Mary Balogh returns to her lush Westcott Family series with Someone to Care, an immersive story of a disgraced former countess searching for her new normal.
Two years after the death of her husband, the Earl of Riverdale—and the very public revelation of some very scandalous family secrets—Viola Kingsley finds herself stuck in place, unable to move on the way her children and loved ones have. She panics and runs from the embrace of her family to an obscure country inn, where an accident strands her and she finds herself captivated once more by the ardent gaze of Marcel Lamarr, the Marquess of Dorchester.
The marquess also finds himself caught in the memory of his brief flirtation with Viola 14 years prior, which ended when she became one of the only women in his long history of dalliances to turn him down. At the inn, he takes a risky step away from his pride, she takes a chance and meets him halfway, and the two of them unconsciously begin to heal the hurts of their past and grow together.
Someone to Care is a truly unique offering from an already accomplished author. With this latest novel, Balogh brings insight, innovation and maturity to a genre that can often feel repetitive. Much of what makes this story so fresh is its mature leading couple. Romance novels often focus on young, bright-eyed heroines or dashing, boyish rogues, but Someone to Care dares to delve into what the world looks like after decades of chasing empty dreams, and the insecurities that come with rebuilding after life has done its worst.
The narrative shows sensitivity and refinement, but for all her elegance of language, Balogh nonetheless gives her love story a delectably sexy streak, crafting pictures of intimacy that leave the reader longing for just one or two more gorgeous details. This element, plus all the aristocratic scandal and intrigue to be desired in historical romance, makes this latest Westcott novel a master class in romance.
Someone to Care is fresh, uplifting and absorbing. Don’t miss this perfect addition to any summer romance reading list.