Recent Reads

A visual depiction of a single parent with two kids and two jobs at the end of a school year:

Looney Tunes gif - Sylvester sliding down stairs

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Let’s see, where were we? Ah, yes ‚ÄĒ¬†books. I’ve…read a lot more than I thought. And nearly all of it was soul-satisfying. It’s not hyperbole to say books can keep us sane.

I’m dumping everything in one stupidly long post¬†so I can clear out my NetGalley Wall of Shame.

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Only Beloved and Longing by Mary Balogh

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh  Longing by Mary Balogh

I was a little wary of the last of¬†the Survivors’ Club books because I did not like Ralph and Chloe’s story¬†(so distressingly repetitive, especially on audio, and it added nothing of value to the series), but I knew Balogh would pull out the Big Guns of Angst and Drama¬†for Stanbrook’s Deep Dark Secret. It’s set on a cliff-top in Cornwall, for crying out loud. I loved Dora, but I really wish she had a different name.

Speaking of Big Guns of Angst and Drama…. Longing is chock full of both. This is a stand-alone title, more of a “historical with romantic elements” than a straight rom-dram. Widowed mine worker becomes governess for widowed mine owner’s lonely daughter, with Chartist labor intrigue and unrest keeping them apart. The setting in the depths of¬†an isolated Welsh valley is my favorite character in this story;¬†Balogh’s usually understated brilliance at world-building is front and center here ‚ÄĒ it’s atmospheric and vivid¬†and ¬†tactile and completely enveloping.

Someday I will write up my feelings about Balogh. But it will¬†likely just be the word “effortless” over and over and over.

Only Beloved¬†¬Ľ ¬†| ¬†Longing¬†¬Ľ

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