh brings the survivors lives out in the open and let them find a spot in the readers heart.

Mary Balogh shares their struggles during recovery and the hopelessness that sometimes surrounds him. Mary’s characters are always well formed and full of life. They have personalities that make you feel like they are friends by the end of the book.

This is a book worth reading. It is one of my favorites in the series. This is a historical romance and it has some sweet scenes. I did not find it explicit at all. Mary Balogh writes with such beauty that it is a comfortable read.

The Escape is available in paperback, Kindle Edition and on AudioBook at Amazon

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Book Review: Only Beloved (The Survivors’ Club #7) by Mary Balogh

Only Beloved (The Survivors' Club, #7)Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was book #7 and the finale of The Survivors’ Club series.I loved getting to read George Crabbe, The Duke of Stanbrook’s story. George about 10 years earlier had been inspired to open his home as a hospital for 6 broken people that needed intense rehabilitation and love. George provided both as a way to face his own grief at losing his wife and son. The seven survivors formed the Survivor’s club and their stories have been just lovely to read.

George Crabbe was always there for the Survivors, loving them, being a sort of father figure to them, being happy for their successes and yet never finding  a love of his own. Never sharing his story with them.

I have to say that this book, Only Beloved, was beautiful. I love the way that Mary Balogh brings the scenery to life so that you have a firm picture of what the characters are living, seeing and feeling. The home of the Duke sat on some of the most spectacular property, skimming the ocean and surrounded by pastureland and Mary brought that to me.

I was so excited to find the book was recently released and so I grabbed a copy and start reading it. I let it jump over all of my other books in the TBR pile and opened it immediately. I was not sorry for that. It was a wonderful story. I am rather sad that there are no more to come. Yet, Mary made sure we knew their outcome and made me feel ok with that. Each person that had been featured before is accounted for in the epilog. I was really glad about that.

I was so happy that when George decided he was lonely once the club members had left his home, he remembered the kindness and friendliness of Dora Debbins, the sister of Agnes. He thought that they could make a happy life together. He went to her cottage and offered for her and it made me so happy. He did not offer love or passion, he offered her a life filled with mature companionship and friendship. George had this idea that passion and love were immature and unobtainable in a real marriage. Dora, on the other hand, had every intention of showing him how she felt. She showed it in her kindness and in her attempts to draw George out of his own head.

I was very happy to see her getting the opportunity for a life that she missed out on due to a scandal. When the scandal had occurred when she was just seventeen. All the missed opportunities may finally come to fruition for Dora. We knew about Dora, we knew that she had never been able to have a season and that she had been acting as the mother for Agnes. She had willingly sacrificed her own chances to raise her much younger sister.

There was more than just romance in the book, there were mysteries, accusations, and revelations. There were families finding out truths about each other. It was full of lives coming together and being torn apart.

I adored this book. I loved watching George and Dora making a marriage, a life together. I loved each time George acted cute and adorable with her. Showing his feelings to her by providing her with heartfelt gifts that were better than jewels and flowers. I loved watching them become a couple.

I was so thankful to see the favorites from other books appearing here and there letting me know of their lives. It was a wonderful conclusion to the series. I can honestly say, well done, Mary, you made one faithful reader very happy!

Only Beloved is available in hardback, paperback and as an Audiobook. It is now available in the Kindle Edition on Amazon

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