First appearances deceive in the newest charming and heartwarming Regency romance in the Westcott series from beloved New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh . . .
Abigail Westcott’s dreams for her future were lost when her father died and she discovered her parents were not legally married. But now, six years later, she enjoys the independence a life without expectation provides a wealthy single woman. Indeed, she’s grown confident enough to scold the careless servant chopping wood outside without his shirt on in the proximity of ladies.
But the man is not a servant. He is Gilbert Bennington, the lieutenant colonel and superior officer who has escorted her wounded brother Harry home from the wars with Napoleon. He’s come to help his friend and junior officer recover, and he doesn’t take lightly to being condescended to – secretly because of his own humble beginnings.
If at first these two seem to embody what the other most despises, they will soon discover how wrong first impressions can be. For behind the appearance of the once grand lady and once humble man are two people who share an understanding of what true honour means, and how only with it can one find love.
Someone to Honour (Westcott family #6) by Mary Balogh
I started Someone to Honour on my Kindle several months ago, ran out of time to finish it before I went overseas, and then finished it in paperback this week, so my experience with the book was a little … odd …
I’ve been enjoying all the unconventional pairings in this series, though this one (despite both the hero’s and heroine’s illegitimacy) is a more standard romance. It’s a quieter book, for the most part, tightly focused just on the main pair and the heroine’s brother, though people who are new to the series will be confused by all of the many, many past characters who appear at the start.
Balogh has played with the legal issues of the time for a few books now (e.g. children weren’t “adopted” in the Regency era), but I had trouble overlooking the historical liberties taken here.
It is inconceivable that the illegitimate son of a washerwoman could pop up to London to pick up a special licence to marry. It was almost impossible for anyone to obtain one, and even though Regency romance authors often have their aristocratic characters do such things, when regular old soldier Gil did it I had to set the book aside for a while.
The other issue with the plot is the battle for Gil to regain custody of his daughter – it’s not how things happened at the time. He was the father! Children and wives were the man’s property back then, which means the entire plot (and the marriage) made no sense whatsoever. (Additionally, there were some Americanisms in the legalese that distracted me.)
I do love Mary Balogh’s books, and I’ve reread all the others in the series, but I struggled to suspend my disbelief for this one.