Matter of Class, A
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Matter of Class, A

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,961 ratings  ·  545 reviews
Reginald Mason is wealthy, refined, and, by all accounts, a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by birth, a factor that pains him and his father, Bernard Mason, within the Regency society that upholds station over all else. That is, until an opportunity for social advancement arises, namely, Lady Annabelle Ashton. Daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and en...more
Audio CD, 4 pages
Published December 29th 2009 by Brilliance Audio (first published December 1st 2009)
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Don't ever let it be said that all authors who have written many novels run out of new ideas. While it may be true of some, A Matter of Class proves it isn't true about Mary Balogh.

What can I say about this short story other than it was a delight, especially as an audio book. There are certain writer/narrator teams that bring out the best in each other and a Balogh novel narrated by Anne Flosnik is just about as good as it gets. From the very beginning I was captivated by this story as it was im...more
Aug 23, 2010 SheLove2Read rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Regency romance
Shelves: 2010, best-of-2010
Listening to this on Audio CD is not quite as good. The narrator leaves much to be desires on such a great story. 8/2010

Original review:
This is my first Mary Balogh and it will not be my last! I simply loved this book! I really cannot review the story because I don't want to give even a HINT of the plot.

If you've ever read a book that just drew you in from page 1, that made you tingly all over, that made you laugh, cry and smile and that had an HEA that was deliciously smart yet so satisfying...more
Anna D.
Oh wow..the flashbacks alone in this book is worth 5 stars! Which makes the “present” story and the HEA ending feel like icing on an already delicious cake!

I have not read a childhood friendship turned HEA story in a long time and I don’t know if I’ve read one quite like this because usually the childhood friendship theme start out with the H/h being rambunctious children with their other siblings or the H is the h’s brother’s friend or some other similar connection. In this story, their friends...more
If Mary Balogh has fallen off your must-read list of recent years, I urge you to try again with this book. It's really more of a short story than a novel and I wish Balogh would stick to this format for awhile, because it's so good to see every word with a purpose in her work again; her books have become so longwinded of late. This is charming, clever and blessedly succinct; I actually would had made it even shorter by taking out the sex. (Usually a fan, but it just felt out of place here.)
At first I was not very happy I chose to listen to this on audio, the narrator Anne Flosnik is not a particular favorite of mine. For the most part she does an acceptable job, but certain words she accents too heavily, her voice is slightly nasal and she just doesn't excite me. On the other hand, I have heard a lot worse, so while at work, with only this audio book to listen too, I stuck it out.

I really didn't like the story itself in the beginning either. First, the hero is only 25, and the her...more
Miranda Davis
A novella but choice. The author unspools a charming romance between mismatched people: he is the scion of a wealthy if vulgar coal magnate from northern England and his reckless spending has forced his father to take him in hand; she is a cash-strapped earl’s beautiful daughter recently ruined in a failed attempt to run off with the handsome coachman. Their families have ignored each other for decades though their properties share a common border. But the two have a history we learn about inter...more

Library Journal
Her scandalous near elopement with a coachman and his habitually drunken and spendthrift ways have brought Lady Annabelle Ashton and Mr. Reginald Mason to a pretty pass. Their families have had nothing to do with each other for 30 years, ever since the coal merchant Masons moved next door to the Earl of Havercroft's estate. But the highly successful Mr. Mason would like nothing better than to bring his aristocratic neighbor low by res
A truly charming novella. I'd worked out what was going on by about the second flashback, but that didn't matter. The dialogue between Annabelle and Reginald sparkled and I thought the back-and-forth between the different time-periods worked really well.

Shorter than Balogh's typical novel, but every bit as good. Even better than some! Poignant, sweet, sexy, and surprising. Be prepared for a twist or two. I agree with Lady Wesley, who remarked that it has an O'Henry feel.
I never saw it coming. Silly me,right?
It seems other people did, but eh, I still had a fun ride!
Btw you are more than silly for wasting your time reading my rew instead of reading this book. :)
I do not want to say too much because it would give away the plot, but I will give this a good try.

Annabelle is the daughter of an Earl. She has led a protected life of privilege. Reginald is the son of an extremely wealthy coal magnate. He too has led a life of privilege.

Due to an extreme situation, the two of them are betrothed. It is in spite of the disregard the two fathers have for one another. The story, though a short one, is of the two children growing up in their different worlds and si...more
Ana T.
Ms Balogh is one of my favourite writers. Lately I have enjoyed some of her books more than others and while I was curious about this one it was only when a friend mentioned having loved it that I decided to pick it up.

At first glance the story deals with one of the regency romance genre favourite themes, the marriage of convenience. And in this case a marriage of convenience between two people with different status, Annabelle is an Earl's daughter and Reginald the son of a man who made is fortu...more
Jane Night
I really enjoyed this book. It was very short which is my primary complaint. I also was not nuts about the constant jumping from present to past.

Overall though, I enjoyed the characters. They were funny and well developed. There is a scene in the book where Reginald and Annabelle are dancing and he asks her if she is a virgin which causes her to shoot back with “are you.” This scene in itself was humorous because Reginald says things such as this to get a rise out of Annabelle and “color her ch...more
This is a charming but slight novella about an appealing couple separated by class: he the handsome son of a self-made man whose merchant status has prevented him from being accepted socially, and she the daughter of an arrogant but impoverished titled member of the ton. When Annabelle's reputation is destroyed, Reginald Mason is bullied by his father into proposing to her. In this way, he will gain entry to the social milieu sought but never achieved by his father, and Annabelle is saved from s...more
Jess the Romanceaholic
I'm not a big Mary Balogh fan. At all.

I read Lord Carew's Bride and was left feeling very.. meh.

But, I've had friends on my back to give her a second chance, and since this was short (it really felt like a novella not a novel), I figured I'd give it a go.

It was short and sweet. No villain or anything trite like that -- just a very straight forward, mildly angsty love story.

There's a distinct "twist" but I had it figured out in the first third of the book, so no real surprises, though it did make...more
Ooooooh I liked this book!!! A lot! I don't want to say too much because its sort of a surprise ending. I'm sure that readers who pay close attention to the story may see the ending coming but I get so immersed in a story that I just get taken along on the ride. I didn't see it coming and I was just delighted!! I really enjoyed the characters. I thought the story was well written. It jumps back and forth in time a little bit. Well, actually, it jumps BACK in time about 3 or 4 times. But its not...more
Matter of class is a new Novella by Mary Balogh and a very sweet romance. Annabell is the "ruined" girl who lived next to Reggie Mason all her life, but was told by her father never to look at or acknowledge the lowly " coal miner, yet rich" son of the neighbor next door. But as fate has it, Reggie's excessive ways combined with Annabell's fathers near financial ruin make for a marriage of necessity. Can the 2 young people forced into marriage find love? This is a very quick read and will make y...more
Review September 2013. Original Read October 2011. Re-read forthcoming.

It has been two years and I still remember liking this story and I remember exactly WHY I liked it so much (but I won't say because SPOILERS!). It has one of my favorite couples, not just of hers, but of all the romance couples I have read over the years. Because here's the thing, I read so many I often don't remember specific couples/novels unless they stand out to me (so maybe around 50 novels/couples?). But these two, I re...more
Such a sweet, enjoyable story. Left me with a happy feeling--loved it!
This was an okay read. But I expect more from Mary Balogh. Yes it was too short as others have mentioned. More than that however, it just lacks the depth, fire and pathos that helped her become my favorite author years ago. I did guess the twist almost from the first. I think more could have been done with the idea, which I did find interesting, if it had been more of a one sided twist. I'm trying not to give it away for people who haven't read it yet. The characters are not developed in depth a...more
Reginald Mason is not a gentleman by birth but is wealthy due to his father’s success in the coal mining business. Reginald has been educated in the best schools, has all of the manners of a gentleman and is very handsome. He does not plan on marrying until he is thirty-five.
His father’s arch enemy the Earl of Havercroft has a daughter named Lady Annabelle who has disgraced her family by running off with their coachman to stop her father from marrying her off to a balding rich man with very bad...more
A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh immediately caught my eye when I saw the above blurb. There's something about the story and the characters' actions that seemed different from other Balogh stories I've read.

We begin with Reginald Mason, a young man who is the epitome of the dissipated ton buck. He is more concerned with fashion and his matched pair of grays than he is with paying gambling debts or responsibilities. He is not Balogh's usual hero -- the man of honor whose family is most important...more
I knew it, I knew it, I just knew it.

Review will be coming soon. But, its pretty good. Only drawback, it's a short story.

I don't know if I can write a review that does this justice, but I'll try.

The story starts off with the two warring families forcing a match between the rich merchant's son and the earl's only daughter. The son, Reggie appears to be a spendthrift and a foppish gambler, while the daughter, Annabelle tried running off with the coachman she professed to be...more
This was just okay for me. I thought the summary sounded interesting and the whole idea of the story was original. It ended up falling flat for me though. I liked Anna and Reggie, but the story was so short I had a hard time really getting to know them. Everything happened rather fast, and jumped around from past memories to current and the book wasn’t near long enough to really develop the story or characters. I think Balogh was trying to go for a big twist ending that was predictable right fro...more
Rachna R
4.5 STARS!!!! I FUCKING LOVED this book, and considering its length (eight? nine chapters?) and my general recalcitrance towards books that short, this is a STATEMENT. I LOVED this book. shit. the first chapter was a little so-so for me, but then chapter 2 happened and! i died! The thing most clearly in this book's favour is how well it manages this story - it's one of the rare novellas that wouldn't have worked as well longer, and so - as it stands - it gives exactly what you need.

this was my f...more
Thanks to Rachna's enthusiastic recommendation and the assurance that this was a quick read, I picked this up immediately. IT WAS A COMPLETE DELIGHT. I'm a huge fan of how the whole thing unfolded (I want more of the story but the book itself only needed to be as long as it is), but more importantly I adore these characters and the relationship they build and how they both relate to the people around them, especially to both sets of parents. Everyone is so cute. And the bonnet gag was super drea...more
Mostly I liked it. It was sort of too fast of a read not to. Literally, I spent 2 hours and 10 minutes from start to finish on this puppy last night. And it kept me wanting to turn the pages. It’s not complex or sophisticated, but it was charming. Although I’m a little surprised to discover that Mary Balogh is a historical romance writer–I’m uncertain if she’s in the bodice ripper category–although there were a few things just in this book that made me think her other books might not be so tame....more
This novella was a perfect summertime read - engaging, low on angst, great characters, cute ending. I have to read more short stories - it gives me what I crave in a book without having to invest as much time as a full novel. Something about this story reminded me of a show I saw off Broadway - The Fantasticks- which had sort of the opposite plot, but also very cute and entertaining.
What a delightful narrative experience! I usually have an issue with novellas never feeling like quite enough, but this was the most perfectly compact, darling story. I certainly would happily spend a hundred more pages with these characters, but the way Balogh constructed the story really worked with the length and gave me the right amount of development and feelings.
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Mary Jenkins was born on 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high-school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curl...more
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