Monday, May 16, 2016

REVIEW: Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

Only Beloved
by Mary Balogh

Publisher: Signet
Page Count: 393
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Format: Mass Market Paperback

How got: personal buy from Amazon

First attention getter: already a fan of the series


From GoodReads:

From the legendary New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss and Only a Promise comes the final book in the rapturous Survivor’s Club series—as the future of one man lies within the heart of a lost but never-forgotten love...

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again.

Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.

For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 5

A bit of nostalgia and remembrance colors my review, this being the conclusion to a seven book series. I’ve followed these characters through some tough times, watching them find romance and healing while building families. This book wraps up the series beautifully, giving our last Survivor a romance all his own.

I love that the older generation gets a bit of nookie; our leads are 48 and 39. Both George and Dora have dedicated their lives to family and as caregivers that it’s fantastic to see them build a life for themselves later in life. I love it when we get to see romance in an older generation; goes to show that love can happen at any time in life, no matter an age.

I especially love it that Dora and George get their own happily ever after. George has so much love and caring to give that it boggles the mind. His heart makes the Earth look small, and it wants to give shelter to all the world’s hurt, misplaced, or damaged individuals. After his past is revealed, the ability he has to heal and love all his Survivor club shines ever brighter.

Dora is just as caring and loving. She dedicated her entire life to her younger sister to provide her with a secure home, sacrificing her chance at a Season and family of her own. Even though she had resigned herself to a comfortable spinster future, I adored that she got her second chance at family and love. Her healing ways worked again at bringing George some peace and comfort after his past comes to light.

These two together are gold. Even though the marriage starts out as a comfortable agreement for all parties involved, it’s inevitable that a love match would follow given their personalities. They each provide what the other needs: a family, a future, a second chance, and everlasting love. While that sounds smoopy, it’s true. That’s the kind of emotion this book creates.

A resounding success as a conclusion to this beloved series, the book ties up everything and gives George and Dora their happily ever after that’s so richly deserved. Two individuals with a capacity to love that knows no bounds, the reader can’t help but love them back and root them on as they build a better future. Highly recommended for lovers of the series. Those who haven’t partook of past volumes may be a bit lost when secondary characters are discussed, but I think you’d still be able to appreciate and enjoy George’s and Dora’s story. It’s a romance worth savoring.

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