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An Unacceptable Offer

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  624 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews

Miss Jane Matthews could not believe this was happening.
Michael Templeton, Viscount Fairfax, the handsomest lord in the realm and the catch of the London marriage mart, was actually proposing to her and not to her exquisitely beautiful cousin Honor Jamieson.

Jane could believe her own response even less.
Despite the viscount's looks, his wealth, his c
Paperback, Signet Regency Romance, 223 pages
Published May 3rd 1988 by Signet
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May 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
After long searches for this book for so long it was well worth it in the end to have my own copy!

Mary Balogh did a wonderful job of making her characters like onions, as you read you start to peel away another layer that makes you understand them more.

I really adored Jane and can feel for her, unlike others females jumping at the chance to marry big with or without love, Jane is level-headed and gives each man who ask her hand in marraige deep thought, weighting in her mind her options befor
This is a romance from the Mary Balogh that I know and love. It is one of her earlier stories from 1988.

Miss Jane Matthews was 23 years old and bordered on spinsterhood. At first sight, people thought 'she was not beautiful'. She knew this herself; she was plain, as in a Plain Jane. But she was upbeat and helpful and kind.

Gorgeously handsome Michael Templeton, Viscount Fairfax, was in need of a wife. And he had two little daughters that needed a mother. He settled on Jane.

"Will you marry
Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
A classic Mary Balogh….sweet, simple and slow but with certain depth and complexity. The angst is low level but ever pervasive.

The H, a handsome and much sought after (newly widowed with two daughters) viscount is made to eat some humble pie when his condescending proposal to the plain and sensible h gets turned down quite ignominiously.
He did feel like a fool. He had always believed that he was attractive to most women. To be refused by a less-than-beautiful one was a blow to his esteem.
WOW. I mean WOWWWWW ! I seriously regret leaving this on my TBR shelf for so long.
Was not expecting the twist, and the second half of the book is utterly delightful and splendid ! Blurb was rather misleading, okay, I am not gonna ignore the MB books with mediocre rating anymore.
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Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, regency
I absolutely loved it. The story was complex and tension filled without being maudlin or OTT. The heroine and hero were complex and the secondary characters added to the flow and movement.

A delightful surprise. Definitely, a hidden gem.
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, own-it
The summary is a bit misleading. Nothing is ever as simple as back covers lead you to believe, unfortunately, so expect a bit more twist. Overall, this was a cute, easy read.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm currently on Mary Balogh run since I'm a huge fan of her writing, I think she perfectly blends the historical accuracy and romance/sex thus making it interesting, realistic and romantic. I do not love all her books plot-wise but I haven't been disappointed by her writing yet.

However, since she's been around for awhile she's also got quite a few bodice rippers in her bibliography from the 80s and 90s and bodice rippers are not really my cup of tea (read: I hate them) but I won't stop until I
Linda Rice
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shortly into the book, I developed a strong dislike for one of the characters, vain and shallow Honor. I almost skipped to the end, which I NEVER do, because I felt so sorry for Jane and her unrequited love for Michael. But I just couldn't put the book down when I got further into it and began to feel hopeful for plain Jane. A wonderful story, wonderful characters and the typical happily ever after ending.
This is the reason why I consider Mary Balogh as such an amazing writer. She has brought in the love between Michael and Jane so very well. The back cover was misleading and it hinted at a usual romance and chase, but it was never that.

Jane may have been unassuming, but as the book progressed she grew in character. She reminded me of Jane Eyre when she refused Michael asking to be chosen not for what she could bring to the relationship, but because of herself. She wants to be needed for herself
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really liked it. I've said before that I'm not normally a fan of the inclusion of children in romance novels (and it's not because I don't like kids - I have two of my own!), but if done well, as here, then I can put that aside and enjoy the story regardless. I liked the central characters - Jane is sensible without being dull and although Fairfax starts out as being rather too sure of himself, he very soon realises the error of his ways. He's by no means unpleasant in any case; just a tad arrog ...more
M.A. Nichols
Hmmm...this book is one that I really enjoyed, but I think I enjoyed it mainly because I identified so thoroughly with the heroine and the first half of the book. I wouldn't say the writing is particularly good and I saw most of the plot coming from the beginning, but I felt so deeply for the hero and heroine's relationship.

In reality, I think I enjoyed the first half better than the second half. The first half was a solid 4-star book for me, because I felt so connected to the story. But in the
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very good
Ana T.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another lovely regency from Balogh. She always manages to add a different feel to her stories and this one was no exception. After I had closed the book the two proposals made me think of P&P and N&S.
At First Sight: Jane Mathews is a spinster who once fell in love with the very handsome Michel Templeton, Viscount Fairfax. He never even knew she existed and went on to marry the belle of the season, Susan.

Now, years later Jane gets invited along for her beautiful cousin Honor's season to act as both companion and chaperon. Just as Fairfax returns to Town to find a new wife.

After five years of unhappy married life, now a widower and with two small daughters Michael is determined not to make the
Nancy Crayton
This story really appeals to me because the heroine is so level-headed. That doesn't mean that she doesn't make the mistake of loving a man who, five years earlier, would not have given her a second glance. But she knows what the situation is, accepts it and makes her choices accordingly. She knows that when she fell hopelessly in love with him she ruined her chance to make a perfectly "respectable" match with someone else. She set her sights so high that any other man falls so far short that sh ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I love it when quiet, not so beautiful heroine gets her man. I almost always prefer sedate spinters to willful, headstrong debutantes ... that is, except for this time. Jane is the ideal spinster - quiet but knows all the right things to say, humorous, sensible and intelligent, liberal, loves children.. in short, she's the cookie cutter spinster of regency romances. This is the second time I read this book and I can't believe I enjoyed it the last time and nearly cried for Jane and her frustrate ...more
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Reasonably entertaining story--generally I LIKE stories where the heroine isn't all that. Miss Jane Matthews is considered well on her way to spinsterhood because she's *gasp!* 23, and isn't stunningly gorgeous. Her cousin, on the other hand, is taking the Season by storm. That means she's set her cap for the catch of the season, Viscount Fairfax, a hunky widower who's determined it's time to remarry.

Much to her shock, the viscount proposes to Ms. (Plain) Jane, and even more to her shock, she he
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book and didn't expect much from it, but after reading the first few pages, I couldn't stop reading! It was so well written and compelling. My favorite part was when Jane realized that she had been disrespecting herself all along by letting others detemine her self worth. I was in high school when I first read this book, and it really resonated with me. I felt similar feelings and it helped me realized many things about myself and about human nature! I know this novel is not a R ...more
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 maybe 4. My second Balogh novel. It was funny though not quite as funny as the Unlikely Duchess with it's scatter brain kind of fun. The romance here is more serious that balances the mischief and sets the solemn tone of the novel and it is it's own charm too. I believe Ms. Balogh will be the first historical romance author to grace my favorite authors list. It is very fortunate that she's written plenty and I may drown in them during the work days.

I actually liked this book even if it hadn't the most original plot.

I guess it would be better without all the infodumping that author has been doing. Like H starting his ruminations with "I'm acting like this or feeling that because of my tragic first marriage...", etc.

As for heroine there were times I wanted to cheer for her (like when she said she was not a commodity) but more often I wanted to jeer at her whole attitude.
Christine Strowbridge
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Wow....that was some STRONG cheese I just read. Definitely not one of my favorites!

Amarilli Settantatre
Anche no. Incredibile, ma vero, ho gradito di più la cugina bella e svampitona Honor!
Oct 20, 2010 rated it liked it
No sex :(

But, still a good book. Honor was perhaps the most interesting character - Balogh has a way of making secondary characters nuanced and not quite what you might first expect.
Aug 08, 2010 rated it liked it
An almost unbelievably strong heroine, especially given her circumstances. I liked the 2nd couple more though: wow, the heroine's cousin was devious and charming and unstoppable.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Jan 07, 2012 marked it as to-read
May never get to read this one at the prices I see it offered for, but I'll put it on my TBR list in hopes it will be reissued on kindle some day.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
A very cute story. In the beginning the hero really was too full of himself. It was nice to see him come around towards the end of the book.
Cassy Falbo
rated it liked it
May 24, 2018
Beth Perry
rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2014
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Mary Jenkins was born in 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