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Bedwyn Saga #6

Slightly Dangerous

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Mary Balogh's The Secret Mistress.

All of London is abuzz over the imminent arrival of Wulfric Bedwyn, the reclusive, cold-as-ice Duke of Bewcastle, at the most glittering social event of the season. Some whisper of a tragic love affair. Others say he is so aloof and passionless that not even the greatest beauty could capture his attention. But on this dazzling afternoon, one woman did catch the duke’s eye—and she was the only female in the room who wasn’t even trying. Christine Derrick is intrigued by the handsome duke…all the more so when he invites her to become his mistress.

What red-blooded woman wouldn’t enjoy a tumble in the bedsheets with a consummate lover—with no strings and no questions asked. An infuriating lady with very definite views on men, morals, and marriage, Christine confounds Wulfric at every turn. Yet even as the lone wolf of the Bedwyn clan vows to seduce her any way he can, something strange and wonderful is happening. Now for a man who thought he’d never lose his heart, nothing less than love will do.

With her trademark wit, riveting storytelling, and sizzling sexual sparks, Mary Balogh once again brings together two polar opposites: an irresistible, high-and-mighty aristocrat and the impulsive, pleasure-loving woman who shows him what true passion is all about. A man and a woman so wrong for each other, it can result only in the perfect match.

365 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published June 1, 2004

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About the author

Mary Balogh

268 books5,578 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 curling.

Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling 'Slightly' sextet and 'Simply' quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,476 reviews
Profile Image for Dina.
1,324 reviews1,206 followers
March 24, 2012
3 1/2 stars

As the last installment in the Slightly series, this was probably the most anticipated read of my recent reading history. To be fair, I didn't love all the previous books in the series, but I was more than ready to love this one. Why? Because it was about Wulf... *sighs*

As the story opens, Wulfric Bedwyn, the Duke of Bewcastle, is feeling somewhat morose and too old at thirty-five. His siblings are all happily married, procreating and living away in their own residences, his long-time mistress passed away a few months ago and he hasn't replaced her yet, and the parliamentary session has ended, leaving him to dread the lonely summer that awaits him at Lindsey Hall, his country estate. This unusual state of mind prompts him to accept an invitation to attend a two-week house party at one of his friends' sister's estate, something that's completely out of his character. He regrets his decision almost immediately, as he doesn't expect to find any enjoyment there, but he's a man of his word and he's accepted the invitation, so off he goes... only to have his already low expectations crushed right upon his arrival.

Christine Derrick is a 29-year-old widow who's only attending the house party as a favor to the party's hostess, Lady Renable. Considering that Christine's brother- and sister-in-law were also invited to the party and they pretty much despise her, she'd rather be somewhere else, but she couldn't refuse her friend's request. She plans to "hide" in the background and avoid drawing attention to herself, but disaster seems to follow her. It doesn't take long until she catches not only Wulf's attention but everyone else's too. She can't help it. She's just too "full of life" to sit quietly in the corner. Riiiight...

Wulf and Christine are complete opposites. He's aloof, haughty and the Duke of Bewcastle. She's bubbly, clumsy and a schoolmaster's daughter. However, they can't help falling for each other, even though they know they're completely ill-matched. So where does this leave them? Well, if you're familiar with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, you know what happens next.

Oh man, what can I say? I'm devastated, but this book didn't live up to my sky-high expectations. As I said in the first paragraph above, I was ready to love it, so one could say I was even willing to accept minor grievances. Unfortunately, things didn't work out that way. It took me three days to finish this read, and that's bad considering I was expecting to devour this book in one sitting. So what went wrong?

In one word, Christine. I didn't like her for the most part of the story. She was supposed to be fun and loving, a big contrast to Wulf's character, but I think Ms. Balogh went a bit too far. Christine's antics made her look childish and foolish, not charming and endearing. Many reviewers liken her to Elizabeth Bennett, the heroine in Pride and Prejudice, but I kept picturing Lydia, Elizabeth's silly, idiotic sister. :( It was quite jarring, because Christine also had some moments of great maturity and wisdom. In the end, I just didn't know who (or what) she was.

Now Wulf, ah Wulf! I'm in love with the man! He was pretty much like he was in the previous books: icy and always in control. I was glad to see that Ms. Balogh didn't turn him into an overtly emotional hero only because he was in love. The glimpses into his inner thoughts were sufficient to show that, contrary to what everyone believed, there was a beating heart inside his chest and blood in his veins. Even so, he opened up enough to Christine to tell her about his upbringing and how deeply he was affected by the way he was "molded" to be the Duke of Bewcastle. That was a beautiful and powerful scene, and I had tears in my eyes when I finished reading it.

As for the plot, this book was clearly an homage to Pride and Prejudice, as many reviewers have already mentioned. I don't have a problem with it, as Ms. Austen's classic novel is one of my all-time favorite books, but Ms. Balogh didn't do the job as well as Ms. Austen when it came to making me believe that a hero and a heroine so unlikely matched would live HEA. Strangely enough, the sex scenes were part of the "problem". Wulf and Christine's lovemaking felt cold and I didn't sense any sexual tension between them, so I couldn't help picturing a lukewarm marriage in their future. Paired with the fact that Christine would definitely have a hard time adjusting to being the Duchess of Bewcastle, the whole scenario didn't scream HEA to me.

All in all, this was a disappointing read. Not because it was bad - it wasn't - but because it could have been so much better... I was poised to love it, but ended up finding it "only" slightly better than average. I know I'm in the minority here, as most readers love this book, so don't let my review influence you. If you're following the Slightly series, you definitely have to read this book.
Profile Image for Juliana Philippa.
1,010 reviews914 followers
July 24, 2017
BEST OF THE SERIES and of Mary Balogh; a perfect ending for all of us Bedwyn family fans

Slightly Dangerous is the sixth and final book in Mary Balogh's Bedwyn family series and takes place two to two and a half years (it spreads out over several months) after Rachel and Alleyne's wedding in Slightly Sinful. It is absolute perfection and reading it will make you giddy - and in several locations laugh out loud. I think it's the **best** of the series, which is saying something since IMO often the final books in series aren't as good as the first ones and with a character like Wulfric ... I mean, after encountering him in six of Balogh's previous books, it almost seems impossible that he could possibly be a hero in his own romance! One is compelled to read the book if only to discover how Balogh could possibly pull off such a thing and what heroine on earth could make it all believable.

MAIN CHARACTERS, Christine and Wulfric:
Mrs. Christine Derrick is 29 years old and has been a widow for two years. She was married at the age of 20 to Oscar Derrick, the younger brother of Basil, Viscount Elrick. She is absolutely enchanting (as Wulfric himself calls her), a heroine full of vitality and genuine kindness who has a passion for life and living and lacks any pretension or artifice. She is sometimes self-conscious, since she has a tendency to get in embarrassing public scraps, but she easily engages and wins over everyone she meets (best of all, she's able to laugh at herself whenever she does blunder).

Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle is 35 years old and has never been married. When Slightly Dangerous begins his mistress of 10 years has just died and with all of his siblings happily married off (and reproducing at a rate you wouldn't believe!!) he feels uncharacteristically lonely; that's what propels him to impulsively accept the invitation to the house party, something he would normally never do. He is austere, cold, hard, **extremely** haughty and arrogant - every inch the powerful duke that he is - and just the last man on earth whom you could possibly imagine falling in love or feeling passion. Ah, but read this book and you will realize how wrong you are. :-)

They are opposites in so many ways: Christine is lightness and laughter and joy and Wulfric is austerity and haughtiness and oppressive duty. Yet Balogh does such an *incredible* job at writing them and their relationship that the chemistry between Christine and Wulfric is unbelievably magnetic. I mean you have to hand it to her: Slightly Dangerous has a hero who does not - I repeat, DOES NOT - smile or laugh until page 347 (out of 365 pages) and yet the love story between them will sweep you off your feet and you will absolutely adore and believe every single encounter and every single progression of their relationship. Now THAT, in my opinion, is talent.

READ AFTER OTHER BEDWYN BOOKS:
If anyone is considering reading Slightly Dangerous having not read any of the previous Bedwyn books, I would discourage it for one simple reason: to truly appreciate and understand Wulfric's character and heighten your enjoyment of the romance, it helps to be lead up to this point after having read the five sibling romances (and A Summer to Remember if you like, a prequel where the Bedwyn family is first introduced). This book can stand alone I suppose, though one could easily get lost with all of the various Bedwyn siblings, spouses, and children that appear (joy!). But to feel what I described at the beginning - a sense of complete incredulity that Wulfric could possibly be involved in a romance and a burning curiosity as to who such a romance would be with and how it would progress - you would have to already know him from Balogh's previous Bedwyn books. (They're great reads!)

There are many different types of heroes that we encounter in this genre, but no serious-never-smiles hero that you have EVER read could possibly live up to the Duke of Bewcastle. So many times when we read about those types of heroes, they melt surprisingly fast in the presence of the heroine, they begin to change and start laughing relatively easily. To fully be able to comprehend how ice-cold this man is, it helps to know him from the other books; literally, if someone hugged him you feel like they would immediately catch hypothermia. However, we have also been teased with one or two moments in each previous book with a glimpse of not a top-lofty unbelievably arrogant duke, but of a mere man who feels not only duty and responsibility, but who is very alone in all his power and feels a deep love for each of his siblings.

SIGH-FILLED HEART-MELTING SCENE (one of many):
"I would be consumed by you," she said, and blinked her eyes furiously when she felt them fill with tears. "You would sap all the energy and all the joy from me. You would put out all the fire of my vitality."
"Give me a chance to fan the flames of that fire," he said, "and to nurture your joy."

BOTTOM LINE:
**READ IT** (after having read the other five books in the Bedwyn series)!!! Buy the book (definite keeper and re-read) and prepare yourself for a read-in-one-sitting romance filled with Bedwyn siblings and spouses, a hint of Pride and Prejudice, laugh-out-loud scenes, unbelievable chemistry, dialogue and thoughts by the hero that will have you sighing constantly, and a delightful heroine.

P.S.
1) WHY does Balogh always write "head over ears" in love instead of "head over heels"???
2) Stop complaining about his quizzing glasses everyone - they're horrid, yes, but Christine thinks so too and the two scenes where she lets her annoyance and humor about them show are priceless!
3) And sorry but I have to write the following: This is to all historical romance writers out there, including Balogh - curls are NEVER EVER EVER brushed! As a young woman who has had ridiculously curly hair all her life, I can tell you with utmost certainty that *no one* with curly hair would EVER dream of brushing their curls! Show me someone who does and I'll show you someone who looks like they just put their finger in an electrical socket. Sorry, but just had to get that off my chest.
Profile Image for Penny Reid.
Author 108 books20.7k followers
October 24, 2014
Really enjoyed this one. This is the first book by Mary Balogh that I've read and I found it to be wonderful.
So... let's talk about the Richard Armitage, shall we?







As soon as I read the description of the Duke, I pictured Richard Armitage. Granted, I might have enjoyed this book so much because of the resultant mental imagery. However, I suspect I actually liked it because of the stellar writing, wonderful dialogue, and the interesting characters.
Profile Image for Addie H.
492 reviews235 followers
July 11, 2019
I am re-reading all my 5 star rated romance novels. There are 60 on my shelf. This is book 36.

(Tropes: Unstarched (hero), Widow, Class Difference, Opposites Attract, Unrequited Love, Enemies to Lovers)

This is how my 36th re-read held up.

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This book. THIS BOOK.

While not perfect…it’s perfect. I love this book. I haven’t read it in several years, and as always I worry when I pick up one from my 5 star bookshelf, but thankfully this held up.

Maintains 5 stars

*****
He did not want a duchess.
More especially, he did not want a duchess who was not his social equal, who looked pretty at all times and startlingly lovely when animated but was not at all elegant or refined, who behaved impulsively and not always with proper decorum or gentility, who drew attention to herself every time she became enthusiastic about something and then simply laughed when things went wrong instead of being suitably mortified.

*****

Quick plot: Cold and reclusive Wulfric Bedwyn, finds himself at a house party where to his great irritation can’t help but be drawn to the commoner, widowed and all-wrong-for-him, Christine Derrick.

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Wulfric is SO up his own ass, we really should not like him. But at the start it’s Christine charismatic character that really holds the attention. She is not impressed by the lofty duke; laughs at him, puts him in his place and drives him batsh*t crazy.

- He was asking why he had amused her. Amused was not quite the right word, but she had laughed at him—as she was doing again now.
“You were so very outraged—you are so very outraged,” she explained, “that I failed to obey your command.”

- The Duke of Bewcastle was also watching, a look of supercilious weariness on his face. But Christine took no notice of him—beyond noticing that expression anyway. He might have a reputation for lowering the temperature of any room that he occupied, but he was not going to chill her spirits.


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She really distracts us from Wulfric’s arrogant and sullen behaviour until we get to see his strong character and reasons for his behavior unfold. At first a silly wager drives Christine to spend some alone time with him but to her horror she can’t help but notice her attraction to him.

- The Duke of Bewcastle was definitely handsome in his cold, austere way. But he had something else beyond that.
He was sexually appealing.


Wulfric is baffled by his attraction.

- It did not amuse Wulfric to discover himself drawn to a woman who had none of the attributes he found admirable in women. It positively disturbed him to find himself wondering what it would be like to bed her. He was not in the habit of looking upon ladies—or any woman, for that matter—with lascivious intent.
But he was drawn to Mrs. Derrick.

- He could not imagine finding a maze amusing, but he did not want to turn back yet. He wanted to spend a little more time in the aura of her light and vitality and laughter. He wanted to spend more time with her.


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And their attraction is really something

- And then they were stranded within a foot of each other with nothing else to say, it seemed, and nowhere else to look except at each other. The sense of seclusion deepened. Somewhere not far off a bee droned.
The flush of color in her cheeks deepened and her teeth sank into her lower lip. He possessed himself of one of her hands and held it between them with both his own. It was warm and smooth-skinned.
“I will simply concede defeat, then,” he said, and raised it to his lips.
His heart for some reason was pounding hard enough in his chest to make him feel slightly dizzy. Her hand trembled in his own. He held it to his lips far longer than was necessary.
But would even a single second have been necessary?
Or wise?
She was gazing at him with wide eyes and slightly parted lips, he saw when he raised his head. She smelled of sunshine and woman again.
He leaned forward and set his lips to hers.
And felt an instant shock of intimacy and desire.
Her lips were warm and soft and inviting. He tasted her, touched her with his tongue, probed the soft flesh behind her lips, breathed in the warmth of her, drugged his senses with the essence of her. He held her hand between them and felt as if some core of ice that had always held his emotions safely imprisoned was dripping warm melted water into his veins.
He did not know if she slipped her hand from his or if he released it. But however it was, her arms twined about his neck, one of his circled her waist, the other her shoulders, and they came together in a close embrace, her soft, warm, shapely body arched in along the length of his.
He teased her mouth wider with his own and pressed his tongue deep inside. She touched it with her own and sucked it deeper.


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This still doesn’t mean he knows what to do about it, and the idiot asks her to become his mistress.

- “I would prefer it if you would remain here and count slowly to ten after I leave,” she said. “The charm of your company has worn thin, I am afraid.”
…..
Wulfric sat very still, staring ahead at the hedge and concentrating upon tucking his emotions neatly back inside that safe ice core.


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But at the last night of the party, their attraction proves too strong.

- With his thumbs he traced the lines of her eyebrows, her cheekbones, her chin. He ran one thumb lightly across her lips, drew down the lower one, and moistened the pad by running it across the soft flesh within. She touched the tip of his thumb with her tongue, luring it into her mouth before sucking it deep. She was hot, soft, wet.
He withdrew his thumb and replaced it with his mouth.
But only briefly.
He drew back his head a few inches and gazed into her moonlit eyes.
“I want you,” he said.
Even as he spoke he was aware that she could break the spell with one word. And part of him willed her to do just that.
“Yes,” she said on a whisper of sound.


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At this point Wulfric, is ready to propose, but Christine pulls the rug out under him before he gets his words out.

- “What just happened here was not the beginning of anything but rather the end. For some reason that perhaps neither of us fully understands, there has been this something between us. Now we have given in to it and satisfied it. Now we can say good-bye and go our separate ways tomorrow and forget each other.”
Even as she spoke she realized what utter drivel she was mouthing.
“Ah,” he said faintly. “Will we?”
“I will not be your mistress,” she said. “I did this for myself, for my own pleasure. It was pleasant, I have satisfied my curiosity, and that is that. The end.”


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Wulfric isn’t quite ready to give up, but Christine does not make it easy, and I certainly see her point and fully respect her for it.

- “I did not think you indifferent to me,” he said. “And contrary to popular belief, one coupling does not kill physical attraction. Your prospects of living a fulfilled life here seem slender. Life as my duchess would offer you infinitely more. Do you say no, Mrs. Derrick, only to punish me? Will you perhaps punish yourself too in the process? I can offer you everything you can ever have dreamed of.”
The fact that she was tempted—drat her, she was tempted—fanned the flames of her anger.
“Can you?” she asked sharply. “A husband with a warm personality and human kindness and a sense of humor? Someone who loves people and children and frolicking and absurdity? Someone who is not obsessed with himself and his own consequence? Someone who is not ice to the very core? Someone with a heart? Someone to be a companion and friend and lover? This is everything I have ever dreamed of, your grace. Can you offer it all to me? Or any of it? Any one thing?”


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Pride severely wounded, Wulfric retreats, but as faiths will have it, paths cross.

- “Is the world not large enough for the two of us, then, Mrs. Derrick?”
“Sometimes,” she said, “I wonder. And I do not suppose you have many kindly thoughts of me. It cannot be every day that a lowly commoner refuses two very different but equally flattering offers from a duke.”
“You assume, then,” he said, “that I have had thoughts of you, ma’am?”
Her terrible discomfort fled, and she leaned a little toward him and laughed aloud. “I love it,” she said, “when you can be provoked into spite. Or perhaps I insult you by accusing you of that. A more genteel word would be set-down. It was a rather magnificent one and certainly put me in my place.”
He gazed haughtily at her.
“And I love it, Mrs. Derrick,” he said softly, “when you can be provoked to laughter—even when you do it with just your eyes.”


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Unable to give up Wulfric asks her to come to his (one and only) house party.

- You are as you are, and I am sure that in your own world you do very well indeed. You command respect and obedience and even awe. They are necessary attributes, I daresay, for an aristocrat in your position. They are just not attributes that I look for in a lifelong companion.”
“I am a man as well as a duke, Mrs. Derrick,” he said.
She wished he had not said that. She felt as if a giant fist had caught her a blow in her abdomen, robbing her of all breath and strength in her legs.
“I know.” She was whispering. She cleared her throat. “I know.”
“And you have not been indifferent to that man,” he said.
“I know.”
He touched the gloved knuckles of one hand to her cheek for a brief moment, and she closed her eyes and frowned. Much more of this and she would be bawling—or casting herself into his arms and begging him to propose marriage to her again so that she could have the pleasure of living unhappily ever after with him.
“Give me a chance,” he said. “Come to Lindsey Hall.”


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And it’s at this house party we not only get to see how Wulfric’s (out of character) behaviour is amusingly viewed by his family, but also how hard he tries to show Christine there is more to him than a cold duke.

- “I believe I could stand the power of your light, Mrs. Derrick. My own identity would not be diminished by it. And yours would not be diminished by my power. You once told me I would sap your joy, but you belittle yourself if you truly believe it. Joy can be sapped only by weakness. I am not, I believe, a weak man.”

- During the few days she had been at Lindsey Hall she had already discovered that there was a real person lurking behind the formidable figure of the Duke of Bewcastle.
They were one and the same, of course, the man and the duke. Not for a moment did she suspect that he was somehow mad, that there were two quite different persons living within the same body. But she was not sure she wanted to see any more of the man or know any more about him. Her life had been so very safe again for almost three years.

- He walked out along the branch that extended over the water, holding onto another branch for balance as long as he could and then doing it on his own. He went to the very end of the branch, tested it for strength, bent his knees a few times, flexed his arms. He was, Christine realized, playing up to his audience, which was loving it.
And then he dived in headfirst, his arms stretched above his head, his legs straight and together, his feet pointed. There was hardly a splash as he went in.
There was, however, a collective gasp from the bank, followed by a cheer. Christine clapped her free hand over her mouth until his head broke above the surface and he shook the water out of his eyes.
“Someone,” he shouted, “should have warned me that the water is cold.”
It was the moment at which Christine slid all the way—irretrievably—in love.
And then something extraordinary happened—something else extraordinary, that was. Lady Hallmere stepped up in front of her, frowning ferociously, and hugged her hard, the duke’s clothes squashed between them.
“If this is what you have done for him,” she said, “I will love you all my life.”


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***

Why was it, she wondered, that opposites attracted? And they were such very extreme opposites.

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Profile Image for Lady Wesley.
927 reviews319 followers
October 28, 2021
March 30, 2017
Read my full review here

13 January 2015

I have a Facebook page which I use primarily to follow my favorite authors. Yesterday, however, I posted this photo on Mary Balogh's page and mentioned that it reminded me of Wulfric and Christine.

 photo 1a9cd69c-14ac-4312-88a9-d5717544b0bd.jpg

Almost immediately, Mary Balogh her own self responded, "Yes, indeed. I believe it was created for them." Don't you get a little thrill when authors you admire "speak" directly to you?

Then I noticed the stats: activity on my page is up 78,500% in 18 hours. I don't really care about stats, as the page is just a convenience, but it's interesting to see the influence of a popular author.

I love Mary Balogh, and this is my favorite Balogh book. Highly recommended!

5 November 2011
I read this before all the other Bedwyn books and liked it a lot. Loved the Duke, and Christine was delightful.

January 19, 2012 - Just reread, and decided to bump it up from 4 to 5 stars. I definitely recommend reading these in order because the Duke plays a crucial role in each story, which helps the reader understand him better in this one.

It was fun seeing all of the Bedwyn siblings and their spouses together. Oh, and all of their children, which they are producing at an alarming rate. For once, I can forgive the usually obligatory epilogue where the baby arrives.
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,480 reviews340 followers
November 11, 2019
*** 5 Cold as Ice STARS***

MADRE
DEL
AMOR
HERMOSO… Que bonitooo!!!

Este es mi libro favorito de TODA la serie y tenía que ser así ya que Wulfric es su protagonista.
Con este libro y en sí toda la serie, a Mary Balogh ya la puedo poner en mi lista de autoras de histórica

Este libro es el LIBRO, es uno de los mejores que he leído en histórica y no he leído tan poquitos y es que toda toda la historia me gustó mucho el background del personaje de Wulfric durante toda la serie hace que en su libro lo disfrutes más.

Sé que muchas comparan este libro como la nueva versión de Orgullo y prejuicio y sé puedo entender la comparación pero a mí ese libro no me gustó y este me encantó, sé que me van a crucificar pero I don´t care Mr. Darcy no me enamoró y a Wulf LO AMOOOO LOCAMENTE CON LOCURA desde que apareció en el primer libro mi detector de book boyfriends se activó.



Wulf mi precioso Duque de Bewcastle es lo más bonito del mundo y si alguien merecía ser feliz era él y sí es frío todo un tempano de hielo, arrogante y estirado pero tiene un alma preciosa, pareciera que no puede sentir amor pero es la persona con más capacidad de amar que existe y tiene amor infinito para dar.



—Amo a Wulfric Bedwyn con locura —le aseguró ella con una nota traviesa en la voz.
¿De verdad, amor mío? ¿Lo bastante como para arriesgarte conmigo? Porque debo hacerte una advertencia. Los Bedwyn tenemos una tradición según la cual, aunque tardemos en casarnos, cuando lo hacemos les entregamos a nuestros cónyuges toda nuestra devoción y fidelidad. Si te casas conmigo, serás el objeto de mi adoración por el resto de tu vida.


Christine es todo lo opuesto a Wulf pero precisamente es lo que él necesita, ella me gustó mucho pero era demasiado cabezota e hizo sufrir mucho a mi Wulf y en una escena realmente quise estrangularla pero después la volví amar porque hizo feliz a mi Wulf y eso no tiene precio.

Al final lloré como magdalena de la emoción y felicidad creo que ando hormonal pero es que este libro y sobre todo Wulfric me provocaba bastantes sentimientos ya tenía bastante tiempo que un personaje no me enamoraba hasta el punto de la obsesión.
Profile Image for Lady Wesley.
927 reviews319 followers
October 15, 2021
Of course it's five stars!

Slightly Dangerous was released in 2004, as the culmination of Mary Balogh's Bedwyn Saga series, which follows the lives of Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle, and his five siblings. It has gone on to become her most popular book, with a 4.6/5 rating on Amazon and 4.2/5 on Goodreads, and is firmly placed among the top ten in All About Romance's Top 100 Poll. I have read almost everything published by Mary Balogh, and this one is by far my favorite. I am tempted to stop my review right here, because if these ratings by hundreds of readers don't convince you that it is a book worth reading, I'm not sure that I can add anything. Nevertheless, I shall try.

Wulfric Bedwyn is the consummate arrogant, cold-as-ice duke, wealthy and powerful and not inclined to suffer fools or much of anyone else for that matter. We have come to know him gradually in the first five books of the series, and there have been glimpses of a man who loves his brothers and sisters deeply, even as he exerts his considerable power to control their lives and to interfere with matches that he considers unsuitable.

As this book opens, all of his siblings are happily married and have moved away from the family estate, Lindsey Hall. His long-time mistress has died recently, and although Wulfric cared for her he did not love her and thus his grieving is more for himself than for her. Wulfric is feeling at loose ends, so when his friend invites him to a gathering of intellectuals at Lord Renable's estate, he accepts and then immediately regrets his impulsiveness. His impeccable manners, however, will not permit him to cry off, but his regret increases when he discovers that the house party is filled with the usual frivolous haute ton characters.

Christine Derrick also is a guest at the house party, as she is a friend of Lord Renable's wife Melanie. She has been invited only at the last minute to round out the numbers, and she really doesn't want to go, but she also hates to leave Melanie in a bind. Christine is twenty-nine and the widow of the younger brother of Basil, Viscount Elrick. Her marriage began with love but turned out badly as her husband became possessive, demanding, and downright paranoid, wrongly accusing her of having affairs. Unfortunately, Basil and his wife Hermoine believed these accusations and they have declined to offer her any support and cut off all contact with her. Christine lives in a cottage with her mother and elder sister, a schoolteacher whom Christine sometimes assists.

Christine is the utter opposite of Wulfric. He is the ultimate aristocrat; she a poor widow. He is intimidating and humorless, wielding his omnipresent quizzing glass like a weapon; she is full of life and light and joy, completely lacking in artifice or pretense. He is the soul of propriety; she tends to act impulsively, sometimes getting into embarrassing scrapes which she gaily laughs off. But as the house party gets underway and even though she is not of the same class as the other guests, she quickly enchants them all. Except for Wulfric.

Actually, they got off to a bad start. In a classic scene, Christine leans over the balustrade to peer at the arriving duke and, when he looks up, accidentally spills lemonade in his eye. Thinking her a servant, he growls and scowls; she lightly utters, “Sorry,” and disappears in embarrassment. When Wulfric spots her later that day among the guests enjoying afternoon tea, he employs his typical method of intimidation: staring at her through his quizzing glass. When Christine stares back and refuses to be cowed, he crosses the room to speak to her, and neither of their lives ever will be the same.

Many readers have compared this story to Pride and Prejudice, and while there are some similarities to Lizzy and Darcy, Mary Balogh has created her own characters in Wulfric and Christine. To begin with, while Austen left Darcy as something of a mystery by telling the story largely through Lizzy's eyes, Balogh shifts her point of view between the two main characters. I daresay the reader understands Wulfric's motivations much more than Darcy's. Balogh's couple is much more mature than Lizzy and Darcy, and each has suffered disappointments before meeting one another. Moreover, Wulfric is orders of magnitude richer and more powerful than Darcy, and he is exactly the type of aristocrat who Christine abhors. He is rather appalled by her as well, as she repeatedly behaves with a lack of decorum that he finds unladylike. And yet, Wulfric finds himself unwillingly drawn to her to the point that he rushes to her assistance when said unladylike conduct puts her in mortifying situations. Christine is slower to see Wulfric's admirable traits, but eventually she is as unwillingly attracted to him and he is to her.

Under the circumstances, Wulfric does what a duke would do – he offers Christine carte blanche, which Christine angrily rejects. Oh, but this is just the beginning of a back and forth that plays out over the next several months in Gloucestershire and London and at the Bedwyn country estate Lindsey Hall. And while Christine is a delightful character, I find that Wulfric is really the star of the book. He truly is the quintessential top-lofty duke, and Balogh does not do him the disservice of having him melt into a pile of goo when he falls in love. Other authors have written similar characters – indeed they are a staple of historical romance – but Wulfric Bedwyn stands at the top of the heap. There is an old Italian phrase, "capo di tutt'i capi," meaning the boss of all bosses, and I like to think of Wulfric as the "duca di tutt'i duchi." Perhaps I can be forgiven for falling in love with him myself.

This is a beautiful love story, wonderfully told by Mary Balogh, and recently, for the first time in several years, the audio version narrated by the incomparable Roslyn Landor is available once more. Landor has recorded most of Balogh's audio editions, and in this performance she never puts a foot wrong. This is not surprising, however, since Landor is one of the top four or five best narrators of historical romance. I will just add that even if you haven't read any of the earlier books in this series, Slightly Dangerous is excellent as a standalone. In short, it is a classic. Do read it or listen to it. Or better yet, do both.
Profile Image for Jan.
879 reviews169 followers
April 6, 2022
[Review 2018] What can I say???? I've read this book three or four times now, and each time I love it more. It's right up there as one of my fav ever HRs (and I've read a lot of them). I just finished it again, sniffing my tears back pretty much through the last chapter, and I feel like anything else I pick up is just going to be a let-down......... I've got a book hangover.........

This book is Mary Balogh in top form. I don't love all of her books, but this one is so beautifully written. After having just (re)read all of the other books in this series, the MC Wulfric Bedwyn is a character you feel you already know and like. Now he gets his own story. And because he's waited so long, it seems even more powerful.

Wulfric became head of his family at age 17. He has put duty and responsibility first in his life, with personal satisfaction on a 'back burner'. Now 35, he has seen all of the five younger siblings he helped to raise, marry and find their own happiness. His life seems a little empty, lonely even. But that's an indulgence he refuses to allow himself to dwell on.

Christine, 29, is a widow living in genteel poverty with her mother and spinster sister. A friend invites her to a house party to even up the numbers. And there, they meet.........

The story is paced beautifully. The differing (even opposite) characters of Christine and Wulfric are carefully established. Wulf is cold, serious, aristocratic, haughty, controlling. Christine is warm, sunny, loving, charismatic, klutzy, able to laugh at herself. She's the kind of person always at the centre of all the fun and laughter. The person everyone is drawn to. And Wulf is surprised that he is drawn towards her too. Strangely, Christine feels the pull of attraction towards Wulf as well.

Both MCs think they dislike each other, even though they both feel the sizzling hot sexual tension between them. Kind of enemies-to-lovers trope. Wulfric can't think of anyone less suitable to be his duchess. Christine thinks he is cold and heartless. But yet, they both fall deeply in love.

Balogh writes their story so beautifully. Their developing love gradually unfolds over time. They begin to reveal more about their inner lives to each other, and their pasts as well. This is something Balogh does so well - allowing her characters to strip away the outer trappings so we can finally see the depths to the characters. So they can deal with their pasts, and move forward to the future.

There are so many beautiful scenes in this book, that I never tire of reading.

So. I think it's the pacing, the characterisations, and the depth of feeling in this book that get me every time. A beautiful read. A strong writer in her very best form.
December 24, 2016
3.5 ish
OW and OM warnings

I needed a little bit of classic/historical romance and I'm glad I found this one. I like the hero well enough, he wasn't a manwhore and I love his tortured nature. My only problem is that I always prefer when the first and most important woman in H's life is the heroine. He had a long term relationship with another woman and that makes me love and hate the book at the same time. I love how cute he was mourning his ex, and being utterly alone without love. I love that he was commited to this woman even in a time when mistresses weren't seen with good eyes. But as I said, I would have preferred if the heroine had been her first. She was a widow, and that means H wasn't her first either.


I still enjoy this because the whole point is that they already suffered while they were on their own. Lonely searching for love and then ... love found them!

Is that cute or what? I don't know whether people who prefer contemporary manwhores or virgin heroines (my favorite trope) will enjoy this one, but I think they might!
Profile Image for  ~Preeti~.
669 reviews
October 27, 2021
5 Stars-To the slight touch of Pride and prejudice and a hero like John Thornton from North and South.😛😛

(Opposite attracts, dislike/hate to love, slow-burn, vibrant heroin-starchy hero, widow, class-difference, heroines I am in love with)

"I believe you were put on this earth to bring light to your fellow mortals."

I think I have already said this to all and sundry but in case you have missed someone screaming 'Wulfric' last time, I will repeat it.😂😂  I wanted to read this book since I have read Slightly Married years ago, but I am a girl with a faulty memory. 

So, I was not surprised when this book surpassed all my expectations, what surprised me was the reason. I had always wished to read this book because of Wulfric but damn!! How could I have underestimated Mary Balogh's ability to write a remarkable heroine, great banter and terrific relationship development???

>Plot

Wulfric is the duke of Bewcastle. Now that all his siblings have married and are occupied with their lives, Wulf is bored. And, out of this boredom, he accepted an offer to a house party.  Christine comes from the countryside but was married to a viscount's brother. But, after his death, she has returned to her previous life. 

They both have opposite personalities and outlooks in life. But, surprise!! Surprise!! They feel a strong pull towards each other yet they can't help but disapprove of each other too. 


Wulfric reminded me so much of John Thornton. He was not grumpy or broody, he was just a stickler for the rules of society. He did things as a duke and fulfilled all his responsibility but comes out as cold and calculating.
His reaction to Christine shocked him. He never thought he could ever want a woman who doesn't know how to conduct herself like a lady. She is clumsy, likes to climb trees, mountains and enjoys every moment of life. 

"Indeed, you are the very antithesis of the woman I would have chosen.”

He Would constantly fight this attraction because he is not able to comprehend what the hell is going on with him.

"And infatuated be damned. He was near to being blinded by his attraction to her. He was in love, damn it all. He disliked her, he resented her, he disapproved of almost everything about her, yet he was head over ears in love with her"

"I find myself constantly infuriated and enchanted by you, unfeeling “Often both at the same time. How can one explain that?”🤣🤣🤣

Christine on the other hand has already suffered in her first marriage so she is not at all enthusiastic about getting married again, particularly not to a cold, unfeeling man.

Things I adore about this book

1. Christine Her first marriage was a love union but it didn't end well. Yet, she took enjoyment in small things, she loves people in general and nothing could squish her essence. Her character is so well-written.🥰🥰

2. Banter/clash of wits The banter was not like some other romance books, where the couple fight just for the sake of fighting. Here, they both constantly clash because of their opposite belief system. 

"I would prefer it if you would remain here and count slowly to ten after I leave,” she said. “The charm of your company has worn thin, I am afraid.”

3. The 2+1 proposal- So, you remember the rejected proposal scene from Pride and prejudice??? This was something like that but more.
a. He asks her to be his mistress-

A home of my own,” she said. “A carriage. Jewels, clothes, money, entertainment. And, best of all, you bed me regularly. It is an almost overwhelmingly flattering offer. But I really must decline, you know. It has never been my ambition to be a whore.”

b.He proposes marriage-

"A husband with a warm personality and human kindness and a sense of humour? with a heart? This is everything I have ever dreamed of, your grace. Can you offer it all to me? Or any of it?”

c.He proposed againnnnn- 

First,” he said, setting his hands behind his back, “I must tell you that I can never be the man you dream of—” Yes, you can,” she said quickly, interrupting him. “You can and you are. I am not sure what was on that list I gave you last year, but it does not signify. You are everything I could ever dream of and more.”🥰🥰🥰

I loved that Miss Balogh didn't give a personality transplant to Wulf, just because he is in love. She let him show Christine that he is more than a mask. That he cares for his family and other people.

The book could be read as a standalone because up to the 80% mark we do not see much of other Bedwyns but it was great to see the reunion of the family. 

Okay, if still, it's not clear how much I enjoyed this book, I will let you all know that I was both listening to audiobook and highlighting the ebook, at the same time.😇😇😇😇
Profile Image for Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves.
1,291 reviews19 followers
November 28, 2017
A beautifully done, sweet and heartwarming romance.
As much as I started adoring the vivacious and irrepressible h, it’s the H who steals the show. A better replication of Mr. Darcy I’ve yet to read! He’s cold, aloof, unsmiling and as ‘toplofty’ as they come.
His eyes, she noticed, were like two chips of ice. Their normal charming selves, in fact.

But for all his ‘quizzing glass put-downs’ of her, he falls for the sunny and charming h in his typically silent but profound way. And the story is about how he woos her awkwardly yet so sweetly, while she retreats for reasons of her own.
I understood the h’s reasons for hedging but still my heart ached for him and his loneliness. I wish the h had been able to see through his cold exterior to his honorable and loving heart a lot sooner!
I didn't like some of her more harsh and overdramatic lines like ...
“You would sap all the energy and all the joy from me. You would put out all the fire of my vitality.”
“Give me a chance to fan the flames of that fire,” he said, “and to nurture your joy.”


So while he falls for her easily despite warning himself of her 'social unsuitableness', she takes her time to be sure and goes through 'falling in love' to actually 'loving'.
The revelations and the mild shocker at the end also lift the story.
Profile Image for Ceki.
375 reviews87 followers
July 18, 2017
As far as I am concerned, Slightly Dangerous ends at the 45% mark because that's when Wulfrick's (and mine) heart break.

Wulfrick is very similar to Anthony from The Viscount Who Loved Me and Marcus from It Happened One Autumn in terms of his personality: he is snobbish, appears to be cold-hearted and indifferent, and takes his title very seriously. However, he is also very responsible, looks after his siblings and bravely holds the burden of his aristocratic title and all the responsibilities that come with it. He is not just a brother to his younger brothers and sisters but also a father - the same role that Anthony decided to take on.

He is also very lonely because he has been shaped to be a duke since an early age.
He had always been alone in all essential ways - since the age of 12, anyway, when he had been virtually separated from his brothers and put directly under the care of two tutors and closely supervised by his father, who had known that his death was imminent and who had consequently wanted his eldest son and heir to be properly prepared to succeed him.
He had been alone since the age of 17, when his father had died and he had become the Duke of Bewcastle. He had been alone since the age of 24, when Marianne Bonner had rejected him in a particularly humiliating manner. He had been alone since his brothers and sisters had married, all within a two-year span.

I respected him for his strength and also for the fact that he was never a manwhore or purposely mean to anyone. He was just acting aloof and indifferent because he was afraid to let anyone close.

That is why I hated Christine, the heroine, even more. Her bubbly and cheerful nature came off as immature, irritating and unbelievably forced. I really could not understand why would Wulfrick fall for her because even though we are reminded all the time that she is not a "flirt" - she is. I was sick and tired of her smiles and running around like a dimwit. Additionally, she also appeared condescending and cruel on more than one occasion. And let me just say that the same can be said for such persons in real life as well - those that appear bubbly and overwhelmingly cheerful on the outside are usually the meanest and cruelest bitches on the inside.

Even when Wulfrick dropped the M-bomd which would have made me lower the rating immediately, I wasn't annoyed at him at all. It was quite understandable for a man of his station and upbringing to act in such a way plus they didn't even know each other for a long time at that time. I liked Christine's response and was looking forward to the plot development... but that is when everything went downhill.

Immediately after that Wulfrick goes after Christine and I disliked this because I knew that it was rushed and that the only way the author would resolve it is by bringing some kind of a terrible conflict into the story, which is exactly what happened around the 45% mark. Christine him, but it is the way she did it that pissed me off:
"Can you?" she asked sharply. "A husband with a warm personality and human kindness and a sense of humor? Someone who loves people and children and frolicking and absurdity? Someone who is not obsessed with himself and his own consequence? Someone who is not ice to the very core? Someone with a heart? Someone to be a companion and friend and lover? Can you offer it all to me? Or any of it? Any one thing?"

Bitch please!! And these words are uttered by someone "who is cheerful as sunshine and kind to everyone", yeah right! Wulfrick never hurt her on purpose and she was always responsive to his kisses. Yes, he offended her with the M-bomb but she already gave him hell because of that so her repeated cruelty made me hate her even more (if that was possible).

Of course, nothing was the same to me after this. They separated for a couple of months and then met again. The rest of the book was about Wulfrick tiptoeing around her and trying to change her mind by proving that he indeed has a heart. Poor bastard, he really deserved better.

But I can't give it less than 3 stars because I really liked his brooding character. Also I love the first encounter between Wulfrick and Christine

As for Christine...


SAFETY GANG: safe with exceptions
Profile Image for Al George.
502 reviews309 followers
August 10, 2017
Some books are hard to review. Do I love it? Do I not?

Can't answer

Series: The final nail in the coffin, as it were.

Sexy times: Yes. Tame stuff. Clinical at times as GR Ursula pointed out.

Plan on reading more by the author: I do.

Synopsis: This is a long tale. It felt longer than the other books in the series. Perhaps that was just me?

Christine catches the eye of the oh so proper and restrained Wulf, the head of his clan and a very proper Duke. She's nothing like he'd imagine himself being attracted to and she certainly isn't good ton. - she giggles, jumps from trees, rips her clothing, flings children about and spills lemonade in people's eyes. She's poor. She's underdressed. She's just short of ridic. But, apparently, to know her is to love her. Everyone, including the damned Duke, is enchanted by her boisterousness. Silly woman, the equivalent of a regency party girl.

let's party

Her inclination to playfulness leads Wulf to offer for her...as his mistress. Duh, duh, duh, duhhnnnn. Not well done, Wulf. Not well done at all.

They end up connecting in the whole physical way, but that's all she's willing to give and inexplicably, Wulf makes the big M offer, which she summarily rejects. His obsession with her never wanes and her irritation with him as a cold and domineering man only grows. They won't suit. That's all there is to it.

She's got history, he's got history, and somehow that history intersects with their future. Things need to get cleaned up, conversations need to be had and stuff needs to get worked out before these two can see clear to their HEA.

Heroine: Christine. Gah. This woman has put up with enough crap at the hands of plenty of people, but it won't change the fact that she's determined to enjoy her life, reputations be damned. She can be ridic at times, but overall, I get it. She's got some backbone and is done paying a price for something she never sold.

Hero: Wulf. Life dealt him some serious cards. He carries the weight of his family, his title, the people he supports and somewhere in there, he may have lost himself. When it comes to women, he's got no game. None at all. But it's not like he needs game. He needs to breathe and enjoy and do this thing called life.

Why it did or didn't work for me: I'm pretty sure I really liked this story. I think my reticence comes in when all of the back and forth just got to be too much for me. However, that said, it was necessary. All that should I, could I business. These two are an unlikely match and in order to find their "likely" they had to work at it.

There were some interesting side plots with other characters that were actually integral to the MC's relationship. What a nice break. Cannot stand the secondary plots which are unnecessary. They just take up space and I'm over that.

Signed,
I still don't know if I love this or not. It's not a cut and dried kinda story. But that's the point,
right?


I'm out
I'm out
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,545 followers
October 5, 2015
Expectations have been my enemy so far, in this series. My favorites were the ones I had the lowest expectations for. No longer. I expected this one to be good, hoped it would be, and it exceeded those expectations.

You know going in (because you've read the rest of the series, right? Right?!?) that Wulfric is going to be a tough nut to crack. His defenses are so far up he might as well be all wall. We've seen his love for his siblings, so we know he's worth it, but it's going to take some doing for an outsider to break in. As such, Christine wasn't really much of a surprise. There weren't a lot of personality possibilities for someone capable of bringing Wulf into enough vulnerability to fall truly in love. And yet, if not a surprise, she was certainly a delight. I love that she's so free with her joy and that she's so open in her entertainment and fun. I loved seeing her deal with his stoicism and reserve. And I really loved seeing her fall for him as she penetrates his defenses and gets to know the man underneath.

And Wulf himself was everything we thought he'd be. I particularly enjoyed, though, the sense that Christine wasn't so much changing him as restoring him. This was a subtle nuance to the story that I rather latched onto and enjoyed thoroughly.

So yeah, a worthy wrap-up. I'm not sure this beats Slightly Sinful. They have similar themes of restoration and Balogh pulls both off magnificently. This one might edge SS a bit for its lighter intrusion of modern mannerisms, but then lose that edge as the side characters weren't quite as fun. So a draw. At any rate, well worth getting this far in the series and a great read.

A note about other reviews and comparisons to other works: Others try to point out the similarities with Pride and Prejudice. Personally, I think it's a strain. He doesn't insult her. She's not so much prejudiced as informed. He's fully aware of her charm from the first. The only real similarity is his bumbling initial overtures and that's a very faint similarity to try to rest on. Now if you'd compared it to Beauty and the Beast you have a much stronger case...

A note about Steamy: Standard for the series, so two mid-sized explicit sex scenes that put it in the middle of my steam tolerance. They also play key roles in the emotional arc of the story, so they're pretty well integrated and thus not gratuitous.
Profile Image for Vintage.
2,389 reviews442 followers
February 17, 2021
Slightly Dangerous definitely has a Pride and Prejudice vibe with the Regency walking stick firmly up the ice cold H’s derriere but with a heroine that is more a manic pixie girl than an Elizabeth Bennett.

The misunderstood heroine, a proverbial free spirit - breath of fresh air etc, is invited to a house party by her bossy higher society friend. She’s one of those friends that knows what is best for the heroine. I was prepared to seriously dislike her, but Balogh does what she often does, creates a flawed but true friend that backs the heroine and her antics up when even closer family turn their back on her. Part of the heroine’s backstory is she is rumored to have been a relentless flirt that drove her to her young husband’s death.

The Duke is both attracted and appalled by the heroine who could care less initially. He makes her an offer she refuses much to his surprise and lays down her opinion of him quite ruthlessly. That doesn’t stop her from succumbing to his silent and deadly Dukish charms.

There is a rocky path to the HEA, but along the way a villain is uncovered and the Duke thaws quite nicely.

I really enjoyed this as the opposites attract is a trope I like. I would have preferred a slightly more toned down heroine, but she’s true to herself. Wulfric, yes Wulfric, takes the honors.
Profile Image for Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers.
937 reviews270 followers
December 8, 2018
This is one of the few books I have in both paperback and e-copy on my Kindle. That's how much I love it. I paid for it (likely more than) TWICE!!

This is my absolute fav of the Bedwyn series. I LOVE Wulfric!! Always have! Even when he was at his most top lofty in other books in the series. I always knew he had a soft mushy inside. What I love about his book is that he never truly become soft and mushy. He's always himself - reserved, introverted, icy, haughty, but oh so passionate and deeply loving, and his emotions run so very deep and very true.

I absolutely ADORE this type of Hero!!

There were parts where Christine, the heroine, pissed me off. Esp. when I know Wulfric so well. And all the times and things she says to hurt him. Often, intentionally. (But then, my current fav book, Pure Ecstasy has a heroine who intentionally hurts the Hero as well, diff context, diff story, but perhaps I should not judge Christine so harshly)

Still! They both fell in love with each other before 50% was done with the book. Tho they both fought it in their own ways, his behavior towards her only improved over time, as he tried to win her over, as he risked baring himself to her and expose all of his vulnerabilities. But SHE only got more offensive as time went on. The more he showed her who he was, the more she tried to rile him up and get him to fight with her. I really don't like her in those scenes, which were too many, and I'm still angry about it. I think she's too judgmental whereas he was simply realistic and perhaps too honest and blunt about the reality.

In some ways, this book was modeled after Pride and Prejudice. I can see all the parallels, but Elizabeth from P&P would never have said such caustic, hurtful things, and say them repeatedly, to Mr. Darcy. In this vein, I really disliked Christine for a good portion of the book.

But overall, her bubbly life-loving personality made it impossible for me to dislike her. She is a good match for Wulfric after all. I jut wish she didn't hurt him so much during the "courtship."

Still my fav of the series. So I can't really give less than 5 stars. I'd give Christine a 3.5 but Wulfric more than compensates for her lower rating!

On a scale of 5, Wulf is a slam dunk 10!!
Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,257 reviews272 followers
December 6, 2021
I am officially Balogh'ed out. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this, but I feel like I'm just going to skip the final novella and be done. I think I'm tired of the incessant pursuit of the heroine by the hero, I think I'm done with the fact they are all so singular for a while.

I think Balogh has the tendency to push me right up to the edge in how insufferable some of her heroines in particular are. This book was no exception. Whether it was because we knew Wulf already or Christine was illogically rude and presumptive to him, it was a wild experience for me. I don't usually have issues with the heroines, I think there's a mile of leeway I give to their behaviors and annoying traits but Christine just pushed me right up to the edge.

So, to me, in the end, this is Wulf's book. And that's no surprise, because it actually is Wulf's book. But Christine didn't come off to me as someone with much substance or development. i felt like we saw her really only through his eyes, and she was only fully realized in our minds due to his interpretation of her. I would've enjoyed this nearly as much if he just lived out his life in quiet contentment among his family and I guess that's saying something about the romance. It was just...his book!

All that said, who doesn't like the buttoned up becoming a little undone and out of character, and to Balogh's credit he was never far away from the character we saw through the series. I appreciate the consistency and voice. He really was one of the most reserved heroes I've read, and I enjoy that. I like that he was the very essence of "still waters run deep," which is obviously part of why Christine's mischaracterization of him constantly grated on me. For whatever reason, I was hoping for someone that assumed the best of him, but I couldn't see why she'd fall for him believing what she did.

So mark it down, I was on the hero's side for once. Less successful for me than I hoped, but still worth a revisit someday.

Profile Image for StMargarets.
2,817 reviews470 followers
December 24, 2016
Not really a review. This was just recommended to me and since I've read and re-read this book (and the entire series) many times, I thought I should add my voice to the "Slightly" love.

For once, the last book in a series does not disappoint. We've had glimpses of the softer Wulfric throughout the series as he deals with his brothers and sisters's romances and life dramas. He appears to be a hard, cold man. A stickler for duty. The due north to everyone's moral compass. And he is - most of the time.

Christine, the perfect heroine for him, is able to reach the man underneath - but not without pain for herself and for him. The disastrous first proposal (shades of Pride and Prejudice) hurts both of them. It's the midpoint of the novel and there is delicious angst because the reader wants these two to be happy and it's not possible at that moment.

There are also funny scenes - the quizzing glass in the tree has to be my favorite and it moves the narrative to a lighter note so that the group happiness at the end doesn't feel tacked on or inauthentic. It's a true HEA.

Yes, there are the Mary Balogh touches such as outdoor sex and the freeing benefits of swimming. If historical accuracy is important, then this probably isn't for you. Read for the romance of a truly wonderful hero and the heroine who deserves him.
Profile Image for 🐝 Shaz 🐝 .
318 reviews18 followers
September 18, 2022
This was a really nice story.
The reclusive Duke of Bewcastle , meets the widowed Christine. They both don’t want marriage.
Interesting story .
Probably should have read this in order of series. So I could understand who was who . Keeper for when I read the rest of series.
Profile Image for Viri.
1,128 reviews395 followers
October 31, 2019
Y ahora que hago con mi vida?

Después de haber terminado esta serie!?

El final es sumamente apresurado pero él y ella me conquistaron.

No me pareció un Darcy... Era Wulf para mi 🙌🏻😍
Profile Image for Angie.
645 reviews995 followers
January 26, 2018
That's it. Favorite Mary Balogh book, no question. It was just too much fun. I'm fairly picky when it comes to my Pride and Prejudice adaptations, so I worried going into this one. But it was so utterly delightful from page one that any apprehensions I had were immediately swept away under the force of Christine and Wulf's wonderful, at times hilarious, story. I laughed so many times. And I love that Ms. Balogh turned it into a second chance at romance tale for each of her protagonists. Not a second chance with each other, but with the possibility of seeing happiness and choosing to keep it.
722 reviews306 followers
June 1, 2020
(4.5 stars) I'm a used-to-be Mary Balogh fan, having tired of her mannered, repetitious, very prim and stylized way of writing. But I do not tire of this particular novel of hers from 2004 and have reread it several times in the 16 years since it was released.

This particular HR does not have as much of the almost interminable and repetitious internalizing of the main characters that is so often found in a Balogh novel. Nor do we find the rakish, misogynistic jerk of a hero or the wishy-washy heroine so often populating Balogh's romances.

No, this story, the last in her 2003-2004 Bedwyn "Slightly" series about a duke and his younger siblings, each one having their own problems and inevitable romances, that began with SLIGHTLY MARRIED, is my personal favorite. It is just about as perfect as a Balogh HR can be.

Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle, is in my short list for beloved dukes in historical romances. He shares a place in my heart with Jo Beverley's Duke of Rothgar and Eloisa James's Duke of Villiers. Villiers is a bit of a naughty boy, but Bewcastle and Rothgar are of a different type: They take their position in society and their ducal responsibilities very seriously and they take their position as head of family just as seriously.

Although extremely principled, on the surface Bewcastle appears to be staid, cold, humorless, and unfeeling. Well, of course, you just know that's not really the case. And it takes our heroine here, Christine Derrick, to thaw him out and humanize him. Christine is not of the peerage, as the daughter of a village schoolteacher. She had married into the peerage some years ago, but her husband died young and she left London under a bit of a cloud and returned home to live with her mother and sister.

She and Bewcastle are thrown together at a pre-Christmas house party at the home of Christina's upper-class friend who lives in the village. They are chalk and cheese to each other because Christine is irrepressibly happy, optimistic and full of "joie de vivre". (We already know what Bewcastle is like.) She is not good "ton". Too friendly, too open, not of especially good breeding. Yet he is drawn to her.

What a lovely opposites-attract story this is. It has a PRIDE AND PREJUDICE feel to it. And I've loved P&P since the first time I read it in middle school and may possibly have reread it more times than Disraeli claimed to have. So it is only natural that this one by Balogh, which feels P&P-ish to me and has one of my favorite historical romance dukes in the HR world, has also been reread by me a good many times. And that's saying something, because there are very few historical romances written during my lifetime that I will bother to reread.
Profile Image for Lizzy.
305 reviews166 followers
January 16, 2022
Simply wonderful! I recently re-read this wonderful story, and I loved it all over again. Starting when Wulfric Bedwyn, cold as ice and self-contained Duke of Bewcastle, accepts an invitation to a house party simply because he is lonely, Slightly Dangerous charmed me.

Wulf falls completely, and in spite of himself, for a woman he would normally avoid. A life-loving woman that is always having fun and getting into scrapes, Christine is totally unimpressed with the duke and his quizzing glass.

I loved it for its simple and realistic plot, for its hilarious dialogue, and its characters that are so beautifully drawn. I was completely charmed by this intricate and passionate story. You have to have already read the previous five books to fully enjoy Wulf’s story. Perfect ending for the Bedwyn Saga. Congratulations, Mary Balogh.
Profile Image for Lorka .
803 reviews
February 15, 2021
The heroine was cringe-worthy. I do not enjoy spending my relaxing reading time cringing in embarrassment for the hero/heroine. She was very spontaneous, careless and clumsy and got herself into embarrassing situations in front of the ton and made herself a laughingstock. And this supposedly cold as ice hero (he had ice chips for eyes, by the way) fell for her during a house party.

This after their first meeting of each other, the heroine leaned too far over the upstairs stair-railing to peek at this duke, and carelessly spilled her lemonade into one of his eye balls, which burned and left his eye red for awhile afterwards.... (eyeroll). Soon afterwards, they meet again while a group of high-class ton go for a stroll, and this heroine takes it upon herself to climb a tree to help a child get down and on her way down she rips her dress in half, in front of everyone. Just ridiculous childlike behavior. I stopped reading because I just didn't buy this ice cold duke and this clumsy accident-prone lady falling in love.
Profile Image for Marta Luján.
Author 20 books160 followers
September 28, 2019
Me enamoré de los Bedwyn en cuanto puse los ojos en ellos, no solo porque me encantan las sagas familiares, sino por la familia en sí, tan peculiar y divertida.

No sé si fue porque me decepcionó el último libro que leí sobre los hijos de la duquesa del amor, o si fue por alguna otra razón, la cuestión es que me apeteció volver a leer este libro, el último de la serie de los Bedwyn. Creo que es la cuarta vez que lo leo, y siempre me emociona.

Mary Balogh cuida mucho la ambientación y la coherencia con la época, aunque a veces se permite pequeñas libertades que rozan el borde, pero que hacen sus novelas más interesantes. En este libro, todo transcurre, prácticamente, en el campo, donde las convenciones sociales no son tan rigurosas. Balogh nos deja echarle un vistazo a la nobleza rural, su modo de ser y pensar, y sus bailes y diversiones.

Los protagonistas me fascinan, pero es Wulfric Bedwyn quien me robó el corazón cuando leí su historia. Durante toda la novela no hace más que ser juzgado por los demás, y no precisamente de modo favorable. Se le tacha de hombre frío, arrogante y sin corazón. Bien, quizás muchos protagonistas de novelas ambientadas en esta época podrían ser tachados de lo mismo. Sin embargo, lo que me fascina de este personaje es que en él estas cualidades son como una segunda piel. Las ha asimilado desde su niñez, no son una pose, sino su modo de ser con el que no está incómodo... hasta que conoce a Christine, que lo rechaza precisamente por ser así.

A través de su historia se nos muestra el sufrimiento que arrastra el duque por no poder romper ese muro que ha levantado frente a sus sentimientos y emociones, vemos su soledad, la búsqueda de su propia alma... Por eso, la resolución final de la historia es una maravilla, el que el duque alcance esa felicidad merecida hace que el corazón del lector brinque de alegría junto con el de los protagonistas.

Christine es el complemento perfecto para el duque, a pesar de ser solo la hija de un maestro. Es alegre, entusiasta, cargada de vitalidad... Desde luego, parece increíble que tenga tantos tropiezos, que pueda llegar a ser tan torpe, pero son momentos divertidos.

Me encanta el estilo de la autora, tan cuidado y perfeccionista, y recomiendo mucho esta serie, especialmente la historia del duque y la de Freya, que no tiene desperdicio.
Profile Image for María Ángeles.
401 reviews72 followers
August 12, 2020
En mi blog le puse 4 estrellas, pero han pasado ya unos días desde que lo leí y la sensación es aún mejor: 5 estrellas, sin dudas!! Entre otras cosas por este libro es más libro gracias a los cinco anteriores, que hacen que construyas en tu cabeza la personalidad de Wulfric.

En mi blog escribía:
Wulfric Bedwyn decide aceptar la invitación de un amigo a pasar unas semanas en la casa de la hermana de éste. Allí conocerá a Christine Derrick, una mujer viuda que le desafía desde la primera mirada. No le tiene miedo. El duque empieza a sufrir una especie de atracción ante esa atrayente mujer que consigue ser el centro de atención en cualquier reunión. Él, el correcto, frío y todopoderoso duque tendrá que lidiar con sus contradicciones y dudas por los sentimientos que Christine le está provocando.

Lo fantástico de esta historia es esa personalidad arrolladora que posee Wulfric Bedwyn y que hemos ido construyendo en nuestra mente durante toda la saga (¡excepto en el desastre!). Ya lo conocemos, ya sabemos cómo actúa, ¡y queremos más!. Su forma de actuar frente a la gente, su tono de voz totalmente controlado en todo momento, su inteligencia a la hora de resolver problemas, su saber estar, su presencia altiva, su mirada de hielo…Si, todo eso, pero toda lectora sabrá desde el primer libro que detrás de ese caparazón existe un gran hombre.

De entre todos los hombres de esta saga, para mí es sin duda el que ha actuado de forma más tierna: cómo toma la cara de Christine entre sus manos, le toca las cejas lentamente y le dice que la desea. ¿Cómo se puede flirtear y poner tensión a un momento con tanta educación? Fascinante.

El momentazo de «¿quieres ser mi amante?» y la curiosidad que me provoca que estuviese tan bien visto y aceptado tanto tener un amante como ser la amante de un duque. Ponerle una casa, darle acceso a todos sus caprichos y regalarle, con el puesto, una mejor situación en la escala social. A mi me ha provocado reflexionar e investigar sobre ello…



Más sobre la saga en: https://unablogueraeventual.com/bedwy...
Profile Image for Elise Wilson.
70 reviews15 followers
March 28, 2012
First, let me confess that I have not read other book in this series, which many folks seem to love. However, based upon the way it is written, I'm able to write a fair review on this one book.

Honestly, I did not like Christine, the heroine. I did like Wulfric, with his Mr. Darcy type characteristics. But it's difficult to appreciate a romance novel when one does not buy into the couple, as a whole. It seems as though Balogh is trying to convince the reader that opposites do,indeed, attract. Christine has the sunny and cheerful disposition, while Wulfric is the serious, stoic type who hardly smiles and doesn't seem to know how to have fun. And while I would agree that opposites attract, it is also true that shared values is what makes for a good and lasting relationship. The trouble here is that Christine is entirely too opposite. Her cheerfulness and bright smile (that brings joy to an entire room -- and no less the "ton") results in seeming immaturity because of her actions. And her superior attitude got on my nerves. She thinks because she smiles (a lot) and rolls down hills like a child, that her life is somehow more fulfilling and happier than Wulfric's. I got tired of reading about it.

Wulfric, on the other hand, seems true to character. And he is honest about who he is, including wishing he did have more fun in his life. But he also realizes that as a Duke, he has responsibilities -- including marrying a woman who not only loves him for who he is, but also has the grace to be a Duchess. Christine did not appear to be that woman. And how he could love her (or even think her lively) given her constant criticism of him, is beyond me.

Alas, this was not my favorite Balogh book. But as is my practice, I won't shy away from reading more of her books because she is a good writer and good storyteller. This one just didn't do it for me.

Profile Image for Stylo Fantome.
Author 27 books4,673 followers
July 11, 2019
This is by far my favorite of the Slightly series. Possibly my favorite Mary Balogh book, period (though Summer to Remember gives it a run for it's money).

To say I love Wulfric would be an understatement. He is MY kind of Alpha. Aloof. Arrogant - but with good reason. Intelligent. Aggressive. Powerful. Not quite brooding, but almost. Like the kind of man that doesn't need to prove anything - no petty possessiveness or jealousy, because he already knows he can get whatever he wants, including most women.

I don't think I read the series entirely in order, but I did read Wulfric's last, as it's meant to be read, and I'm so glad I did, because you only catch glimpses of him in the first five books. Just sort of passing through. I have since re-read the series, and every time he pops up, I get the giggle fits, "there he is! There he is!".

That's how much I love this dude.

And let's not forget our heroine - Christine is also my kind of chick. Funny, bold, witty, and not at all scared of him, like everyone else. And not some simpering virgin, just willing to lay down for a guy. She makes him work just a tiny bit for it. And then work some more. And then some MORE.

I don't want to spoil anything, so ..., let me just say these: the scene in the woods with his eye-glass. The scene in the ballroom where she has the eye-glass. The dovecote, every moment of it. The Thames.

So much! If you like historical romance, than you've already read Balogh (or there is something wrong with you), and if you've read Balogh, than you've probably stumbled upon a Bedwyn, either in their own book or in someone else's.

All are stand-alones, and this is a must read, though for the best experience, I would read them in order - Morgan's is my second favorite in the series, and another one with good moments with Wulf.
Profile Image for Edna.
681 reviews46 followers
July 24, 2015
And then there was Wulf.

First off, I enjoyed how the story progressed and that it took place a few years after the previous book. Wulf's had time to stew alone without any of his siblings around. It is a little reminiscent of Pride & Prejudice; I knew this going in and was hoping Balogh would be able to pull it off. She did. There was plenty of sparks with these two and it was a blast to read.

I had no problem with the first half but I wanted to focus more on the second half where Wulf was set to woo Christine. Yes, I said woo. The very idea is ludicrous but there you go. He planned an Easter holiday at Lindsey Hall, inviting the entire Bedwyn family with some of Christine's family. This whole elaborate setup was all for her sake, for her to come so he could prove to her he's more than just the Duke of Bewcastle. Anyone who has read the other books knows that this means Wulf must have it bad for her.

The Bedwyns! Oh gosh, they had their own scenes (only two but two more than I expected) aside from Wulf and Christine's POVs. It was pure entertainment to see all the different personalities show up again. Once again I'll say that they were a great match. This book exceeded my expectations, it paid off to read the other books in the series to get to it. Like the saying goes, save the best for last, and this by far was the BEST.
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