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April 2021 #TBRChallenge Review! SOMEONE TO WED by Mary Balogh (Westcotts #3)

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It’s #TBRChallenge time!

Once again feel I need to justify my choice for the monthly prompt. April’s is “old school,” and I’m guessing most people wouldn’t consider a 2017 book from a series that still has a book coming out later this year to be “old school”–but hear me out 😉

Mary Balogh’s books just feel old fashioned to me. Her writing style and her characters have a gentle, easy vibe (even when things get angsty–and they do!) that I don’t often associate with a lot of the historical romances I read today. When I was scouring my TBR pile for this challenge, looking for something to fit the prompt, Ms Balogh jumped out at me as a possible candidate. I knew I’d read and loved the first books in her Westcotts series, did I have the 3rd?

Yes, ma’am. Since 2017, in fact. Bingo!

Now, which prompts can I use books 4 and 5 for? Because they’re languishing in my TBR too… 😂

To find out more about the #TBRChallenge (it’s not too late to join!) check out Wendy the Super Librarian’s blog post here:

Someone to Love cover

A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone to Hold.

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life. . . .

A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate—and oh-so-dashing—earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past. . .

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Oh, this was lovely! I read books 1 and 2 ages ago ( Someone to Love and Someone to Hold –when they first came out, I believe) and then got…distracted, I guess? I had this one and the next two in the series in my library; now that I have been reminded of how much I love this family (and Ms Balogh’s writing!) I need to move them up my TBR ASAP!

Alexander and Wren’s story is everything I love about romance, and everything that the best marriage of convenience story hopes to be. Wren had an absolutely wretched childhood until the age of ten, when it got monumentally better–but was it too late? At almost thirty, after the death of her aunt and uncle (and adopted parents) she is living the life of a recluse. She hardly ever sees anyone, never goes out in public, and even when she visits the glassworks that she now owns, she is heavily veiled. She hasn’t had any of the “normal” experiences of childhood or a season, though her education, at least, was excellent. She has no friends or confidants beyond her maid, and (she believes) nothing to recommend her as a future spouse but pots of money. She’s lonely, though she doesn’t quite think of it that way, and decides to arrange a marriage for herself.

Alexander is #3 on her list of possible spouses. He’s the new heir to the Riverdale title and is land rich but woefully short on funds. Though he’s the guy who wants to take care of everyone else and is determined to give his tenants a better life–which even he admits will probably have to be done through an advantageous marriage–everything in him revolts at Wren’s matter of fact proposal.

Except, he has all those people depending on him. And Wren intrigues him, more than he wants to admit…

Watching Wren and Alexander grow closer and (finally! yesssss) fall in love and each realize that the other was so much more than just “someone to wed” was delightful, and seeing her become a part of the larger Westcott family was just as wonderful. I’m pretty sure I was smiling like a lunatic for the entire last chapter, and *might* have had a few happy tears in my eyes on that last page or two and a happy sigh on my lips as I closed my ereader after.

Someone to Love is the third book in Ms Balogh’s Westcotts series, and *could* work as a standalone if absolutely necessary. But since Alexander’s path to earldom is complicated and affected so many other people (not to mention you are sure to fall in love with *all* of the Westcotts just as I have!), do yourself a favor and add the entire series to your TBR right away!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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