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Only Beloved

(The Survivors' Club #7)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,224 ratings  ·  542 reviews
From the legendary New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss and Only a Promise comes the final book in the rapturous Survivor’s Club series—as the future of one man lies within the heart of a lost but never-forgotten love...

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. Wi
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Kindle Edition, 399 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Berkley
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Ellen Ziegler I do not think it is anymore than Mary being consistent in character development and returning to characters we have seen in other books....The nasty…moreI do not think it is anymore than Mary being consistent in character development and returning to characters we have seen in other books....The nasty neighbor was nasty to Gwen too, right? And we were allowed to see the beginning of Dora and George's romance when we read Flavian's story "Only Enchanting". I do not have Only Enchanting in my possession to read it, but I am sure that George had thought about his wife's death, and she jumped to her death in the same spot Dora was attacked, so maybe it was described in George's memories. And while I don't remember for sure, it is possible the nasty neighbor had intimated that the Duke had done it in another book. Maybe in Flavian's story. I have read all of the series and I do not remember the Brother-in-law trying to kill Dora. However it was no surprise that he was George's son's father and the brother-in-law and George's wife were having an incestuous affair. Could we possibly have see this in one of George's private musings in another of the books?
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4.03  · 
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 ·  4,224 ratings  ·  542 reviews


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Lady Wesley
Dora Debbins was enjoying a hot cup of tea after a trying day of teaching music to the children of Inglebrook in Gloucestershire. She mostly enjoyed her life, but she still missed her younger sister Agnes, who had lived with Dora for a year after she was widowed. She had raised Agnes, twelve years her junior, from childhood after their mother fled from her unhappy marriage. But Agnes had recently married Flavian Arnott, Viscount Ponsonby, and moved away; both she and her husband had encouraged D ...more
Caz
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've given this a B+ at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars

Only Beloved is the seventh and final book in Mary Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series about a group of people – six men and one woman – who sustained injuries and trauma, both physical and mental, as a result of the Napoleonic Wars. I’ve enjoyed all the books and think it’s been one of the strongest and most consistent series around in the historical sub-genre in the last few years. Ms Balogh has created a cast of memorable and engaging characters i
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Lyuda
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again Mary Balogh weaves her magic and creates a wonderful story full of goodness and little sadness, story that is both uplifting and just a tad melancholic.

The book, final in the series, is George's and Dora’s story. He is the man who brought all the members of the Survivors' Club together. He was like a father figure to them, older than the rest, and mourning the death of his wife and son. She is a minor character in one of the Survivors’ Club stories.

The plot is deceptively simple: two
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Sophia
Can you both dread and anticipate the same book? Yes, you can when you're getting the last book in a favorite series. Naturally my dread is for the fact that I must say good-bye to a series and cast of characters that I have loved, but the anticipation came from who was the last of the Survivor's Club to get his story. Not just a few times, I wondered about the strong, wise, gentle, and patient man who was the backbone of this group, older and with his share of heartbreak and grief. And, who was ...more
♥Rachel♥
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
4.5 Stars

Mary Balogh’s historical romance series has been lovely. The past characters have come through the Napoleonic Wars with physical, mental, and emotional scars, but survived and triumphed with the help of the fellow Survivors’ Club members. These members met and recuperated at Penderris Hall, and its owner George Crabbe, the Duke of Stanbrook, helped each of them.

Forty-eight year old George didn’t fight in the war, but his son was killed and soon after his wife threw herself off a cliff
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Sissy Lu {Book Savvy Reviews}
A wholly unremarkable read. While this novel certainly paints a wonderful image of the regency era, coupled with the mannerisms, etiquette, and societal issues, it was simply not enough to draw me fully into this story, however, believable it may or may not have been.

Dora Debbins is a 39-year-old spinster, who had lost all hope of marriage after a scandal occurred during her debut season. After the dust settled she wound up being the caretaker of her younger sister and had dedicated her life to
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StMargarets
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Julie
Only Beloved by Mary Balogh is a 2016 Signet publication.

It is always sad when a series comes to an end, but it helps tremendously if it gets a solid, satisfying conclusion, sending it riding off into the sunset with style.

I rarely get the chance to read a series, in order, from start to finish, but I managed to do that with the ‘Survivor’s Club’. Each story has been centered around a survivor of the Neapolitan war, each one needing a little more emotional healing than is usually provided. But
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Wollstonecrafthomegirl
For me, the Survivors' Club series has been completely solid. I don't think I've reviewed them all on here because some pre-dated Goodreads but I've liked them all very much.

That's how I come to Only Beloved. It's the dessert at the end of a lovely meal. I knew I'd like it because, at this point, I trust Balogh to do right by these characters (and unlike some authors *cough* Julie Anne Long *cough*) she hasn't spent the whole series setting up some big romance/mystery/drama that has to get its
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Molly
This was an outstanding finish to one of the most romantic, lovely, touching HR series I've read. Mary Balogh's greatest strength is showcasing every facet of her characters, while unfolding a tender and heartwarming plot (often slowly) and interjecting real emotions to heightened situations. George and Dora's story had all the hallmarks of MB's storytelling and more. I loved every second if it and I highly recommend this whole series!
Melissa_lifeinthebooks
The narrator was amazing, she really brought the story to life. This was a sweet refreshing listen for. The characters were relatable and well written. Overall very enjoyable listen.
Jen Davis
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of this series since the very first, but I have to say that this final installment is easily my favorite. This is the Duke of Stanbrook’s story. He is the man who brought all the members of the Survivor’s Club together. He was like a father figure to many, older than the rest, and mourning the death of his wife and son. And at 48, George is definitely not the age of most romance heroes, but he was a fantastic one nonetheless.

This book begins right on the heels of the last one.
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Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria
OMG! It is Dora ... I knew it! Yahoo. Only bad thing, have to wait till May next year.

***

4.5 stars

A wonderful ending to a fantastic series. After a career with such a catalogue of books, it's just so amazing that this author still writes the best historicals today. Mary Balogh is my fave historical author (apart from the incomparable Georgette Heyer) and discussing things with my sister the other day she said that same. This series really is the best written at this time in my opinion. Such a sh
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Dinjolina
I can describe this book in one word – bland. I was exceptionally sad about this, because I wanted to read about George’s happy ending since forever.

<>Full review to come when I manage to find my will to live again.
Lizzy
I enjoy reading about a mature couple and how they are able to overcome life's challenges and together find happiness. Good read for some hours of relaxation. 3.5 stars.
Jacob Proffitt
Well that was disappointing, though I loved everything to do with the actual relationship. Or, at least, the unadulterated bits of it. But let me back up.

We've known a bit about George from the beginning as he's the catalyst for the Survivors' Club. We even started the series near his big castle on the cliffs of Cornwall and we've heard snatches of his tragic history throughout. And if you think about it, this setup practically screams "Gothic!". Isolated castle on the stormy coast. Buried famil
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1-Click Addict Support Group
I've been a fan of Ms Balogh's writing style from the first time I picked up one of her books, by chance. It is well-paced, subtle in its angst, and nothing that happens ever feels unnecessary or underwhelming. Only Beloved was no exception. What it was, however, is a slightly different take on the normal historical.

We join the Survivors' Club again, spending time with the characters a reader has grown to love. Glimpses of the members, their loves, and children. This is why I follow a series so
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Caz
I've given this an A+ for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGals - I think the A+ for the narration bumps this to 5 stars in audio.

This seventh and final instalment in Mary Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series has rather an autumnal feel about it, telling as it does the story of two mature people who come together in order to gain a friend and companion but find so much more. George Crabbe, Duke of Stanbrook, has been a strong background presence in all the other books, as a support and soundi
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Vicki
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency
I loved getting to read George, The Duke of Stanbrook's story. George about 10 years earlier had been inspired to open his home as a hospital for 6 broken people that needed intense rehabilitation and love. George provided both. They formed the Survivor's club and their stories were lovely to read.

George was always there for the Survivors, loving them, being happy for their successes and yet never finding love of his own.

This book was beautiful. I love the way that Mary Balogh brings the scene
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Ira
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
Certainly better than The Proposal.
The way these English upper class keep their secret is astonishing and scary, eventhough they suffered as a result.

The hero here is The Duke who provide his money, place and time to help out young men who went to war and returned home wounded, his son one of the war's victim who died at seventeen.

Our heroine is 39yo spinster who have to gave up her dream to taken care her sister after their mother left them for another man, yes a big scandal which mad
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Dorine
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Survivors' Club series
The seventh book in the SURVIVORS' CLUB series features an older couple, each with a painful past, hoping to find peace and companionship. A charming finale of a beloved series.

For more reviews, plus travel, garden and food topics with photos, visit The Zest Quest, my pursuit of a zestful life.

When the last one of his six Survivors' Club friends marries, the Duke of Stanbrook realizes he's lonely. At forty-eight years old, twelve years after suffering the tragic loss of his son and wife, George
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Maggie Boyd
I consider myself a run of the mill reader. I have a tendency to like popular books and to not vary widely from the common opinion. Perhaps this book caught me at a particularly bad time but I am definitely going to diverge from the four star average. I felt the saccharine sweetness the author gave to what should have been a story that dealt with heartache, pain and trauma passed far beyond the limits of what was acceptable, even for a romance.

In the Princess Bride the hero tells the heroine "Li
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Hardly
May 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frustrating, bleh
I was shockingly disappointed in this book. Mary Balogh has been one of my favorite authors for over 20 years-- "The Red Rose" was the first of her books I ever read, and I have been a devoted fan ever since.

The rest of this Survivor Club series has been quite compelling and nuanced. I *loved* the premise of these damaged people finding solace in each other. The concept of friendship and loyalty and support is often either rendered poorly in romance novels, or ignored entirely, so it was a fanta
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Aly is so frigging bored
I’ve read the “Survivors Club” series since book 1 was published and we met them all. This was the perfect story for Geroge. I’m so happy Mary Balogh gave him a book, and not any book, but one befitting him.
We meet the heroine, Dora, in Flavian and Agnes’ book. She’s the older, spinster sister that has an amazing musical talent. From then on, from the 1st time Dora and Geroge meet, I hoped they’ll end up together. Dora is quiet character, she doesn’t explode of the page with energy, but with he
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Georgie-who-is-Sarah
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, tag-reviewed
There's an appropriately autumnal feel to this final book in Mary Balogh's Survivors' Club series, as the last of the Survivors, the middle-aged Duke of Stanbrook, woos & weds Miss Debbins. There's a little more plot - the truth of the Duke's first marriage, and Miss Debbins' reconciliation with her mother - but the core is the slow development of a real marriage.

I was bowled over by the love story, one of the most touching MB has ever written, where George and Dora marry for gentle companio
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Olga Godim
2.5 stars
This is the last of the Survivors’ Club novels, and the weakest. The story itself is a good one: about two older people (the hero is 48; the heroine is 39) falling in love and building a family despite their troubled past. The sex is mild, the way I like it, and the low-key romance feels good. Unfortunately, the story only takes about half the book. The first 100 pages are given to rehashing the six previous novels of the series, with the hero reminiscing about his friends and their tr
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Andrea
You do not cling to what you love. You give it wings instead and let it fly.

I have always loved George, the Duke of Stanbrook. He opened his house to the other survivors after losing his son in the Napoleonic Wars and his wife, shortly after, to suicide. He has always been a father figure to the other survivors, listening patiently, always being there, and slowly coaxing them back to life, and giving so much that I couldn't wait for him to get his own happily ever after. He deserved to find happ
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KJ, Madame Librarian
May 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I cannot tell a lie. This sucked. First of all, every single character from every single former book and novella was shoehorned in there. It is impossible to care about that many people at once. It is impossible to suspend disbelief for EIGHT couples (nine? I think there might have even been a tenth?).

Also? Can I just say as a woman that I am SO OVER PREGNANCY AS PLOT POINT. Miracle babies are the FUCKING WORST. One of the reasons I'll always love Elizabeth Hoyt is that when she declares a chara
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CatBookMom
This is George's story, and Dora's. It's one of the best in this series, and nearly all of the story happens in just a few months. George saved a lot of soldiers, and especially The Survivors, with his understanding, patience, and willing ear. And yet much of his life before setting up his home as a rehab center was horrible; you find out about it near the end of the book.

Read this last, even if you don't read all of the books in this series.
OhWell
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mary-balogh, regency
Lack of communication, keeping secrets - what could possibly go wrong, I wonder?... That was annoying, as well as the over-the-top melodrama.

Otherwise, the Duke of Stanbrook and Dora make a good pair, and their HEA, with a family of their own, was very satisfying. The epilogue, where all of the Survivors, their spouses and children get together, was the perfect ending to the series.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Sep 23, 2015 06:46AM  
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3,974 followers
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

Other books in the series

The Survivors' Club (7 books)
  • The Proposal (The Survivors' Club, #1)
  • The Arrangement (The Survivors' Club, #2)
  • The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3)
  • Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4)
  • Only a Promise (The Survivors' Club, #5)
  • Only a Kiss (The Survivors' Club, #6)
“It is just a pity," he added, "that some things can never be entirely forgotten just by trying. But we have all learned that lesson.” 1 likes
“One could not change the past anyway. Why let it blight the present and the future?” 0 likes
More quotes…