Here’s a secret: An avid romance reader (No, that’s not the secret!), I have never really enjoyed the tales of one of the most prolific writers of the genre: Mary Balogh. But I always read glowing reviews of her books, so I decided to pick up Slightly Dangerous, the final installment of her Bedwyn series. (I know. I’m terrible, but I like to start at the end to see if I want to read the beginning! It’s weird!)
You see, the Duke of Bewcastle, Wulfric Bedwyn, has watched as all of his many siblings have found love over the past few years. At a party in the country, he meets the intriguing, perpetually engaging, and sunny Mrs. Christine Derrick, a widow who ignores the dictates of the elitist society of the ton and often lands herself in pickles that the average member sees as fodder for gossip and derision. After the death of her husband a few years previously, she turns her back on the society she joined only through marriage. In fact, she’s only at the party because the hostess, who is a friend from that life, begs her upon discovering the numbers of men and women are uneven. (Was this a thing back then?)
After a humorous introduction of the two protagonists, Balogh shows that Bewcastle is no different than the rest of the ton when he first meets her. He judges her harshly for her (mis)actions while being inexplicably drawn to her. This is an opposites attract novel in the fact that Bewcastle is a cold, uptight, stick-in-the-mud who lets the rigidity of society dictate his actions. As the novel progress, he begins to see exactly how lonely and frigid his life is, especially when compared to his siblings and their lives, of which we get a glimpse in the novel.
As he begins to realize that she is the only one that can lead him out of the self-imposed isolation in which he lives, he wants to take a chance on a future different than the one he has had since he inherited the dukedom at a young age. Christine doesn’t make it easy for him though, as she simply can’t see herself with this man whom she perceives as unemotional and judgmental. As he chases her and tries to convince her he can be the man she wants and deserves, Balogh shows a side of the last but oldest Bedwyn that has not been seen before–a caring man who puts the best interest of his family before himself.
I liked this book, especially after they leave the party in the country. The scrapes Christine manages to get herself in allows Balogh to show Bewcastle’s knight-in-shining-armor characteristics, which I truly doubted existed at the beginning of the book. Honestly, the two are perfect opposites who need each other, in my opinion. Plus, the focus remains on the two characters with brief re-introductions into the Bedwyn clan, and it kind of made me want to read the previous books in the series. (The lack of knowledge of the previous didn’t hurt my reading of this book!)
Overall, I give this book a pretty high marks for entertainment value, but if your looking for tons of passion, this probably isn’t the book for you, though there are some parts that are definitely oh-la-la-ish. But only a few. This is a love story and shows how the characters fall in love in a mature and thoughtful way. I say it’s a keeper!
I have many more books that I’ve read in the past few weeks, so expect some more commentaries soon! Until then, enjoy the Bedwyns, especially the eldest one! 🙂
Ta-ta for now, my lovelies,