Someone To Cherish Offers A Sweet But Anticlimactic End


Title:  Someone To Cherish
Author:  Mary Balogh
Length:  400 pages
Date Of Publication:  June 29th, 2021
Publisher:  Berkley
Rating:  4 Stars

Is love worth the loss of one's freedom and independence? This is what Mrs. Tavernor must decide in the new novel in the Westcott series from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh.

When Harry Westcott lost the title Earl of Riverdale after the discovery of his father's bigamy, he shipped off to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, where he was near-fatally wounded. After a harrowing recovery, the once cheery, light-hearted boy has become a reclusive, somber man. Though Harry insists he enjoys the solitude, he does wonder sometimes if he is lonely.

Lydia Tavernor, recently widowed, dreams of taking a lover. Her marriage to Reverend Isaiah Tavernor was one of service and obedience, and she has secretly enjoyed her freedom since his death. She doesn't want to shackle herself to another man in marriage, but sometimes, she wonders if she is lonely.

Both are unwilling to face the truth until they find themselves alone together one night, and Lydia surprises even herself with a simple question: "Are you ever lonely?" Harry's answer leads them down a path neither could ever have imagined...

Praise For Mary Balogh


Praise for Mary Balogh and her novels

Someone to Cherish

“The seamless plotting and enticing characters make this a romance to be savored. Balogh is in fine form, and this may be her best Regency to date.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Someone to Romance

“Pitch-perfect…a riveting, fast-paced narrative…Regency fans will be delighted.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Someone to Remember

“Wistful yet hopeful, the story is a needed addition to a genre that usually celebrates the romances of younger protagonists.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“…A charming novel, slowly paced and sweet, perfectly reflecting the gentle middle-aged woman at its center.”—Shelf Awareness

Someone to Trust

“The balance between sweet and bitter produces a complex and winning love story.”—Publishers Weekly

“The sheer perfection of Balogh’s prose in the fifth superbly written installment in the Westcott series marries her rare gift for crafting realistically nuanced characters to produce another radiant Regency historical romance by one of the genre’s most resplendent writers.”—Booklist, starred review

“With tenderness, humor, and infinite finesse, Balogh turns the classic younger woman/older man pairing on its well-worn ear in another sigh-worthy [novel] that readers are sure to savor.”—Library Journal, starred review

“The quiet, authentic intensity of the characters’ emotions is a hallmark of Balogh’s work, and it is a pleasure to experience each heart-wringing moment in this romance made for warming a winter night.”—BookPage

Someone to Care

“A love story nearly perfect in every way.”—Booklist, starred review

“A story that is searing in its insight, as comforting as a hug, and a brilliant addition to this series. Another gem from a master of the art.”—Library Journal, starred review

Someone to Wed

“With her signature voice and steady pace, Balogh crafts a thoughtful, sweet Regency-era love story to follow Someone to Hold.”—Publishers Weekly

“Balogh’s delightful ugly duckling tale may be the nonpareil Regency romance of the season.”—Booklist, starred review

Put your stuff here

My Thoughts

Lydia...Lydia...Lydia and Harry...Harry...Harry!
It actually took 8 books...
8 whole books for Harry to grow up and become a man.
Well, if one must resort to technicalities.
It took a major disinheriting, war service, several near death experiences, PTSD, becoming the consummate "country gentleman" and bringing the wife of the dearly departed "town saint and martyr" to scandalous ruin.  To bring about Harry's long awaited catharsis.

And now that it has arrived...
The phrase "Still waters run deep."  Comes to mind here.  Because there is nary a splash to be had plot wise; in Harry's neck of the literary pond.
Because all the other plot worthy points in Harry's existence have been so thoroughly interwoven into every other stories in the series.
The only two real talking points left by the time that readers are to hear from the man himself?
Lydia and the fact that he has indeed survived long enough to meet Lydia.
Insert side-eye here...
As for Lydia?
Poor thing!!!
Married to a man who was so married to his work that he wanted her to marry it too.
But then he died.
So then she no longer had to be married to the late vicar or his work.
But now she is expected to be this "paragon of virtue".
It appears that that is the last thing on her mind. 
Or Harry's 
But to what end?

This is the most staid of all the stories of the series.
It strikes one as being more reflective than romantic.
But it is nonetheless very sweet.
After the long wait for this last piece of the grand puzzle that is the Westcott series.
Reviewer's Notes
This book may be read as part pf its intended series.  Or as a standalone.
WTF Are You Reading?  Would like to thank Netgalley and Berkley Books for the review copy on which this unbiased review is based.


About Mary

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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The Hunt Is On For "The Hunting Wives" Available NOW!!! From Berkley

The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder.

Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless.

Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers.

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.

What People Are Saying...

Talk about juicy poolside page-turner. What a ride! Desperate, conniving, sassy Texas Housewives gone wild. Do not miss this one!
4.5 Stars
-Basic B's Guide, Goodreads

Salacious and Sinful! Just Color me Bashful! The premise of this was nothing like I expected it to be (and that my friends is a good thing!).
4 Stars
Susanne Strong, Books Are A Girl's Best Friend

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Sharine And Titus Offer Readers A Wartime Romance That Shines Ever Bright in" Archangel's Sun"

Title:  Archangel's Sun
Series:  (Guild Hunter #13)
Author:  Nalini Singh
Length:  368 pages
Format:  eARC
Publisher:  Berkley
Rating:  5 Stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.

It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.

There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Please enjoy this exclusive excerpt from
Archangel's Sun
Nalini Singh

“You fight a difficult battle, Titus. I offer what assistance I can.”

Spotting the increasing dip in her wings, he chose against giving her an overview of the citadel. “We’ll land on the balcony outside your suite,” he said. “It’s near mine so you can access me at any time should you have any need.” That wasn’t quite true. He’d be out in the field more often than not. But it seemed like the sort of thing an archangel should at least say when the Hummingbird stayed in his home.

It wasn’t anything he’d ever before had to consider. With the entire gentle court sent to safety prior to the beginning of the war, he had no one soft and sweet left on his staff to handle such things. Elia, six-hundred-year-old vampire and foster mother—by choice—of the orphaned children who lived in Titus’s court, would’ve no doubt managed it all with smiling joy, Titus none the wiser of the work involved.

He wasn’t a complete dullard in such things however—there was a reason he’d offered Elia a position as senior courtier. She might be kind of heart and prone to dressing in frothy fashions while putting enormous amounts of cosmetic colors on her face, but she also gave his steward a run for his money when it came to dealing with problematic or touchy guests.

However, his steward was currently using his sword arm against the reborn, and Elia was on an offshore island with her charges; he’d had to pull people from other duties to ready things for his guest.

The only positive?

Members of his household staff were so honored by the Hummingbird’s visit that they hadn’t minded pulling double shifts to pretty up a suite for her while not falling away from their usual duties—whether that be repairing weapons or feeding the troops or a million other critical tasks.

After landing on the balcony and ensuring the clearly exhausted Hummingbird got down safely, he pushed aside the gauzy curtains of the open doors—to see soft, curving feminine furniture and vases full of fresh flowers. Thanks be to the ingenuity of his people; he had absolutely no idea where they’d found those blooms.

“I hope this will suit,” he said modestly after they’d both stepped inside—but the modesty was for show; he was very conscious his people had done well and deserved all the praise she would bestow.

Expression tight, she looked around. “I didn’t expect you to go to this trouble.” A tone to her voice that, on any other woman, he would’ve described as an edge. But this was the Hummingbird. Perhaps she was displeased about some small element of the room.

Having known more than enough contrary women over his lifetime, beginning with his mother and sisters, Titus decided to leave well enough alone and didn’t ask her what was wrong. “My staff is honored by your presence and wished to make you welcome.”

Features softening, she inclined her head. “I’m deeply grateful for their care.”

“I’ll be sure to pass that on.” Titus wasn’t a man to steal praise that wasn’t his to take. “I made sure to remind them to set up an art studio for you,” he said with justifiable pride, and pointed upward. “You’ll find stairs just beyond the half wall to the right—at the end of the climb is a room full of light set up with an easel and art supplies.” He had no idea where his people had sourced any of those things, either.

When the Hummingbird said nothing in response to his magnanimous gesture, he decided to take his leave. Could be this was one of those moments where she existed out of time. Though . . . for an ethereal being, her jaw appeared unnaturally rigid and he could swear that her shoulders were bunched.

No, he had to be imagining it; the Hummingbird was beyond such things. Beyond anger, beyond petty grievances. The Hummingbird was a being special and gentle, a being who needed care and was to be handled as you would a fragile, broken bird.

Sharine glared at the wide sweep of Titus’s back as he strode out of the room, shutting the door behind himself. It was as well that he’d left because she might’ve otherwise given in to the urge to pick up the small vase on the table next to her and throw it at his head. And what exactly would that have achieved? Nothing.

Titus—a warrior tired from constant battle—had done nothing but be kind and treat her as he no doubt believed she expected to be treated. As a fragile artist who needed beauty and softness around her and could not be expected to cope with harsh reality.

Well, was that not who you were for centuries?

It was a slap hard and stinging from a part of her that had woken when she’d woken, a part that was brutally honest and had no time for self-pity—or for misdirected anger.

Sharine winced.

How could she expect Titus to treat her as anything but a delicate, breakable butterfly when that was all she’d ever shown the world?

She and the Archangel of Africa hadn’t known each other when she was still herself—and even then, she’d been slightly out of time, a wounded bird who’d never quite found her wings. This Sharine, the one she was now, a mature woman shaped by loss and hurt and pain and anger and a fierce love for her son, she was someone Sharine herself was still getting to know. She couldn’t expect Titus to divine her new state of being.

Still, she scowled at the curvy velvet sofa, the lush bouquets of flowers, and—when she opened the wardrobe—the floaty and superbly impractical gowns within. Not only had a member of his overworked staff wasted time in getting all this together, it was clear that no one—from the archangel down to his most junior member of staff—expected her to dirty her hands.

Titus’s people were ready to take on another burden at a time when they needed every bit of help they could get. Making a sound low in her throat that startled her with its feral nature, she kicked the door of the wardrobe and was satisfied by the loud sound.

From ARCHANGEL’S SUN published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh.

My Thoughts
Archangel's Sun may be the 13th book in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series.  But it is a first time experience for this reviewer.
As such, I will be reviewing it as a standalone.
Without further ado, as they say.
Here we go.

Sharine or The Hummingbird presents quite the paradox.  Because when reading this as a standalone, you are presented with parts of her past that have contributed in major ways to who she is.  But to which you as a first time reader are not privy.  Because those parts of her story may have been chronicled in previous novels.

Cases in point...
Her fracturing at the losses of Raan and her parents.  Coupled with the cruelties that she suffered in her relationship with Aegaeon.
And the complex relationships that she has with her sons.
All of this made for a very tantalizing curiosity regarding her past.  While at the same time providing a much needed reference to the makings of who she is.

Speaking of who Sharine is...
Almost everyone in this story has this rather annoying habit of underestimating her.  While at the same time revering her as perhaps the greatest of angelic artisans.
Everyone that is, except Titus.
Who while he reveres her.  Also takes the time to see and appreciate both the woman and the warrior in equal measure.
Which is just one of the reasons that both Sharine and readers fall more and more in love with him as the pages turn.

The beautiful angel with the heart of gold.  And unfathomable compassion and overall understanding of the sacred nature of all life.  Whether human, angelic, or vampiric.
An understanding that he calls upon more and more. As he and Sharine are force to fight the scourge of the reborn invading Africa.
This is where readers really get to see Titus come into his own.  As protector, ambassador, provider, diplomat, and friend to both angel and human.

Side note...
I must give kudos to Ms. Singh on her creation of such a strong and well rounded man of color in Titus.
He is crafted in a perfection that I must sadly admit is most often reserved for more mainstream leading men.
Without having to either justify or diminish himself in the process.
In the case of Titus.  One becomes refreshingly aware that the opposite is true.  With Titus' character becoming more of who he is as the story and his feelings for Sharine develop.

The love story...
Just wow!
This is truly a 'love conquers all' tale.
With Titus and Sharine finding their way through a plague, her personal issues, their age gap, the looming possibility of the destruction of the world and Sherine's ex.  Just to name a few obstacles.
but none of that can  or does stand a chance against all that is Titus.  

About Nalini
I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.
See Her Socially:  Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Carina Press Presents: Knit, Purl, A Baby And A Girl


Title: Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl
Author: Hettie Bell
Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Romantic Leads: Female/Female
On-Sale: March 30, 2021
Format: Trade Paperback
Price: $14.99 US
ISBN: 9781335688002
Some people can’t wait to have babies. They’re ready for it—with their perfect lives and their pregnancy glow…
Poppy Adams doesn’t have a perfect life, and she wasn’t ready for the positive test. An unexpected baby—Poppy’s unexpected baby—won’t exactly have her family doing cartwheels. But she’s making the right choice.
Poppy’s totally got this. She just needs a little encouragement, and a knitting group is the perfect place to start. Baby blankets, booties, tiny little hats—small steps toward her new life. But she feels like she’s already dropped a stitch when she discovers the knitting group is led by the charismatic Rhiannon.
It’s not exactly a great time to meet the woman who might just be the love of her life. While the group easily shuffles around to make room for Poppy, it’s not so easy fitting her life and Rhiannon’s together. With the weeks counting down until her baby arrives, Poppy’s going to have to decide for herself what truly makes a family.

Read on for an excerpt from Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl.
It doesn’t take long for everybody in the group to set aside their own projects to focus on me and mine.

Grace has my ball of yarn in her hands, twisting the strand between her fingers critically. “If you’re knitting for a baby, you should really consider a nice bamboo…”

Louise is scrutinizing my choice of project. “You know, I started with dishcloths, then graduated to scarves. It’s not as glamorous, but it does let you get the fundamentals down.”

“Oh, my, no.” Mary flips the free pattern card I picked up in the craft store and scans the back with critical eyes. “You don’t want to do this, this is for a completely different weight of yarn than what you’ve got here. Where did you pick this up? They should be putting these patterns next to the suggested yarn. This one calls for fingering. What

you need to do is get an account on Ravelry and find a pattern that’s been user-rated so you know it’s accurate and suitable for your skill level, and do that. You can search by yarn weight on there, too. This yarn is a DK…” She pulls out her phone, trailing off as she opens her web browser.

Damian, who has been sitting silently so far, takes this chance to finally speak up. “Do you have needles?” he asks plainly, no judgment in his tone. Nobody else has bothered with that crucial detail to this point.

Now those, at least, I do have. I reach into my purse and pull out the needles I scavenged from my last failed scarf project. I hold them up for the group’s inspection proudly.

“Poppy, no!” they say in unison, and even Damian joins in their exclamation of dismay. “These will never work!”

My shoulders slump. “What? Why?”

Louise clucks at me. “Much too big! Too long for a tiny baby pattern and too thick for this yarn. You’re going to end up with stretched out knitting full of gaps and holes.”

The familiar urge to just give up and quit hits me hard and fast, like a gut punch. I gust out a breath, slumping in my seat.

A hand closes around my shoulder. Rhiannon. “Hey, don’t feel bad. First time I tried to knit, I got my needles secondhand from the thrift store and accidentally bought two different sizes.” She laughs and shakes her head. “Here. If you don’t mind that they’re not high-tech Addi Turbos, you can borrow some needles from me.”

My Thoughts
Knit Purl A Baby And A Girl offers readers a sweet and very poignant 'oopsie' romance in general.
With the fact that Poppy that Poppy awkwards her way into a relationship with her Planned Parenthood escort turned girlfriend, Rhiannon. As well as the best group of friends that a young single expectant mother, who is trying to find herself, and make life make sense in the process can have.
A.K.A. Stitch And Bitch at the local coffee shop.
Also headed up by none other than Rhiannon.

Though it would be very easy to lose one's self in the fact that Poppy is just Poppy. And as such, is subject to have every obstacle known to man, woman, or beast.
Let's face it.
a. She is a flighty twenty-something
b. Has an over achieving helicopter mom. Who still hasn't come to terms with the fact that her younger daughter will never be a clone of her 'most perfect self'.
c. Has an older sister, who is a clone of afore mentioned over achieving mom. Minus the hovering tendencies.
d. Has just broken up with her under achieving, couch potato, pot smoker, boy friend/baby daddy.
e. Is trying to navigate her way through life with the unexpected addition of the pregnancy that she may or may not keep.

All in addition to her having to make the choice to come out as a lesbian. And work out whether or not her relationship with Rhiannon is one that she and or Rhiannon can and want to nurture. Given the game of musical chairs that is Poppy's life at present.

If this review makes the plot of this book seem like a lot.
It is!!!!
And believe it or not.
There are things that have been omitted here.

Just chalk it up to art imitating life.
It is!!!!

Because if you are a person who wants to believe that...
The underdog will one day win.
There is someone for everyone.
That families are made as well as born into.
This is the book for you!!!

About Hettie Bell

Hettie Bell grew up in small towns in New Brunswick and British Columbia, and now lives outside Edmonton Alberta with her family. She first fell for Highland historicals as a preteen, and that love deepened as the romance genre grew more diverse and queer. A proud bisexual woman, she’s honored to write all the happy endings she never thought she’d get to read. When she’s not writing, she's knitting one of the at least three projects she has on her needles at any given time.

Connect with Hettie Bell

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