**spoiler alert** I don't have a strong opinion one way or another about this book. There wasn't anything I adored, but also nothing that made me want...more**spoiler alert** I don't have a strong opinion one way or another about this book. There wasn't anything I adored, but also nothing that made me want to throw the book across the room. It was pretty much just average. The book as a whole was one of those historicals where characters basically just flit about each other. There's nothing going on in the story aside from the characters various interactions and personal dramas. Those kind of historicals always seem to bore me a little bit. I like a meatier story.
The romance was average. A little too...platonic? if that makes any sense. I just didn't quite feel the love or the passion. That could be because I wasn't entirely enamored with the characters. Lauren was a bit dull, and I found Kit to be kind of...contradictory, I guess you could say. At times I just felt his personality didn't match the image the author was cultivating. I don't really know how to explain it. Something about his character as a whole just irked me.
An interesting aspect of the book was that it was the prequel to the Bedwyn family series - which is six books (I have them and will review as I read them). So in this book, the family is introduced for the first time. I found Balogh's use of them a bit odd. She doesn't make any of them particularly likable. Frejya Bedwyn is portrayed as a complete bitch, Wulfric a heartless bastard, Alleyne and Rannulf leacherous creeps...to me it was odd to introduce them that way. The way they were in the book didn't particularly make me all that interested in reading their own stories. In my personal opinion, the future series would have been better served if she'd written even just one scene to soften the image just a little, to make the reader care a bit more about them. I already have all the Bedwyn books, but if I'd read A Summer to Remember before I bought them, I probably wouldn't have cared enough about the characters to go out looking for the books.
Anyway, to sum it all up, the book was average. Nothing special, nothing all that awful. Probably not worth the $7 to buy it new, but fine to buy used.(less)
**spoiler alert** Like A Summer to Remember, I found Slightly Married to be just an average book; not particulary bad, but not particularly good. I've...more**spoiler alert** Like A Summer to Remember, I found Slightly Married to be just an average book; not particulary bad, but not particularly good. I've read three books by Balogh now and something has always bothered me about them after finishing. I couldn't figure out what it was until reading this book: the books are all rather emotionless and passionless.
As I'm reading them, I just don'e really feel anything. The characters are simply there. They exist, go about life, but they rarely evoke much emotion in the reader. I never really connect with them. The stories are decent enough, and the characters have much potential, but Balogh just does not seem to have that knack for bringing real emotion and passion into her books. At times, everything feels rather cold and clinical.
While reading Slightly Married, it never really seemed like Eve and Aidan fell in love with each, but more decided that they were...which is a bit unromantic. There just was not any...softness?...to the romance. I did like Eve, though. She was a good character. I've found myself not particularly fond of the Bedwyn's, though. Balogh's development of the main family of the series baffles me as it did in A Summer to Remember. She's made them so cold-hearted, grim, and uninspiring. It's confusing - when she's trying to entice readers to read future books in the series - that she would portray them that way. It wasn't until halfway through the book that she gave any redeeming qualities to any of them. It's hard to feel any love for the Bedwyn's though.
Even though I've bad-mouthed the book a bit, it really wasn't that bad. I didn't slog slowly through it, I just wasn't enthralled by any part. I prefer books that have more emotion and substance to them. (less)
**spoiler alert** I won't bother repeating myself too much. Much of what I've said about Balogh's other books in this series can be said for Slightly...more**spoiler alert** I won't bother repeating myself too much. Much of what I've said about Balogh's other books in this series can be said for Slightly Tempted. It wasn't bad or great, and there were a number of things that annoyed me.
When yet ANOTHER fake betrothal became part of the story, I literally wanted to bang my head heavily into a wall. This was the third one of the series (not including Aidan's in-name-only marriage of convenience). It's a nice story hook, but really, how many times can you use it in one series? Three is by far too many. Where is Balogh's originality? Even the other repetitions that I mentioned in the last review persisted. It's rather tedious.
Aside from all that, the book was decent enough. I like Morgan and Gervase. And the mystery surround why Gervase was banished from his home added some depth to what could have been a dull plot. Then there was Alleyne's part in the story. That definitely made things more interesting. If it hadn't been for the fake betrothal, I probably would have liked the book more. But all in all, it was a likable enough book.(less)
**spoiler alert** I first read this book over a year ago. I sort of liked it then, but didn't love it enough to go out right away and look for the oth...more**spoiler alert** I first read this book over a year ago. I sort of liked it then, but didn't love it enough to go out right away and look for the other books in the series. I figured that if I ever came across them used and cheap, that I'd pick them up. It took over a year, but I eventually did and once I'd read those, I ended up rereading Slightly Dangerous. Having read the whole series, now, I think there's more to nit-pick on than I originally found.
Most of the general comments I've made about Balogh's books hold true for this one. I have to give credit, though, for the fact that there was no fake betrothal or marriage in this one, for which I was extremely glad. I might have screamed if there had been.
The biggest problem I had with this book was with Wulf himself. I said in the reviews of the previous books in the series that I just didn't really like him. He had no personality and seemed like a cold-hearted bastard. That opinion didn't really change during his own book. His character is intriguing and there was a lot of potential with him, but I think Balogh pushed his image too far. There's a line between having a mysterious, icy-cold hero with a hidden heart, and having a hero who too often comes across as a heartless bastard. More often than not, I saw Wulf as the latter. She doesn't have him bend enough to be likable, at least in my opinion. There's hints of it toward the end of the book, but not enough to make him work as a hero in a romance novel.
But the bigger problem related to that, is his image as a character completely does not work with that of Christine. She's a bubbly, light-hearted, carefree person, the utter complete opposite of Wulf. She's everything he's not. Now, having an opposite's-attract relationship is popular, and often works in books, but there's a point where having clashing personalities works, and this isn't it. Wulf and Christine don't just clash, they have completely different beliefs, actions, goals, ways of living, etc. Nothing at all about them works. When I got to the end of the book, I just had a really hard time imaging that they would be able to live a relatively harmonious marriage. An example of this would be their beliefs on raising children. Christine had a hands-on attitude. She wanted children out and about, interacting with everyone, and just being children. But Wulf didn't like the noise of them running around the house. He thought they should remain in their nursery, taken care of by nannies and whatnot, and basically being occasionally seen and rarely ever heard. This was one of Christine's biggest problems with him. Yet at the end, there was no compromise in this area. Wulf never seemed to bend enough to say that maybe having children about and playing wasn't so bad, and Christine certainly wouldn't like his viewpoint. So I was left thinking, how are they possibly going to co-exist? The pairing, in the end, was just too much of a mismatch for me.
One other thing I can think to say about this book, and really the series as a whole, is that Balogh's sex scene's have very little variety, and seem virtually interchangeable. The location may vary, but the actions and the vibe are very similar...the same foreplay, sequence of events, thoughts, words, etc. It kinda gives the impression that Balogh's not big on writing sex scenes, but as a romance writer knows they're a bit necessary and so just follows this model and plops down a sex scene.
Anyway, aside from my problems with Wulf, the book wasn't so bad. I really liked Christine, and I enjoyed the overall storyline. If Wulf had been better developed, then the book would have been pretty good.(less)
*smacks head* It's not quite a fake betrothal, but it's not all that different. So when I came to the part...more**spoiler alert** Two words: Fake Marriage.
*smacks head* It's not quite a fake betrothal, but it's not all that different. So when I came to the part in this book where Alleyne and Rachel decide to pose as being married, I wanted to smack myself in the head. That makes, what, four or five books so far in this series where there is a a fake relationship? That's pushing it just way too far in my opinion, and it's hopelessly unoriginal. At times there's something to be said for some congruency when writing a series. It binds them together and offers that sort of parallel fate that can be interesting. But this isn't one of those times. When most of the books in a series share an almost exact plot hook, it gets real old real fast.
Aside from that, the thing I liked most in this book was the variety of characters. Most of the others have featured a very homogeneous set of societies best...even with several heroines not being quite up to snuff, they were still proper ladies. So I liked that in this book, four of the supporting cast were "painted ladies". They were boisterous, off-beat, and likable, and just a nice diversion from all the prim propriety of the beau monde. Plus there was Sergeant Strickland to add some more variety. And I like Rachel and Alleyne's romance. They were a sweet couple. The "plot" also worked for me for the most part, aside from the fake marriage bit.
I think if the fake marriage hadn't been part of the story, I would have enjoyed it quite a bit. I still did, but that aspect just annoyed me to death because of it's repetitiveness.(less)
**spoiler alert** I don't really seem to have a solid opinion on this book. I'm not sure I liked it, but I didn't dislike it. I guess it was just sort...more**spoiler alert** I don't really seem to have a solid opinion on this book. I'm not sure I liked it, but I didn't dislike it. I guess it was just sort of average. There's was nothing that made it awful, but there was also nothing that made it stand out as a must-read.
Everything about the book as a whole was...decent...the plot, the characters, the romance, etc. All were okay, sometimes good, but not outstanding. At times I was bored while reading it; I occassionally felt that Baxter spent too much time on the extraneous characters, and not enough on Blythe and Ryker. I just didn't care a lick for Eleanor or Frank and they didn't need all those solo scenes to get the points across that Baxter was trying to make.
Plot-wise...interesting enough, but pretty basic and at times uninspiring. The ending I felt was too brief. I didn't feel like Baxter gave it enough thought and attention. There was a big conflict between Ryker and Blythe and Baxter solves it with the snap of her fingers. It didn't do justice to the relationship or the problems between them....it just didn't work for me. Then there was this issue with one of the antagonists. He's caught at the end and injured, but suddenly in the epilogue, he's in and insane asylum...huh? What? Baxter tells us where he ends up, but not how or why and it made no sense to me. I didn't get it.
So to sum it up...not a bad book. If you come across it used like I did, it'd be worth reading, but it's definitely not something to run right out and find.(less)