Series: Simply #3
Published by Tantor Audio Genres: Historical Romance, Regency, Steamy
Source: Tantor Audio
Book 3 in the Simply Quartet series
Author Mary Balogh
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Published By Tantor Media
Publication date Jul 26, 2016
Running time 12 hrs 5 min
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
On a splendid August afternoon Susanna Osbourne is introduced to the most handsome man she has ever seen . . . and instantly feels the icy chill of recognition. Peter Edgeworth, Viscount Whitleaf, is utterly charming—and seemingly unaware that they have met before. With his knowing smile and seductive gaze, Peter acts the rake; but he stirs something in Susanna she has never felt before, a yearning that both frightens and dazzles her. Instantly she knows this brash nobleman poses a threat to her heart and to the secrets she guards so desperately.
From the moment they meet, Peter is drawn to Susanna’s independence, dazzled by her sharp wit; he simply must have her. But the more he pursues, the more Susanna withdraws—until a sensual game of thrust-and-parry culminates in a glorious afternoon of passion. Now more determined than ever to keep her by his side, Peter begins to suspect that a tragic history still haunts Susanna. And as he moves closer to the truth, Peter is certain of one thing: He will defy the mysteries of her past for a future with this exquisite creature. All Susanna must do is trust him with the most precious secret of all . . . https://tantor.com/simply-magic-mary-balogh.html
Of course they love each other. She remembers him from childhood and, subconsciously, he recalls her. They belong together. Except there is a huge tragedy, HUGE, keeping them apart.
I have pretty much loved everything I’ve read or listened to, by Mary Balogh. This is not my favorite book in this series, nor in her opus.
SIMPLY MAGIC depends on the “jumping to conclusions” and “tragic history” trope causing an enormous change in fortune for Susanna. In the previous books in this quartet we learn that Susanna was found on the streets of London as a girl of twelve applying for a job as ladies maid. She was fortunate to have been found by the right people who quite nicely sent her to the school where she learned and, eventually, began teaching. She effectively has her lovely childhood altered severely by the event and action of her past. Her development, as it should have been, was completely altered when she was twelve.
She has kept her story, and her true self and ability to fully engage in friendship, to herself.
This is her coming of age, coming to truth and coming to peace with her past, story. As such it is effective and more realistic than many romance novels in that she doesn’t just forgive and forget and the past will, to some degree, continue to haunt her.
There is not a lot I can say here without spoiling the story; Mary Balogh writes nice, tight tales without a lot of extra verbiage. I did like the continuity of the series and glimpses of the lives of the two other former teachers at Miss Martin’s school.
I just didn’t like the plot where ONE THING, one small thing done as a child, changes one’s destiny. There is a big thing that would have changed her life anyway, but the small thing she does in reaction has a bigger impact on her life. But, it is the truth in how things can happen; in this case the truth is what brings magic into the lives of the two love interests. And, who is to say what one’s destiny would be?
As to the narration,when I began listening to audiobooks I did not like Rosalyn Lander’s narration at all. I believe I may have quite vehement in my dislike. But, she has grown on me and has become the voice of this, and other series. Her sound is deep and sonorous, if still a little sing-song. But her accents are good, her men aren’t played as too masculine, and she sounds as if she actually enjoys reading the story.
This story lacks the impact and immediacy of the first two stories in this series. Perhaps because we’ve been hearing about the mysterious past Susanna has never revealed, even to her three closest friends. If she had been less rash as a child (however traumatized), or more trusting as an adult, she might have been less tortured. But alas, “would have, could have, should have” is always a harsh comeuppance. Of course fans of Marry Balogh in general, and this series in particular, will want to dive in.