SLIGHTLY ADDICTIVE: Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn Series

4

THREE BOOKS FROM THE BEDWYN SAGA

 

SLIGHTLY TEMPTED

Morgan’s Story

Book 4 in the Bedwyn Saga series
Author Mary Balogh
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Publication date Feb 21, 2017
Running time 12 hrs

Young. Ravishing. Exquisitely marriageable. From the moment he spies Lady Morgan Bedwyn across the glittering ballroom, Gervase Ashford, Earl of Rosthorn, knows he has found the perfect instrument of his revenge. But wedlock is not on the mind of the continent’s most notorious rake. Nor is it of interest to the fiercely independent Lady Morgan herself . . . until one night of shocking intimacy erupts in a scandal that could make Gervase’s vengeance all the sweeter. There is only one thing standing in his way: Morgan, who has achieved the impossible—she’s melted his coolly guarded heart. For Gervase, only the marriage bed will do, but Morgan simply will not have him. Thus begins a sizzling courtship where two wary hearts are about to be undone by the most scandalous passion of all: glorious, all-consuming love.
https://tantor.com/slightly-tempted-mary-balogh.html

SLIGHTLY SINFUL

Alleyne’s Story

Book 5 in the Bedwyn Saga series
Author Mary Balogh
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Publication date Mar 14, 2017
Running time 11 hrs 25 min

As the fires of war raged around him, Lord Alleyne Bedwyn was thrown from his horse and left for dead—only to awaken in the bedchamber of a ladies’ brothel. Suddenly the dark, handsome diplomat has no memory of who he is or how he got there—yet of one thing he is certain: The angel who nurses him back to health is the woman he vows to make his own. But like him, Rachel York is not who she seems. A lovely young woman caught up in a desperate circumstance, she must devise a scheme to regain her stolen fortune. The dashing soldier she rescued from near-death could be her savior in disguise. There is just one condition: she must pose as his wife—a masquerade that will embroil them in a sinful scandal, where a man and a woman court impropriety with each daring step . . . with every taboo kiss that can turn passionate strangers into the truest of lovers.
https://tantor.com/slightly-sinful-mary-balogh.html

 SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS

Wulfric’s Story

Book 6 in the Bedwyn Saga series
Author Mary Balogh
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Publication date Apr 18, 2017
Running time 12 hrs

All of London is abuzz over the imminent arrival of Wulfric Bedwyn, the reclusive, cold-as-ice Duke of Bewcastle, at the most glittering social event of the season. Some whisper of a tragic love affair. Others say he is so aloof and passionless that not even the greatest beauty could capture his attention. But on this dazzling afternoon, one woman did catch the duke’s eye—and she was the only female in the room who wasn’t even trying. Christine Derrick is intrigued by the handsome duke . . . all the more so when he invites her to become his mistress.

What red-blooded woman wouldn’t enjoy a tumble in the bedsheets with a consummate lover—with no strings and no questions asked. An infuriating lady with very definite views on men, morals, and marriage, Christine confounds Wulfric at every turn. Yet even as the lone wolf of the Bedwyn clan vows to seduce her any way he can, something strange and wonderful is happening. Now for a man who thought he’d never lose his heart, nothing less than love will do.
https://tantor.com/slightly-dangerous-mary-balogh.html

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copies of these books. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

 

My Take Oblong Shaped

 

This entire series is about the life and loves, adventures and misspent youths of the Bedwyn family.  The Duke of Bedwyn is Wulfric, and he has several sisters and brothers.

I’ve looked at a couple of other entries in this series before SLIGHTLY MARRIED, SLIGHTLY WICKED  & SLIGHTLY SCANDALOUS, and, while I won’t say the author can do no wrong. she is incredibly skilled and creates well crafted romance novels that are more than the standards for the genre.

The first two novels in this particular examination: Tempted, and Sinful,  are very closely linked and go together like empire and regency fashions.   They take place immediately before, during and after the Battle of Waterloo.  While I knew we were leading up to the events in Sinful, I felt they were, if not telegraphed or foreshadowed, there’s enough mood that we feel the tragic events of Tempted are not definite, and certainly the opposite is hoped for.  If I have ever felt that one novel bneeded to be immedialtely followed, as soon as possible, by the next these two would be the greatest example. My need was so intense that had it not been available as an ARC I would have bought it immediately, at full price.

The first book I read in this series pointed out that upholding the morality of the Regncy aristocracy relied on the actual noble behavior of the aristocracy.  The Bedwyn family, perhaps due to the way Wulfric, the current Duke of Bewcastle, was raised and his expectations for his siblings. He’s seen as a cold fish, but again and again, throughout the series, we see that there is a true noble inside. Nobility grants privilege to the few with the idea that they will carry out the norms of the aristocracy and serve as examples, leadership and, offer succor to those who serve them. 

The key is his behavior at the end of SLIGHTLY SINFUL.  This is classic.

All in all, I desperately needed to listen to SLIGHTLY SINFUL as soon as I finished SLIGHTLY TEMPTED.  And, then, because the quality of Balogh’s work is so far above the rest of the crowd, I was desperate for SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS.

I loved the continuity of SINFUL and TEMPTED, and the quality of DANGEROUS is very high.  The way it looks at friendship and courtship and morality is unusual and a twist on the frenemy idea. The way Balogh sets up the morality tale is skilled and subtle. I think it shows a mastery of the period’s manners and everyday life as well as the societal and political realities of the time.

Speaking of mastery, Rosalyn Landor has a place among the stars of audio narration and IS the voice of Balogh’s work! Her women have distinct voices and the men sound neither bellicose nor overly effeminate — this is a thing when accents and culture could lend an effeminate tone to a character and thus could affect a listener’s idea of that character.

I recently read a treatment of Austen’s work looking at it as highly political and radical.  I think Balogh also consciously  inserts political and social concepts into her work. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this series and these three books are MUST READS for lovers of Regency Romance.

 

Links Blue Horizontal

PUBLISHER: https://tantor.com/series/bedwyn-saga.html

AUTHOR: http://www.marybalogh.com/

On AUDIBLE

SLIGHLY SINFUL: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Slightly-Sinful-Audiobook/B06XCJZG6L

SLIGHTLY TEMPTED:  http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Slightly-Tempted-Audiobook/B06WD1Q1FJ/

SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Slightly-Dangerous-Audiobook/B06Y2KR1V3/