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Simply Love New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh returns to the elegance and sensuality of Regency England, weaving a captivating tale of four remarkable women friends and teachers at the exclusive Miss Martin s School for Girls Anne first spied him in the deepening dusk of a Wales evening a lone figure of breathtaking strength, his handsome face branded by a secret pain For teacher and single mother Anne Jewell, Sydnam Butler is a man whose sorrows and passions run deeper than she could have ever imagined As steward of a remote seaside manor, Sydnam lives a reclusive existence Yet he senses in Anne a kindred soul, and between these two wary hearts, desire stirs Unable to resist the passion that has rescued them both, Anne and Sydnam share an afternoon of exquisite lovemaking As scandal looms, suddenly the unwed mother and the war scarred veteran must make a decision that could forever alter their lives This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceMary Balogh is a classic romance author, and I have been wanting to pick her upandIn Simply Love we have a story of two lonely people who need each other Our heroine, Anne Jewell, teaches at a girls school in the country, and has a nine year old son she has had to raise on her own after being forced years ago Then the cousin of the father of her son, invites Anne and her son to a house gathering for a month, many are relativ This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceMary Balogh is a classic romance author, and I have been wanting to pick her upandIn Simply Love we have a story of two lonely people who need each other Our heroine, Anne Jewell, teaches at a girls school in the country, and has a nine year old son she has had to raise on her own after being forced years ago Then the cousin of the father of her son, invites Anne and her son to a house gathering for a month, many are relatives of her son So she agrees, planning on keeping to herself and letting her son enjoy being with boys his own age But there she meets the Duke of Bewcastle s steward Sydnam, is a man who once was a talented artist, but sought out to prove himself So he went to fight in the war, he came back after being tortured, scarred and damaged He has built a new life for himself, but he still feels alone until he meets Anne who fills a space inside him that has been empty Sydnam and Anne form a friendship which slowly turns into something.can Anne and Sydnam find a future together I was really overwhelmed in some ways by this story, but not quite in the way that you would expect Simply Love is a powerfully written story that is beautiful and one of the most poignant stories that I have ever read There is so much you want for both of these two people Anne and Sydnam both deserve to find happiness especially when you see how much they have dealt with and overcome However both of them are pretty stubborn as well Their friendship is what is the primary focus of the story, I did feel that the actual romance was lacking That is really the only reason for the lower rating, I was expecting the romance to bestronger than this story turned out to be But it was wonderful seeing characters from the Bedweyn series being connected to this story Life so often becomes a determined, relentless avoidance of pain of one s own, of other people s But sometimes pain has to be acknowledged and even touched so that one can move into it and through it and past it Or else be destroyed by it Simply Love is a romance that will inspire and elighten, leave you happy and cravingstories just like this one SIMPLY MEMORABLE Have you read Mary Balogh before What are your favorite titles What is there to love about friends to lovers romances foogallery id 44018 I enjoyed this until the end, basically 2.5 stars.Anna is an unwed mother and teacher She meets Sydnam, who is a war veteran and painter THEY RE LONELY AND FALL IN LOVE Although it takes them a ridiculous amount of time to address their love because they re both too busy thinking they re not wo man enough for the other Which was all well and good because both of them had things to work through And the development of their friendship and subsequent relationship was pretty ace Except there s I enjoyed this until the end, basically 2.5 stars.Anna is an unwed mother and teacher She meets Sydnam, who is a war veteran and painter THEY RE LONELY AND FALL IN LOVE Although it takes them a ridiculous amount of time to address their love because they re both too busy thinking they re not wo man enough for the other Which was all well and good because both of them had things to work through And the development of their friendship and subsequent relationship was pretty ace Except there s this Anna has a family she doesn t want to talk about thing, and Syd cannot let that stand I see how Balough tried to parallel it with Syd s feet dragging on the painting thing, but it just didn t work for me trigger warning rape victim blaming view spoiler ESPECIALLY when they show up at her family s and her father basically tells her that she could have stopped her own rape that she led the man on that she s responsible for what happened to her I don t care if it s a holdover of the times or any of that it s disgusting is what it is, and the fact that Anna has to sit through it with her entire family in the room there with her AND THEN APOLOGIZES TO THEM FOR ANY EMBARRASSMENT SHE MAY HAVE CAUSED THEM is so frustrating I m out of words hide spoiler You know, sometimes a person doesn t want to deal with their family, and sometimes that decision needs to be respected because it s important It matters It s valid and should not be ignored I ve given this an A for narration and an A for content, so that s 4.5 stars, rounded up.Simply Love is the second book of the four that make up theSimply Quartetof stories about a group of young women who teach at a girls school in Bath We met Anne Jewell in the previous book Simply Unforgettable and learned that she has a young son, David, who lives with her at the school Anne is an unmarried mother whose family turned their backs on her after her disgrace , and it is made clear qui I ve given this an A for narration and an A for content, so that s 4.5 stars, rounded up.Simply Love is the second book of the four that make up theSimply Quartetof stories about a group of young women who teach at a girls school in Bath We met Anne Jewell in the previous book Simply Unforgettable and learned that she has a young son, David, who lives with her at the school Anne is an unmarried mother whose family turned their backs on her after her disgrace , and it is made clear quite early on in the book that David is the result of a rape that took place when Anne was around nineteen David s father is long since dead, but his relation, Joshua Moore has been a good friend to Anne over the years, and it is thanks to him that Anne and David find themselves spending the summer at the Welsh estate of the Duke of Bewcastle.You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals This love story would ve been good if it weren t for the ableist comments and the fact that the protagonist was raped and some characters of the book dare say to her that it was her fault. This is second in the Simply Quartet series, though the school and previous characters have only a very small role However, this is almost an extended epilogue for the Bedwyn Saga with the entire family and all spouses and children showing up and hanging around Also, it s clear that I m missing details from Kit and Lauren so evenbooks precede this one with character information that is given, but not completely, here This did not enhance my reading experience, even with those books I ha This is second in the Simply Quartet series, though the school and previous characters have only a very small role However, this is almost an extended epilogue for the Bedwyn Saga with the entire family and all spouses and children showing up and hanging around Also, it s clear that I m missing details from Kit and Lauren so evenbooks precede this one with character information that is given, but not completely, here This did not enhance my reading experience, even with those books I had read before.I mambivalent about this story Anne and Sydnam are both reclusive from having sustained physical and psychological damage through terrible tragedies Those scars are very present in their current lives and they ve become accustomed to mitigating their presence in social situations So it s something of a miracle that they meet and connect, even a little bit And that should have drawn my sympathy and pulled me into the story And for a while, it did But as it continued, several things pulled me out and disconnected me again and I had a really hard time engaging fully as a result.What turned out to be the biggest problem grew toward the end until it came to overshadow the entire story by the time I finished There s an underlying theme of fate and I think it came to a head near the end when Anne says that if things had not happened the way they had I would have lost my chance for a lifetime of happiness And that jumped up and slapped me in the face with the monster I had been watching grow all this time She s saying that she couldn t have lived happy without going through the rape and cultural disgrace and being cast off by her family and all of that pain And that s just stupid revisionist nonsense She has no way of knowing what might have happened had she remained unmolested by a singularly monstrous dungpile in human skin Yeah, I get making the best of all the unfair things that evil people do to you And I m glad that they ve found each other and have found healing in their relationship But if you break down the essence of what she s saying, she owes a huge debt of gratitude to her rapist for enabling her to live a happy life And another to her family for casting her off And another to the torturers who maimed her eventual husband And that sits poorly in any context.This dovetails into the second biggest problem I have with the story, and that s the happy families assumption that ends up underscored in the end, too Yeah, the Bedwyns are awesome, but I don t mean those I mean the times Sydnam view spoiler encourages Anne to visit her family with an eye to reconciling The implication and eventual outright message is that Anne can t be complete without them in her life That she is somehow incomplete without taking the steps to heal the breach caused by them closing their doors to her after she had been raped forcing her to bear and raise the child on her own resources This is an arrogant, nearly insufferable, message to have coming from a new husband And Ithan hate how Balogh tries to pull off a happy families theme with them without them even once apologizing for what they had done Oh, they talk about how pained they are about it And how they regret it in kind of a general way But not once do they look her in the eye and acknowledge the wrong, even evil, that they had done to her and apologized or asked forgiveness for it And it s passed over rather conveniently that they could have jaunted a couple hours down the road and visited her in Bath had they so chosen any time in the past decade hide spoiler So yeah This didn t work out so well I gave the book the premise of Anne having the most fertile womb in England It can happen, so whatever But by the end I just couldn t stand Anne and Sydnam prancing around talking about how destined for happiness they are now that they ve overcome all the bad things fate threw their way And the final nail in that coffin dropping this down to two stars is how they turn into the cookie cutter extroverts that all couples have to be by the end I had hopes when I started this that they d end up one of those quietly contented couples you may have had the good fortune to meet sometime The ones who you d be hard pressed to notice because they re so busy being content at home reading and talking and if so inclined, painting or whatever that they just don t go out much But no They re going to be just like everybody else in the end and that kind of breaks my heart.A note about Steamy There are three explicit sex scenes, though the middle one is rather brief One of the strengths of the novel is taking on the emotional trauma left after rape and that is extremely well done here I think I mean, I have no way to judge, really, but if felt real and present and impactful in a way that allowed growth and healing and comfort in her new relationship where she is cherished and loved My life is crazy and I can t string two thoughts together so the reviews will be short this month I think this is my favorite Balogh book to date I just loved everything about it The two wounded characters who find love and healing within each others arms, simply perfect It was a beautiful, engrossing, angst filled read and I have no nits to pick It totally captured my attention and will be one I save to reread. Reread April 2018 3.5 stars I read this after a reread of the Bedwyn series I d actually read this one before, years ago, but couldn t remember much about it except that it was Sydnam Butler s story So it was almost like a new read And to me it was on a par with other reads in the Bedwyn series, most of which I gave 3.5 stars, I think This book follows on directly from the final of that series Sadly this read did suffer from the fact that I read it pretty much straight after Slightly Dange Reread April 2018 3.5 stars I read this after a reread of the Bedwyn series I d actually read this one before, years ago, but couldn t remember much about it except that it was Sydnam Butler s story So it was almost like a new read And to me it was on a par with other reads in the Bedwyn series, most of which I gave 3.5 stars, I think This book follows on directly from the final of that series Sadly this read did suffer from the fact that I read it pretty much straight after Slightly Dangerous, the final Bedwyn book, which for me is a massive 5 stars and one of my fav HRs ever And wonderful as Sydnam is, let s face it, he s no WulfricHaving said that, it was still a solid Balogh, and a pleasant read The last couple of chapters were particularly sweet Sydnam is the brother of the charming Kit Butler from the Bedwyns prequel, A Summer to Remember He grew up with playing with his neighbours, the Bedwyn children as they were Sydnam was tortured during captivity in the Napoleonic Wars, and consequently lost an eye and his right arm His face is also very scarred on one side He has come to terms with his disabilities now, although his appearance still shocks new acquaintances when they first meet him But he has lost the ability to paint, which used to be a wonderful creative outlet for him And basically he is pretty lonely.Anne Jewell was a minor character in Slightly Scandalous She was a governess who was raped by her employer s son, and had a child as a result The child s father is now dead, and Anne is gainfully employed at a respectable girls school in Bath But she has accepted that she will never marry She has her beloved son, now aged 9 but is still secretly lonely Anne and Sydnam meet at the picturesque coast of Wales, where Sydnam is now a steward on a property belonging to Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle The Bedwyns are all present for a seaside holiday house party, and Anne has been invited due to her connection with Freyja s husband s family And this is a wonderful aspect of this book We get to visit with the Bedwyns and their tribe of young children Including sigh Wulfric and Christine view spoiler and their new baby son James hide spoiler Balogh writes very descriptively about Wales where she grew up herself , and the beautiful settings and scenery are another enjoyable aspect of the book But overall the story and MCs were a little flat for me The basis of the plot two damaged people who fall in love and help each other heal is a familiar Balogh trope, and it s done quite well here Sydnam and Anne are both sympathetic characters and their stories are realistic But somehow, I just never believed in them as much as some of Balogh s other creations Perhaps they were both a little too repressed or damaged for the strength of their feelings to really shine Perhaps it took a little too long for them to acknowledge their feelings for each other I m not sure But, although I enjoyed it, the book didn t really grab my emotions the way some others of this author have I did have one aspect of the plot that annoyed me Anne got pregnant before this book takes place presumably after just one incidence of sex when she was raped Sadly, this could have happened But then, view spoiler she had sex with Sydnam ONCE and got pregnant again REALLY Come on, Ms Balogh Anne s super fertility stretched my credulity a bit too much hide spoiler However, overall a worthwhile addition to the world of the Bedwyns and the satellite characters who populate a whole oevre of Balogh s books Well worth a read for Balogh fans Simply Love is the second book in Mary Balogh s Simply series and it continues with many of the characters in her Slightly series In fact, characters from 11 at least MB books appear in this book I have to start off by saying that I loved everything about this book It s one of those books that you just can t put down and although it s over 400 pages, you wish for another 400 because you just don t want it to end Did I mention that I loved it Sydnam Butler was terribly tortured and maime Simply Love is the second book in Mary Balogh s Simply series and it continues with many of the characters in her Slightly series In fact, characters from 11 at least MB books appear in this book I have to start off by saying that I loved everything about this book It s one of those books that you just can t put down and although it s over 400 pages, you wish for another 400 because you just don t want it to end Did I mention that I loved it Sydnam Butler was terribly tortured and maimed during the Peninsular Wars Although his family wants him near so that they can protect him and shield him from the prying eyes of people who would regard him as a monster, Sydnam chooses to take charge of his own life He accepts the position as steward to the Duke of Bewcastle at his Welsh estate Sydnam makes a life for himself there, but he is terribly lonely He accepts that he will never have the love and companionship of a woman because who would want him with his scarred body and missing arm He could never subject a woman to being with him He accepts what life has to offer and tries to make the most of what he has left.Anne Jewell is just as scarred as Sydnam, although her scars are on the inside Raped and forced to bear a child as an unwed mother, Anne is an outcast among society and her family After several years, she takes a position at Miss Martin s School for Girls in Bath where she tries to make a life for herself and her son She knows that she will never marry because although she is very beautiful, what man would want her Sydnam and Anne meet when she travels to Wales with Joshua Moore and his family for a visit with the Bedwyns Although she finds it very difficult to even look at Sydnam at first because of his scars, Anne eventually realizes that there s muchto the man than what she sees on the outside Watching Sydnam struggle with his desire for Anne and his certainty that no woman could ever want him in a romantic way was heartbreaking It took Anne s acceptance and love for Sydnam to finally accept himself and stop seeing a monster when he looks in the mirror Anne felt just as untouchable as Sydnam but with him she found the man she had always dreamed of but never believed would be hers.This book is a definitely a keeper for me I would recommend reading A Summer to Remember and the Slightly series before reading this book Every time I read a Mary Balogh novel new or old, I am struck anew by how much I love her work She has covered every conceivable subject scenario in her long and highly successful career with empathy and a deeply insightful understanding of human nature In Simply Love, the second in her highly acclaimed Simply Quartet she highlights the issues and prejudices surrounding a single mother and her illegitimate child in Regency England With great understanding, Ms.Balogh immerses us in the l Every time I read a Mary Balogh novel new or old, I am struck anew by how much I love her work She has covered every conceivable subject scenario in her long and highly successful career with empathy and a deeply insightful understanding of human nature In Simply Love, the second in her highly acclaimed Simply Quartet she highlights the issues and prejudices surrounding a single mother and her illegitimate child in Regency England With great understanding, Ms.Balogh immerses us in the life of Anne Jewell, her nine year old son, David, and that of Sydnam Butler, a horrifically scarred veteran of the peninsula wars.Anne and David are invited to spend a month on the south west coast of Wales in company with members of the powerful Bedwyn family This unconventional family, with a duke at its head, thumbs its collective nose at the restrictions under which most aristocrats are obliged to live Kind and thoughtful all, they welcome Anne and David to share their family holiday without reservation Whilst walking the coastal path on the first evening, Anne happens upon the dreadfully scarred Sydnam Butler, and flees from him in fright Sydnam is employed by the duke as steward of his estate, and is attempting to carve a life out for himself away from his own overprotective and loving family he is a man completely lacking in self pity and understands the picture he presents on first sight.So expertly drawn is Mary Balogh s description of this tragic but gorgeous man, that I shedthan one tear on his behalf Anne is appalled at her own crass behaviour and apologises to him at the first available opportunity Friendship flowers over the course of the month long holiday further developing into affection, and finally into somethingsensual The traumatic events that led to David s conception and the ten years following it, have left Anne emotionally scarred Sydnam too has scars that run far deeper than the obvious surface ones it is therefore understandable that two people starved of physical love and affection, and who have cocooned themselves against further hurt will find comfort in each other.Anne and Syndam are wonderful characters to be honest, if I could hug each of them, I would They feel so real their sorrow, their hurt, their lack of confidence, even their prickliness they belong together, and the tentative progress of their love affair is movingly beautiful Of course, to quote Shakespeare The course of true love never did run smooth they have a lot of soul searching to do before either of them can begin to feel really complete onceLuckily, they have each other to help in their respective rehabilitation Their traumatic journey is SO worth the reading or in this case the listening.The supremely talented Rosalyn Landor gives a stupendous performance in this audiobook, bringing this tremendously poignant story with its large and varied cast of complex characters to three dimensional radiance I loved all four books in this series but Simply Love is, in my opinion, by far the most emotionally charged The very fact that this is such a heart rending story makes the performing of itdifficult, but Ms Landor handles each character with individuality, consummate skill, aplomb and downright brilliance.I adored the audio version of Simply Love and it is not necessary to have read or listened to the first in the series, as Ms Balogh gives us plenty of background information However, we do meet many old favourites from other series in my case, from books read years ago I was surprised at how vividly I remembered the characters Such is the power of a great and memorable author This is highly recommended


About the Author: Mary Balogh

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 writtenthan 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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