Rane's Reviews > Simply Love

Simply Love by Mary Balogh
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1987431
's review
Jan 30, 10

bookshelves: keeper, regency-romance-napoleonic-era, true-gem-keepers, historical-romance
Read from January 27 to 29, 2010

At her friend’s urging Anne Jewell and her son David set off for a fun filled month of fun, Anne doesn’t feel at home or comfortable around the family of peers her and her son are staying with, but she feels a calm as she sees the vast sea, until one night she sees a man of great beauty and pain standing on one of the many cliffs, Anne can’t get the man out of her head and later her heart when she finally meets and befriends Sydnam Butler
Sydnam is the steward of seaside manor, war scarred veteran, while he enjoys the peace of the land and sea, he still wishes for more, he finds a kindred spirt in Anne and as a deep passion blooms between the two, they find through one another the wounds on the outside and on the soul are truly and finally healed through one another’s love........


I am truly at a lost for words on the poetic beauty that is Simply Love, this story touched my heart and soul deeply, that I was moved to tears of the unfolding romance between Syd and Anne.

Anne Jewell, is a teacher at Ms.Martin’s Girl’s School. As an unwed mother, she’s been looked down upon, many of times, but with the help from the headmistress and her friends and her inner strength to protect her son David, Anne has made a home for herself at the school, and is content with her lot in life, when a long time friend Joshua Moore asks her and her son to join him and his family at the remote Bedwyns estate for a month of fun, Anne is leery, but seeing the hope in her sons eyes, agrees to go and keep out of the way from the Bedwyns peer while staying there, one a nightly walk Anne comes across a man whose face on one side is of great beauty and on the other a horrible scarred beast, scared Anne runs away, but kicks herself for running away from a man, whose no fault of his own, came to be so scarred, turning around Anne goes back to apologize, only to see he’s vanished. Anne’s mind keeps going back to the scarred man, and when she comes face to face with him again does she find out he’s the steward for The Duke of Bedwyns estate; Sydnam Butler. Anne aks his forgiveness for running away, which surprises Syd. Quickly the two start anew, and strike up a deep friendship as the days past, they bare their deep wounds not only on the outside but on the inside but as deep passion and love blooms between them that will lead to even deeper scares being uncovered and healed.

Sydnam Butler is a war scarred veteran, after being torture leaving half his face scarred, his eye missing along with his right arm, Sydnam didn’t want pity, so he did everything in his power to overcome his disability, working as a steward has brought him a sense of peace, away from his famil whom wanted to wrap him up in cotton and protect him from the world, and away from the eyes of pity and fear. Syd wasn’t to thrilled to meet up with Anne again after he ran away from him, but is surprised when she comes up to beg his pardon from running away from him that night, that night that burns her image into his mind and weaving into his dreams. After each meeting with Anne he feels a deeper draw, one whose deep scars are hidden deep within her soul, scars he can understand. As they share their feelings, a attraction that leads to a afternoon of lovemaking changes their lives forever, as love blooms between them and takes away the darkness that has haunted the lives of Syd and Anne.

Mary Balogh writing is at her fineness with Simply Love, her poetic storytelling weave a deep romance of two tortured and scarred souls without even going into a graphic detail but hitting you just as hard. There was many secondary characters that appeared in earlier books of MB, but instead of giving you a headache, the story moves along smoothly with everyone trying to play matchmaker between Anne and Syd, which was really cute to see the fierce Bedwyns trying to set a romance up. It was great to see the lives of many of the characters and what their doing now, but MB makes it where it doesn’t take away from the story but adds a charm to this already deeply moving story.

You first meet Syd in a Summer to Remember as he tries to fight the binds his loving family placed on him. Syd didn’t want pity, he wanted to be praised for going out there and doing his duty. Syd’s scars may mostly be on the outside, there’s still deep scars upon his soul, facing not being able to be whole, in a world where things are down with two hands, two eyes, two feet. Syd is able to do pretty much anything anyone else can do, from riding a horse, to writing. He lost of his hand and eye has caused him to look at the world through different eyes, but because of his lost, he still yearns for his old life, his ability to paint lost to him along with arm. With Syd, we don’t know we have it until it’s gone, he still held himself back from trying to paint because he was scared things wouldn’t be the same, and while it’s true, he always was able to see more of the world from his one eye then he did of his romantic younger self, he was able to mature, and finally accept himself now and move on. As he was able to overcome his past and face his future, he was able to help Anne with her own scars and healing. Syd was one of the most beautiful characters I’ve ever read about, it had nothing to do with the outside and everything to do with what was on the inside. He was kind and gentle and love just as greatly and deeply. When he finally shed tears and let go of his past and losing his skill to draw, I felt the tears fall down my own face. Syd was even more amazing when he was able to re-learn and re-teach himself to draw and even being able to teach Anne son David to paint. Syd is one of those amazing people who hope or blessed you maybe able to meet in real life, one whose able to teach those around them to see the world through different eyes.

Anne was and is a survivor, she started off a governess to a bright child, but this child’s older brother started to interfere with her in bad ways, trying to find a way to get this man away from her student, she sadly finds herself being forced upon and raped leaving her with her son David. This man later dies, but leaves Anne with child and unwed, her family blames her for her own rape leaving her alone in the world, not wanting to accept the kindness of the Moore family, David’s father’s family. When she’s offered a place at Ms.Martin she sees this a wonderful chance for her son and her to start fresh. Anne never faced the tragedy of her rape, and the feelings toward her family whom all but left her in the cold. But Anne just doesn’t cry and blame the world, she keeps going, she keep living if not for herself, but her son whom she loves. Anne sees in Syd someone whom understand deeply her scars, and even when she brakes and facing her own demons, Syd is there to help her along as she has helped him. It’s not an easy road, but a road that must be traveled for Anne in order for her to truly heal. With Syd by herself, she’s able to face her family, but her own self as she fears intimacy, but through love and understanding, Anne feels she’s able recover herself, a stronger self even when she faces for bitterness and hurt toward her family. Anne is strong because she’s able to give something to her family many of us, don’t to those whom have hurt us: forgiveness. Anne is able to be set free being able to forgive, and that’s through the love of her son and the love of Syd. Without love, there wouldn’t be forgiveness and that’s what makes love a true gift.


Overall: Simply..Beautiful, a story that makes you believe in romance and above all love.
20 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Simply Love.
sign in »

Reading Progress

01/29/2010 page 320
100.0% "review to come"

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Penny Watson This is one of the most romantic books I've read. I LOVE Sydnam! Have fun reading this one!


Bill I also thought this was Mary Balogh's most romantic book. I loved both these characters. They each had been so badly wounded. It was a real emotional read.


Karen **Waits impatiently to see what Rane thought about this book**


Rane Karen wrote: "**Waits impatiently to see what Rane thought about this book**"

heh! *getting her thoughts together* ;D will have the review up tomorrow!


Karen Excellent review, Rane! :-)


Beanbag Love Great review, Rane.

I've said it a million times, but this is one of my top five faves. I reread it at least once a year, usually more. Balogh at her absolute finest, IMO.


Rane Karen wrote: "Excellent review, Rane! :-) "

Thank you Karen! :D


Rane Beanbag wrote: "Great review, Rane.

I've said it a million times, but this is one of my top five faves. I reread it at least once a year, usually more. Balogh at her absolute finest, IMO. "


Thank you Bean, I just couldn't say enough about this book, it was just so beautiful..truly at a lost for words, and I agree MB at her finest


Penny Watson Great review, Rane. I think this is my ultimate Valentine's Day selection...it is sooooo romantic. I remember the first time I read it, I was seriously irked when I got to the last page. I never wanted it to end!


message 10: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Great review Rane!


message 11: by Rane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rane Penny wrote: "Great review, Rane. I think this is my ultimate Valentine's Day selection...it is sooooo romantic. I remember the first time I read it, I was seriously irked when I got to the last page. I never wa..."

Thanks Penny, oh, am so with you! I just didn't want it to end, but at the same time I wanted to see a HEA for both Syd and Anne!



message 12: by Rane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rane Melissa wrote: "Great review Rane! "

thanks Melissa!


message 13: by Fani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fani Glad to see you loved it as well Rane! It was a great book for me as well!


message 14: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Thanks for putting together such a fantastic review Rane, I'm fairly certain I have this on my TBR and also that I can borrow a copy from the library,soooooo...I need to go now! check that it is in those places and read it asap!!!


message 15: by Rane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rane Fani wrote: "Glad to see you loved it as well Rane! It was a great book for me as well!"

*hugs* It was great Fani! Made me cry to *sinffles*


message 16: by Rane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rane Adrienne wrote: "Thanks for putting together such a fantastic review Rane, I'm fairly certain I have this on my TBR and also that I can borrow a copy from the library,soooooo...I need to go now! check that it is in..."

Your welcome Adrienne!
*cheers* Go Adrienne! Go Adrienne!
I think you'll really enjoy this book, it really goes to your heart :D


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) That was a wonderful review, Rane.


message 18: by Kathy (new) - added it

Kathy Great review Rane! This one is on my TBR and need to get to it soon. I think this is a series and there is one before this one. So many books...so little time. :-)


message 19: by Rane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rane Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "That was a wonderful review, Rane. "

Thank you Danielle, I felt at a lost for words when writing this review, and really look some time to get my thoughts in order ^^


message 20: by Rane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rane Kathy wrote: "Great review Rane! This one is on my TBR and need to get to it soon. I think this is a series and there is one before this one. So many books...so little time. :-)"

Thank you Kathy! Yes, it is part of a series, but each book can be standalone and doesn't have to be read in the series (plus I wasn't overly fond of the first book of Simply series)


kathie Rane, I just finished this book and I too loved it. Your review is right on. My only disappointment was there was no epilogue. Do you know if the 3rd or 4th Simply books tell whether they had a boy or girl? I'm dying to know. Thanks.


Beanbag Love @Kathie: they do appear briefly in a later book -- Simply Perfect -- and I think your question is answered there. I believe they had a girl, but my memory might be faulty on that.


kathie Thanks so much Beanbag..I guess I will read Simply Perfect next. I really just started reading Mary Balogh (this was my third book) and I find her writing so soothing somehow..so relaxing or something. I also have "A Summer to Remember" on hold with my library e-books so I am looking forward to that also. Guess I am reading out of order but oh well. Thanks again.


back to top